It can be extremely difficult for men to acknowledge they are experiencing domestic violence and the stigma and shame attached to the issue can be a huge barrier in accessing support.

If you are a man and have any concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past, contact the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline. The Helpline provides information, emotional support, and the opportunity to talk over all your concerns, including housing and legal options. You are guaranteed a confidential and caring response.

Men and women have the same rights to protection from domestic and sexual violence

Who is abused?

Any man or boy can be abused regardless of age, size, strength, disability, sexual orientation, nationality or background. The Helpline welcomes calls from everyone. Recognising what is happening to you, or has happened in the past, is the first step in escaping the pain and misery of domestic and sexual violence.

Domestic violence and men

Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, financial, or psychological. Sexual abuse is often a part of domestic violence. You are being abused if your partner/ex-partner/ girlfriend/ boyfriend/ family member does any of the following:

  • Constantly criticises your appearance, undermines your decisions and opinions
  • Blames you for everything that goes wrong
  • Is jealous and possessive and continually accuses you of being unfaithful
  • Constantly wants you to justify what you spend money on
  • Threatens to take custody of your children or prevent you from seeing them
  • Tries to isolate you from your friends and family and makes you justify any absence
  • Always ridicules your sexual performance
  • Physically hurts you in any way
  • Constantly tells you ‘You’re not a real man’

Sexual violence and men

Sexual violence/abuse refers to any sexual acts that a person does not consent to take part in. It may not always be physically violent. It can include:

  • Rape
  • Unwanted touching or kissing
  • Coerced or forced sexual activities, including activities that may involve violence and pain
  • Forcing someone to watch or participate in pornography
  • Posting sexual images of someone on the internet without their consent
  • Using substances such as drugs or alcohol (or spiking drinks) to make someone vulnerable in order to have sex with them
  • ‘Grooming’ a child or vulnerable person to engage in sexual activities of any kind
Approximately 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by the age of 16

Who sexually abuses men?

Most people are abused by someone they know and trust, a partner or ex-partner, relatives, babysitters, ’friends of the family ‘, people in positions of authority, neighbours, and sometimes strangers. Most abusers are men, however abusers can be men or women.

Abusers are often good at convincing those they have abused that it was their fault and they agreed to it.

How Women’s Aid can help you

Our team of specially trained workers understand the devastating impact domestic or sexual violence can have on your life. We realise it can be hard to pick up the phone for the first time. Our Helpline workers are experienced in supporting you to talk when you are ready. We understand you may not know what to say or how to start. Our workers will put you at ease.

Male callers sometimes feel that the very fact that they have suffered abuse somehow weakens them in their own or other people’s eyes. It takes strength to admit that you have or are being abused, and that you might need help from someone else.

The Helpline can arrange safe temporary accommodation for men on their own, or men and their children. We can also refer men to a range of other agencies for support. If you have been sexually assaulted the Helpline can arrange immediate practical help, including direct referral to The Rowan, the sexual assault referral centre.

Help for Men Leaflet

Support Agencies for Men