Men’s Aid records 37 per cent rise in calls reporting domestic abuse

The number of men reporting domestic abuse rose by 37 per cent last year, according to the annual report of Men’s Aid, which was launched in Navan last week.

The Annual Report for 2021 showed contacts made to the domestic abuse support service for men and their families increased by 37 per cent when compared to 2020.

The launch event was attended by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and Detective Chief Supt Colm Noonan of the Garda National Protective Services Bureau at Men’s Aid HQ in Navan.

To mark International Men’s Day, Men’s Aid highlighted the supports available for men in abusive relationships.

Men’s Aid is the only dedicated domestic abuse support service for men in Ireland. The organisation responded to 7,561 contacts in 2021.

The report details that 94 per cent of contacts from men disclosed the perpetrator is female with six per cent of engagement from men disclosing the perpetrator is another man and/or family member.

The Men’s Aid report highlights men from 18 years of age to 80 plus years used their service disclosing emotional, psychological, economic, physical, and sexual abuse.

The report breaks down the contacts to include 6,690 calls dealt with successfully, 630 missed helpline calls, 522 counselling appointments, 244 court support appointments in Dolphin House, Dublin Family Law Court, 105 outreach appointments / one to one in person. Some 43 per cent of calls came from the Dublin region, followed by the Northeast, then Galway/West of Ireland.

Kathrina Bentley, CEO, Men’s Aid welcomed Minister McEntee to the event and said: These numbers are a stark reminder that anyone can experience an abusive partner. However, a 37 per cent increase exceeded our expectations, and our small frontline team certainly felt the huge increase in demand as well as longer lengths of time per call.

"The increase is welcomed as it shows more men are finding the confidence to come forward for support. We know it is only the tip of the iceberg and the reality is that these volumes will increase in the years ahead”.

The three top reasons for men contacting Men’s Aid include: emotional support, practical information and safety

“From our experience supporting thousands of men who call our helpline, they often do not see themselves as a victim or their partner as a perpetrator of Domestic Violence/Coercive Control. This highlights how language can be a barrier to seeking support / reporting and the importance of inclusive representation in all forms of awareness, education, discussions as we work towards Zero Tolerance in our society,” Ms Bentley explained.

Men’s Aid is committed to meeting the needs of the male victim in line with the Zero Tolerance 3rd National Strategy for Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence issued by the Department of Justice, June 2022.

"We particularly have regard to high intimate homicide rates amongst women in crimes associated with Domestic Abuse / Coercive Control. In this regard we stand together with all of society in condemning these acts.

"Domestic Violence/coercive control can be experienced by any person. It may include physical, emotional, mental, sexual, or economic harm."