MALE victims of domestic violence are being urged to help an inquiry.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s regeneration and planning services scrutiny forum will examine the topic in a special one-off meeting on Thursday, February 3.
The forum will be investigating what help is available to men who suffer domestic violence, how easy it is to access and how effective it is.
Councillor Kevin Cranney, chairman of the forum, said: “We are appealing to men in Hartlepool who are or have been victims of domestic violence to share their experiences with us.
“They can do so either in person at the meeting or if they would prefer to remain anonymous they are very welcome to submit written information to us by letter or email.
“Domestic violence doesn’t just happen to women. Men suffer from it as well but even in today’s more relaxed and open culture many men in particular are still embarrassed to talk about it.
“We hope that our investigation will help highlight the support which is available and encourage more men to come forward and get the help they need.”
According to Home Office statistics for 2008-09, more than one in four women and around one in six men in the UK have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16, which equates to an estimated 4.5m female and 2.6m male victims.
This can range from physical or sexual assault to emotional or financial abuse or stalking by a partner or family member.
Women are significantly more likely to tell someone about their abuse than men – 81 per cent compared with 59 per cent.
As part of its inquiry, the forum will also consider information from national and regional organisations including The Men’s Network and The ManKind Initiative.
Anyone wanting to submit evidence to the inquiry should contact scrutiny support officer, Elaine Hind, on (01429) 523647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, people can write to: Elaine Hind, Scrutiny Support Officer, Chief Executive’s Department, Hartlepool Council, Civic Centre, Hartlepool, TS24 8AY.