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This week we’re highlighting the support that we provide to men who have faced domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse doesn’t have a type and absolutely anyone can impacted, no matter your gender or sexuality.
At Glow, we recognise this and deliver support to men through community safe accommodation across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Male customers live in safe accommodation flats, separate to our refuges for women and children. This gives them a secure new home where they can start their journey towards a new chapter while receiving tailored support.
According to charity ManKind Initiative, 1 in 6-7 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Of all the domestic abuse crimes recorded by the police, 26% were committed against men. This is around 155,000 offenses per year.
In the past two years we have supported 6 men who experienced domestic abuse. This includes Darren*, who had been married for over 40 years.
The dad-of-three was being abused by his wife, daughter and granddaughter. The abuse he experienced was physical, emotional and financial.
Darren opened up to a friend about what he was going through. His friend, a domestic abuse survivor, was a previous customer at Glow’s Stoke-on-Trent refuge. She recognised his experience as abusive and asked Glow for help.
Service Manager Donna shared his story:
“When we first met Darren and talked to him about his experience, we identified that his wife, daughter and granddaughter had been abusing him for a considerable amount of time,” said Donna.
“He’d been financially abused by his wife, leaving him with no money of his own. He didn’t have his own bank account and bills weren’t in his name.
“His daughter had also pushed and punched him on several occasions.
“When we spoke to Darren and explained that we could help, he was very emotional.”
A lot of Darren’s domestic abuse took place during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. He was anxious about the virus and concerned that his daughter and granddaughter were not abiding by lockdown rules.
There had been an argument at Darren’s home, which resulted in him being arrested and charged with common assault. Our specialist staff spoke to Darren about this and talked him through the charges.
Darren told us that his daughter had assaulted him. He went to grab the phone to ring the police, but his wife tried to stop him. In the process he said that he accidentally scratched her.
“This incident, and the subsequent charges, had a real impact on Darren,” continued Donna.
“He stopped going out, which meant he stopped attending his medical appointments.
“Darren has a severe heart condition but was regularly attending a clinic to have this monitored. He also had problems with his hips which really impacted his mobility and caused him a lot of pain.
“On top of all this, he also hadn’t been to get his Covid-19 vaccination, even though he was eligible. This was all really concerning.”
Our specialist team started to work with Darren and secured him a place in one of our local community flats.
The flats are an extension of our safe accommodation refuges for women, meaning that we can provide support to men who have faced abuse, alongside women and children.
“Once Darren was in his flat, the next step was his finances,” explained Donna.
“He had no bank account, nor did he have the ID he needed to apply for one. We wrote him a supporting letter to the bank to explain the situation and he was able to open a basic bank account to put his pension in. Once everything was sorted with his pension, he could claim housing benefit to cover housing costs.
“We also helped him to set up his utility bills and put accounts in his own name. We taught him how to budget properly and he now pays all his bills on time. He’s even building up some savings.”
Another concern for Darren was the ongoing legal proceedings following his arrest.
“Darren was really worried so we helped as much as we could,” said Donna.
“We supported him to make an application for legal aid. Now he has a solicitor who represented him when he pleaded not guilty. They will also represent him at his trial.
“His health was another concern, so we prioritised getting him registered with a local GP. He had his Covid-19 vaccination straightaway which helped with his anxiety around the pandemic.
“He spoke to his GP about his heart condition and is regularly attending appointments again. He’s due to have an operation very soon.
“He’s also making healthier food choices and has cut down his alcohol consumption by half.”
Our support has transformed Darren’s life. He’s now less anxious, more mobile and on top of all of his finances. He has support in place which has alleviated the worries he had around his upcoming legal proceedings.
Donna added: “Darren is really happy living in his flat. He told us, ‘even if I won the lottery, I’d still stay in my flat. I’m very happy here.’
“Domestic abuse doesn’t have a type. Anyone can be affected, no matter your gender.
“At Glow we’re proud to be able to offer support to men who have faced abuse, to help them start a new chapter towards a brighter future.”
*name changed to protect identity
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