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Taking male victims of domestic abuse seriously

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Amnesty International UK

25 New Inn Yard



United Kingdom

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Awareness of men as victims of domestic abuse is at an all-time high. The Government published a position statement which clarifies its response to male victims. The Crown Prosecution Service issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to male victims. BBC3’s ‘Abused by my girlfriend’ was praised for highlighting that men can be victims too. Demand for the Men's Advice Line is increasing year on year, as more men are asking for help and support.

But barriers remain and stigma persists. Too many male victims are embarrassed to ask for help. They fear that no one will believe them. They feel that their domestic abuse experiences don’t matter. They think that they should be able to cope on their own, because "that's what men do". We need to change all that and start taking male victims of domestic abuse seriously.

This event brings together frontline workers, academics and government. The presentations cover a wide range of subjects:

  • The Government's approach to male victims

  • The voice of survivors: what barriers do they face? What is their perception of domestic violence services? How easy or difficult they find disclosing sexual abuse to other men?

  • Different models of working with men. A grassroots organisation supporting men's wellbeing in Northern Ireland. A counselling service helping male victims of sexual abuse. A Danish government-funded men's organisation offering men shelter in 5 crisis centres;

  • Domestic Homicide Reviews and men: emerging learning

  • Male victims of rape

  • Gender stereotypes of masculinity: how they make it harder for men to ask for help. How can we foster more positive expressions of masculinity?

Respect will present the new Toolkit for Working with Male Victims of Domestic Abuse on the day.


  • Victoria Atkins MP (Invited), Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, and Minister for Women: The government’s approach to male victims of domestic abuse

  • Professor Nicole Westmarland, Head, Department of Sociology; Director, Durham University Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse; Stephen Burrell, Post Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Sociology, Durham University: The voices of male victims - understanding men's expectations and experiences of the Men's Advice Line and their perceptions of domestic abuse services (preliminary findings)

  • Morten Kjær Egebjerg, Director, Mandecentret: Supporting men at Denmark’s crisis centre facilities and the work of “Lev Uden Vold” (Live Without Violence).

  • James Rowlands, Doctoral Researcher from Sussex University & Gemma Snowball, DHR Manager, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence: Domestic Homicide Reviews and Men: Emerging Learning

  • Michael Lynch, Men's Action Network: Supporting men’s wellbeing in Northern Ireland-a grassroots approach

  • Phil Mitchell, Male Sexual Abuse Specialist, Counsellor, Psychotherapist: Boys’ and men’s responses to abuse and barriers to speaking up

  • Dr Joanna Jamel, Senior Lecturer in Criminology & Forensic Psychology, Dept. of Criminology and Sociology, School of Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, Kingston University London: 'Male Rape - Who are the offenders and victims?'

  • Rebecca Haycock, Regional Adviser (Gwent) and Janice Dent, Regional VAWDASV Officer (Gwent) The voices of male survivors and the barriers they perceive

  • Ippo Panteloudakis, Operations Director, Respect: 'Respect’s vision for shaping policy, increasing understanding and transforming services for male victims in a context that promotes positive masculinities'


Roxanne Leitao: Designing Support Solutions for Victims of Abuse: reclaiming digital privacy and safety on the Internet

This workshop follows a series of interviews that were conducted with survivors of intimate cyber-enabled abuse and frontline support workers. This workshop aims to look at the near-future and how novel technologies need to be designed to avoid the potential for misuse by perpetrators.

Roxanne is a PhD candidate at the University of the Arts London. She holds a BA in Communication Design from the School of Fine Arts, and an MSc in Interactive Systems from the School of Engineering, both at the University of Porto. She has been working in design research and teaching since graduating from her MSc.

Respect's Men's Advice Line team: “The complexities of supporting male victims on a helpline environment”

Respect’s Men's Advice Line Advisors will demonstrate the complexities of supporting male victims on a helpline environment. This interactive workshop will use case studies based on real calls. The Helplines team will invite participants to ask questions to find out more about what’s been happening. By the end of the workshop, participants will have a good understanding of the importance of language used by callers, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of supporting service users on a helpline.


Respect has been supporting male victims since 2007.

In that time we have:

  • Set up the Men’s Advice Line: the UK helpline for male victims of domestic violence and those supporting them

  • Developed the Male Victims Toolkit, a resource designed to support and inform frontline work with men experiencing domestic abuse

  • Developed the Accreditation Standards for Working with Male Victims of Domestic Abuse

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Amnesty International UK

25 New Inn Yard



United Kingdom

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