Our thanks to Ian for this. He was encouraged by the image of a male victim of domestic violence in a publication from the London Borough of Merton. The ‘NO MORE’ scheme is administered in the UK by the charity Hestia.
From the website home page:
WELCOME TO HESTIA
We are a London charity, working together with adults and children in crisis to change their lives at the times when they most need support.
We are the largest provider of domestic abuse refuges in London and have the largest team of specialists working to combat Human Trafficking across the Capital and the South East. Across our broad range of services, we also help people find a permanent home, manage their finances, take care of their health, and access work, training or education, as well as providing emotional and practical support to help people succeed in their daily lives. If we can find a way to help, we will!
We currently support people in 22 London boroughs and in South East England. Last year we provided a safe home and empowering support to almost 9,000 people across the Capital.
The references to ‘people’ is comfortingly gender-neutral, so we need to look deeper. From the ‘How we help’ page:
We are the largest provider of domestic abuse refuges for women and children in London. Last year our network of 39 refuges not only offered a place of safety for women escaping domestic abuse, but also provided a home for over 500 children. We believe that the provision of holistic support to men, women and children can help them rebuild their lives. Therefore, we are committed to providing multiple avenues of support to meet their needs. [my emphases]
So, no places of safety for men (and their children) then? They could surely do without such ‘holistic support’. There are a few references to male victims of domestic violence on the website, but I couldn’t find any evidence that this charity is providing any practical support for them (or their children).
I’ve had enough of charities exploiting images of male victims of domestic violence, while doing nothing substantive for them (and their children). When Hestia open their first refuge for male victims of domestic violence, and their children, I’ll be the first to congratulate them.
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