Leicester survivors assure male domestic abuse victims there's no shame in seeking help

Bosses at the Adam Project, a domestic abuse support service for men in Leicester and Leicestershire, say demand for its services are growing. Credit: The Adam Project & Women's Aid

Admitting that you're in an abusive relationship is difficult for anyone.But male survivors have told us they struggle with societal stigma that leaves them feeling too "ashamed" to break the silence.

The 'ADAM Project' in Leicester is run by Women's Aid and aims to give men practical and emotional support. It stands for action Against Domestic Abuse for Men.

Sam sought help from them after leaving his girlfriend. He says, "She was trying to single me out from my friends, trying to control every aspect of what I do, and then it moved into physical violence, when I didn't want to do the things she wanted me to do.

"I sympathised with her background, and where she had come from. I felt it was my duty to help her not to be the way she was, but it just dragged me further under."

Many men are ashamed of what's happening in their relationship, and try to hide it.

  • Testimonies from men supported by the Adam Project in Leicestershire:

Pictures from 'The Adam Project'

Helen Turrell from the ADAM project says, "for men there's an element of pride and feeling they won't be believed. 

"That's the biggest thing, when men call me that's what they say, I didn't think you would believe me. There's such bravado, they don't want to go to their mates." 

Sam adds, "I just kind of dismissed it and thought, 'get on with it I'm a man.'"

Posters have gone up across the city, including at its railway stations, to encourage more men experiencing domestic abuse to get support. Credit: ITV Central

Another person who is getting support from the ADAM Project is 'Luke.'

He says: "As a man, it was hard for me to come forward and talk about the abuse I suffered, but with the Adam Project I felt safe enough to share.

"They helped me get the professional help I needed whilst still supporting me through all the financial and emotional problems I still have as a result of the domestic violence I suffered."It's not just about physical violence, staff say much of the abuse is around coercive and controlling behaviour which can be hard to spot.

The helpline is available for any man living in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland. The local helpline is 0808 8020 028

Advice and support available at the following sites: