It is important to remember that domestic abuse is not your fault.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse means an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by someone who is personally connected to you.
Personally connected means that they may be your current or ex-husband, wife or civil partner, someone you are or have been in an intimate relationship with, or someone co-parenting a child with you. They could also be another relative such as a parent, or your adult child.
Domestic abuse doesn’t just mean physical violence, and it can include:
- Coercive control: a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence;
- Psychological and/or emotional abuse;
- Physical abuse;
- Sexual abuse;
- Economic abuse;
- Harassment and stalking;
- Online or digital abuse;
- Forced marriage, and so called “honour crimes” that are perpetrated primarily by family members.
Domestic abuse: is it happening to you?
Domestic abuse happens to men too, regardless of their sexual identity, social background, age, religion or ethnicity.
If you feel scared of your partner or someone at home because of things that they say and do, or are forced to change your behaviour because you are frightened of their reaction, you might be experiencing domestic abuse. Does your partner or someone at home:
Criticize youput you down or call you names?
Make you feel scaredto disagree with them or anger them.
Constantly check up on you or follow you?
Control who you seeBy making it difficult for you to see family and friends or controlling what you do.
Play mind games with youthen call you “crazy”.
Ever hit youuse weapons against you, or threaten to?
Withhold money, food, affection or medical care from you?
Try to shame youby saying you are not a “real man”.
Tell you no-one will believe youbecause you are a man.
Threaten you by saying they will tell others that you are abusing them.
Threaten to take your children away.
Tell you that the abuse didn’t happen, wasn’t serious, or that you deserved it.
Threaten to “out” you to other peopleif you are gay, bisexual or trans.
Threaten you by telling you that you could be deported because of your immigration status?
It is important to remember that this is not your fault.
A forced marriage is one in which one or both of the people getting married do not, or cannot, consent to the marriage and coercion is involved. Coercion may include emotional force, physical force, threats of violence, or financial pressure. Forced marriage is a criminal offence in the UK. There is a clear difference between forced marriage and arranged marriage.
“Honour”-based violence can be described as a collection of practices used to control behaviour within families or other groups. Abuse and violence can happen when perpetrators think that a relative has “shamed” the family or group by breaking their “honour” code. Often there is no single perpetrator and victims can be at risk from close or extended family or community members.
Forced marriage: is it happening to you?
Forced marriage and “honour”-based violence affect men and boys too; it is estimated that up to 20% of people experiencing this kind of abuse are male. If any of the points below are happening to you, you may be experiencing honour-based abuse, or you may be at risk of a forced marriage. It is important to remember that this is not your fault.
Does someone in your family (this could be your parents, a sibling, your spouse or another family member):
Not consult you in decisions about your future, such as who to marry?
Make threats to physically harm youwhich make you feel scared to disagree with them or anger them.
Stop you from going outseeing friends or speaking to outsiders about your problems?
Say that your actions shame them or the family?
Physically harm you.
Threaten to disown you?
Withhold money, food or affection from you?
Force you to do things against your will?
Prevent you from studying or getting a job?
Say that it is your duty to obey them because of religion or culture?
Has anyone else in your family been made to get married to someone they didn’t want to?
Get in touch to find out more about how we can support you.
We know it can be difficult to talk about, but telling someone can really help.
Contact Ask Marc: we will listen to you, advise and support you. We can offer you telephone guidance or one to one support depending on what you want. We won’t judge you because of what you say, and we can help you with choices on how to move forward.
Please contact us to speak to an advisor and find out more about how we can help. We have male and female support workers. Agencies: please scroll down for a referral form and details of our secure email.
Support in the community
Independent Domestic Violence Advice (IDVA) Service
An IDVA is a trained specialist who supports people who are at risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members. They can work with you one to one and support you, to help you to make choices and plans towards your long-term safety.
Although IDVAs work closely with other organisations to ensure you get the best support, they are independent of all statutory agencies including the police, local authority and social services.
Our IDVA service can support men over the age of 16 in Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall.
Questions often asked by victims of abuse
What can an IDVA help with?
The things an IDVA can help with include:
- Being someone to talk to in confidence about what has happened
- Advice and support planning tailored to your needs
- Sharing information with you so that you feel empowered to make decisions that are right for you
- Assessing your risk level and developing safety plans with you including practical steps to keep you safe
- Helping you to understand how the criminal justice process works, explaining what will happen if you report to the police, and what happens in court. We can also support you at court and afterwards
- Information about civil orders that can help protect you from your abuser, including Non-Molestation Orders and Forced Marriage Protection Orders
- Helping you access other services who can help e.g. refuge, housing, immigration, counselling and legal services
- Maximising your safety by working closely with other agencies to reduce the risk of harm that you face, and representing you at MARAC
- Interpreting services if you need them
Can men get refuge?
We can offer access to safe, specialist accommodation for male victims of domestic abuse, “honour”-based violence and forced marriage. If you have children, you can bring them if you need to.
If you do not feel safe in your home, please call our 24-hour number on 0121 552 6448. We will talk to you about your needs, in order to try to find the best space for you. The things we will need to know include what has happened, the area that you are at risk in, (where the perpetrator and their family live), any access or support needs you have, and anything else which helps us to understand what you need to be safe and secure.
Do you support gay, bisexual and trans men?
Yes, we support all men who are experiencing this kind of abuse and violence. We will listen to you, understand, and offer you advice and help based on your situation. We can also help you to access specialist LGBT+ support services if you need them.
Gay men are more at risk in intimate relationships than heterosexual men: it is estimated that 1 in 4 experience domestic abuse. Young gay, bisexual or gender non-conforming men may also be at higher risk of forced marriages and abuse by family members to impose stereotypical gender and social roles.
What are civil orders?
You could try to gain some protection from your abuser by applying for a civil injunction or protection order. An injunction is a court order that requires someone to do or not to do something.
There are two main types of injunctions available under Part IV of the Family Law Act 1996:
- A non-molestation order
- An occupation order
A non-molestation order is aimed at preventing your partner or ex-partner from using or threatening violence against you or your child, or intimidating, harassing or pestering you, in order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of yourself and your children.
An occupation order regulates who can live in the family home, and can also restrict your abuser from entering the surrounding area. If you do not feel safe continuing to live with your partner, or if you have left home because of violence, but want to return and exclude your abuser, you may want to apply for an occupation order.
What is a MARAC?
MARAC stands for Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference. It is a regular meeting where workers from different agencies (include IDVAs, police, probation services, NHS, schools, and social services) discuss the wellbeing of women and their children identified as at high risk of serious harm from domestic violence. MARACs co-operate on safety and support planning to reduce the risk of people becoming repeat victims.
If you are referred to a MARAC, you will usually be consulted and your confidentiality is respected. You will not need to attend meetings, your IDVA will be your representative ensuring that your voice is heard and feeding back to you about the support other agencies are offering.
Following intervention by a MARAC and an IDVA service, up to 60% of domestic abuse victims report no further violence.
Domestic abuse helpline for men
Domestic abuse helpline for men
LGBT’s domestic abuse service
Government guidance on forced marriage
Advice and FAQs about forced marriage
Local police force
We work with you in a confidential way and will not share any information with your family, the police or anyone else without your permission. The only time we will ever share any information without your permission is if we are worried about a child or vulnerable person’s safety.