Group launches helpline to support men who are victims of domestic violence

File photo.

Social stigma prevents men who are victims of domestic violence from coming forward, according to the Men's Development Network.

The body has launched a new helpline today aiming to support up to 5,000 victims of abuse a year.

The National Crime Council says that up to 88,000 men in Ireland have been abused by a partner at some point in their life, but just 5% of men report incidents to gardaí.

CEO of the Men's Development Network, Sean Cooke, said: "A lot of the reasons why men don't come forward is around that kind of social conditioning and gender conditioning around what's expected of men in terms of are they strong, or this is a situation they shouldn't find themselves in.

"But the strongest of men can find themselves in very, very difficult circumstances and the idea is to say let's seek some help."

The service will offer 36 hours of support by trained counsellors every week and is being funded by Tusla.

Tusla spokesperson, Thelma Blehein, said: "You know it doesn't have to be a one-off call, people can come back again. They can ring to meet there are other referral pathways to the Men's Health Programme."

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