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Help for men abused by partners
Scotland's first helpline for men suffering from domestic abuse went live this week.
Trained advisors are staffing the Men's Advice Line - 0808 801 0327 - providing practical advice and emotional support to men who are abused by their partners.
Information is also available about specialist services that can offer support on legal, housing, child contact and mental health issues.
Over 7,000 men in Scotland reported being abused by a partner last year.
In 14 per cent of cases of domestic abuse reported to the police, a male victim reports suffering abuse from a female partner.
People worried about male friends or family and frontline workers can also call the helpline for advice.
A separate arm of the helpline, called Respect, will provide advice to anyone who is worried that their own behaviour is becoming abusive.
Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said:
"Domestic abuse destroys relationships and can have a severe impact on someone's self-esteem and confidence.
"It's utterly unacceptable and we are determined to do everything we can in Scotland to break the silence, tackle taboos and support people to get their lives back on track.
"Let's be absolutely clear that men and women can both be victims and we know that men feel under immense pressure to keep up the pretence that everything is ok.
"It's vital that we make it clear to men that they are not alone and that there is someone standing ready to listen and help.
"We hope this helpline will give men encouragement to get the help they are entitled too."
Stephen Jardine, television presenter said:
"Think of domestic abuse and you think of men attacking women but there is another side to the problem that remains in the shadows. An increasing number of men are also victims but often they are too ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help.
The bottom line is all abuse, physical or psychological, is unacceptable and no one should have to put up with it. Men need to know they are not alone, that their voices will be heard and that support is in place to make sure they no longer have to put up with abuse and intimidation."
Mark Ward, the National Coordinator for the Men's Health Forum Scotland said:
"We are delighted and welcome this new service for men in Scotland. We will publicise and encourage our membership to support it. Domestic abuse destroys homes and personal dignity, no one should suffer abuse of any kind, and it must be eradicated."
The Men's Advice Line is open Monday to Friday 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm. The new service is funded by the Scottish Government and will act a source of information on the scope and severity of abuse experienced by men and what support men need.