Male victims of domestic abuse charity could close

Male victims of domestic abuse charity could close Credit: ManKind Initiative

A South-West charity that supports male victims of domestic abuse says it may have to shut its helpline because of a lack of funding.

The Taunton-based ManKind Initiative is one of only two charities in the UK that provide support specifically for men. This victim says their support helped him escape a decade of abuse:

Paul Chivers contacted the police after living with an abusive partner for over a decade - never an easy step to take. But for Paul, it was made even harder by the fact that he was a man:

To be able to say that you're not taking the man's role in the home is a big challenge, to actually admit to that and do something about it.

Paul Chivers, Victim of domestic abuse

Based in Taunton, the Mankind Initiative runs a national helpline for male victims of domestic violence. It's one of just two in the country. But the charity's due to run out of funding early next year.

For the last couple of years we've been relying on donations. We're not a popular charity, we're not a sexy charity, we're not children, we're not animals, and it's a lot harder to raise funds for unpopular causes.

Lori Busch, The ManKind Initiative

This video (below) was made by charity the mankind initiative. They used hidden cameras to highlight the lack of support available to male victims of domestic violence.

The video shows when a woman is attacked by her partner in the street the public jump to her aid. But when the roles are reversed the reaction is humour.

I got their number from their website and it was the greatest thing I've ever done at that moment in time because there were people there that were actually listening, lending support.

Paul Chivers, Victim of domestic abuse

The Mankind Initiative supports over one and a half thousand callers every year. But the charity needs £45,000 to keep their helpline running for another year.

Funders want to see positive outcomes. Because we are ananonymous helpline, we can't prove the positive outcomes. We work with a victim anonymously over the telephone.

Lori Busch, The ManKind Initiative

Men are supposed to behave in a certain way and it can be seen as weakness I guess, and people make their own judgements about that. But from my own perspective I would encourage anyone who is in a similar circumstance to whatI was in to actually do womething about it. But that's easier said than done.

Paul Chivers, Victim of domestic abuse

For Paul the Mankind Initiative helped make the process easier. But it's help that might not be available to victims in the future.