During last year’s winter flu season funds were raised for two domestic abuse charities by DHU colleagues who were vaccinated.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, domestic violence of all types has intensified. As a result, DHU colleagues chose ManKind and Midlands Women’s Aid to highlight an issue that can affect anyone no matter what their background.
DHU, as a community interest company, is committed to raising awareness of the global fight against domestic abuse and in line with our company values we have worked to educate and support both colleagues and the communities in which we serve on the issue.
Mark Brooks OBE, Chair of The ManKind Initiative, sent us the following message about how the donation will help the work they are doing:
On behalf of the ManKind Initiative charity, I would like to thank everyone at DHU Health Care for your kind and wonderful donation of £3,920. The money raised from the donations are ring-fenced by the trustees of the charity for the costs of running our helpline for male victims of domestic abuse.
The donation is very timely as we have seen, like similar helplines, an increase in the number of calls since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although matters have started to ease a little in terms of lockdowns, the increase on the numbers of calls we receive is not abating.
Our anonymous helpline supports men across the East Midlands and the rest of the UK, and, receives over 2,000 calls every year – and rising. When a man calls us, our helpline team listen, allow them to talk about what they are going through and confirm that it is domestic abuse. This of course does not always mean physical abuse, it more often than not also includes psychological abuse. It can also include financial abuse, coercive control and on occasion, sexual abuse too. This is mainly from a female partner as men in same sex relationships often call Galop or we signpost them to that excellent service.
We also signpost them to other information and also importantly to the local services that are available to them where they live. These are normally commissioned by the local councils and/or Police and Crime Commissioners. A service for example that we signpost men to in Leicestershire is the Adam Project, but there are others in every area of the East Midlands.
For 60% of men who call us, this is the first time they have told anyone what they are going through and also the same percentage tell us they only call our helpline because it is anonymous. We never ask for their names or any other details.
This is a strong example on how many men want to seek help on this issue anonymously because they worry about the level of stigma, shame and embarrassment. It shows how much our society needs to change so that men do not feel this way. Indeed, many feel they will not be believed and are relieved when they call us that we do believe them. The calls are also increasing in length so on average the calls lasts for 44 minutes and the average age of a caller is 42, albeit we hear from men in their late teens to men over 80. We also get lots of calls from mothers, sisters, friends and work colleagues of men who are going through this – and we do welcome those calls.
The pandemic has made matters worse for men in terms of intensifying the abuse they were receiving before the pandemic. They are stuck at home with their abuser for longer, pressures on health and money have made matters worse and the opportunities to leave have become less. We have found more men calling us in greater need and also for some men, it has given them a welcome moment of reflection to decide they need to leave.
The support from this donation will enable us to continue with the help that we give these men now and in the future.
Thank you to everyone at DHU Health Care for your fantastic support and donation.
For anyone wanting more information, please visit www.mankind.org.uk and our helpline is 01823 334244 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm)
Mark Brooks OBE, Chair, The ManKind Initiative