The first domestic abuse service for South Asian men launched today at Prestige Hall.
Men Reaching Out (MRO) is a domestic violence provision established by BEAP Community Partnership in Manningham.
The project, funded by the Henry Smith Charity, is thought to be the only domestic abuse service for South Asian men in the UK.
Since opening in September, the service has received over 200 phone calls and received 50 referrals from external organisations. Currently, the service supports around forty men per month.
The service was created by the chief executive of BEAP, Humayun Islam BEM, after he recognised a lack of provisions for men going through domestic abuse in the local community.
The provision aims to help men across the Bradford district and the UK.
External organisations and partners also attended the event, with representatives from Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police, Shazia Ahmed from Atkinson Firth Solicitors who provides legal support, and victim support workers all giving a speech.
Male victims are over twice as likely as women to not tell anyone about the partner abuse they are suffering from.
Statistics from ManKind Initiative, a national charity that helps men escape domestic abuse, show that 13.2% of men over sixteen have been a victim of domestic abuse at some point in their life, equivalent to 2.2m men.
The statistics also reveal that male victims are twice as likely as women not to tell anybody about the partner abuse they suffer, with only 10% of victims reporting to the police.
The number of women convicted of perpetrating domestic abuse has more than quadrupled in the past ten years from 806 between 2004 and 2005 to 4866 between 2014 and 2015. Additionally, one in every five victims of forced marriage is a man
Chief executive of BEAP, Humayun Islam said: “Today is the launch of the MRO domestic abuse provision. It is a specialist service for South Asian men, and it is the only provision for South Asian men in the UK.
“Male domestic abuse is still a taboo subject, there are not enough services for men, especially South Asian men.
“Going forward, what we want is for men to feel comfortable to come to us for support and ultimately reduce suicide rates and death of men suffering from domestic abuse.”
Shummel Uddin, the engagement officer for MRO, said: “MRO is a male domestic service specialising in supporting South Asian men. The reason for this event is to create awareness of male domestic abuse and showcase the work that we and other organisations are doing to provide help and support.
“This type of provision is important because male domestic abuse is a taboo subject, it is something that is not spoken about enough.
“It is important for MRO to create awareness on the topic, especially in the South Asian community because it is something that is brushed under the carpet, it is often seen as something that cannot happen, which is why it is important to educate people and recognise that it is happening and how to act accordingly.”
Councillor Rizwana Jamil for Bowling and Barkerend (Lab), said: “I’m here today because the organisation is in the ward that I represent.
“I had to come and support this absolutely amazing and much-needed service that Humayun has set up for men facing domestic violence.
“It is amazing to see the fantastic work that they have achieved in the short time that they have been delivering the service and I cannot wait to support them again.”
Mark Brooks CBE, CEO of Mankind Initiative, said: “The charity has been supporting male victims of domestic abuse for over twenty years. One of the key things we have been doing is trying to ensure that there are fantastic services in local communities, specifically for male victims.
“This is why we have been a real supporter of the work that Humayun and his team have been doing in Bradford to ensure that more male victims do receive the support that they need.
“What is even better than this service is set up in Bradford, but it is going to be a service that will help South Asian men right across the UK, the very first such service, which is why it is important to get the message out that men can be victims, and that there are specialist supports for them.”
He added: “This service is a gamechanger and Humayun and the rest of the team should be supported and applauded for the work that they have done, and they will make a real difference.”
There are four main signs of male victims of domestic abuse. These are changes in behaviour or demeanour, changes in physical appearance and clothing, changes in contact patterns, and changes in work behaviour. For more signs of male victims of domestic abuse, please visit here.
If you or somebody you know is going through male domestic abuse, then please contact Men Reaching out.
The helpline is open 10am – 3pm, Monday to Thursday or you can email the service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t get answered the first time, please try again. The service provided is confidential unless there is a life-threatening situation, or a child or adult is felt to be at risk of significant harm.