A new service for male victims of domestic abuse has been launched in Stoke-on-Trent.

Arch will be holding a ‘drop-in’ service on Tuesdays and Thursdays at locations in Newcastle and Hanley, for men who feel their relationship may be abusive or unhealthy, which will take place.

An unhealthy relationship can include, being told what you can do, where you go and who you can speak to, having your spending tightly controlled, or not having any of your own, and emotional abuse such as constant putdowns and threats about your children.

The charity currently provide support for men, but find men are often only referred into the service when they are at ‘crisis point’ such as after police incident or court case. The new service hopes to provide help to men sooner with earlier intervention.

The new services comes as latest figures of male victims being referred to Arch has increased by almost 20% in the past year. It’s estimated that 1 in 6 men will suffer from some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Dave*is a previous Arch customer. He was physically beaten, threatened with knives and controlled by his ex-partner. He didn’t have any money of his own and was told where and when he was allowed to work.

One year ago, Dave took the huge step of leaving his partner: “I started with despair and thinking I wouldn’t survive. I was sleeping in my car and feeling like I’d let my kids down because they’d been victims too in all this.

“In the 12 months I’ve moved from self-pity and fear, to hope and happiness and it’s because of the support from Arch. They’ve shown me that I can do things I didn’t think I could, and I can do them on my own.”

One of our domestic abuse practitioners in Arch’s male support service said: “Arch have been successful in providing an excellent service for victims of domestic abuse for a number of years. During this time we have recognised, both locally and nationally, that men do not have the same choices or access to services that women do.

“Services for women and children are freely available, but not for men. We want to change this imbalance.

“This new service aims to provide men with a “One Stop Shop” and provide early intervention support and enable men to know what options are available to them.

“Men fear that they will not be believed or will be treated as the perpetrator if they disclose domestic abuse to other services and agencies. Arch intends to break down these barriers and encourage men to access support without fear of feeling blamed or persecuted.”

The drop ins will take place on Tuesdays between 4pm and 7pm and on Thursdays between 9.30am and 12.30pm. Contact the male support team on 01782 222416 or 07834728425 for more information.