Male Support Services
We did it
On 10th May 2021 we successfully raised £967 ( + est. £37.50 Gift Aid ) with 26 supporters in 82 days

Improving the health and wellbeing of men without judgement or stigma.

by Clean Slate in Upper Heyford, England, United Kingdom

Over the last 11 years we have supported female victims of Domestic Abuse, we now want to improve our service for men to bring it in line with our female service. 

The employment of a Male services Co-Ordinator who will bring a dedicated approach to Male services is needed more now than ever before. 

In the past 6 years we have seen an increase of 200% in Males accessing our services, during the pandemic this has increased by a further 80%

  • 576,000 men (2.5% men) and 1.2 million (4.8% women) were victims of partner abuse in 2018/19 equating to a ratio of two female victims to every one male victim.
  • In 2017/18, 11% of male victims (7.2% women) have considered taking their life due to partner abuse.
  •  In 2017/18, nearly half of male victims fail to tell anyone they are a victim of domestic abuse (only 51% tell anyone). They are nearly three times less likely to tell anyone than a female victim (49% of men fail to tell anyone as opposed to 19% women). This has worsened since 2015/16 where the figures were 61% for men (88% women).
  • In terms of refuges/safe houses, currently, there are 37 organizations with 204 spaces with only 40 of those places are dedicated for men. Many parts of the UK have no or limited places at all
  • Imagine your son, grandson, nephew, brother or friend came to you and said “I need help, I am being abused by my partner”. Imagine the pain, the anger, the terror of that. Now imagine they can’t or won’t do anything about it because of fear, fear of their partner, fear of not being believed, fear of not being taken seriously, fear of being laughed at, fear of not knowing who to turn to or where and how to escape.
  • One in three victims of domestic abuse are male, yet they often don’t come forward. They don’t recognize they are a victim “because it doesn’t happen to men”, they never hear politicians mention men when it comes to domestic abuse and so many awareness campaigns barely mention them if at all.

Although we have been supporting women for 11 years our male service has relied predominantly on 1-1 support, but we have discovered the need for group support as well as education.

  • The biggest cause of death in Males under 42 is suicide
  • 96% of homelessness is Men
  • 86% drug and alcohol death are males

The figures above show us  that as a country we have reached crisis point in regards to Men's mental health. We want to remove the stigma to enable males to access support before they reach crisis.

Testimony

Carl is a 48 year old man he’s been married for 2o years to a loyal and supportive wife, he has two daughters one in university and one just finishing a levels. He has his own home a good job that he loves and is financially secure. Carl has it all or so it seems to the outside world.

But Carl had a demon one that kept him wracked with guilt and shame: At the age of 11 Carl’s dad died. At the funeral one of his dad’s colleagues told Carl “you’re the man of the house now you must look after your mum and your little brother” They moved out of their house and to a new place where he knew no one. New school, no friends. Carl’s mum decided he should join the scouts to meet new friends and learn to become a man!.

Within a month of joining, the scoutmaster announced he was going to be a patrol leader. Carl was surprised because there were other boys who had been there a lot longer than him. But as a quiet, obedient boy he didn’t argue. At the end of the session as the boys made their way out of the scout hut the scoutmaster announced that as a patrol leader Ian had to stay behind and clear up. That night Carl was raped afterwards he was told to clean himself up and get off home. Carl went home sat in the bath for hours and scrubbed himself until he had sores. He told his mum he didn’t want to go to scouts anymore but his mum insisted it was good for him. Every week he went through the same trauma and the same cleansing rituals afraid, alone and no one to talk too. After a year he came up with a plan he would join the table tennis at school it was the same day as scouts so he would have to give it up. He was free at last. He did well at school went to university and eventually worked in a job that took him all over the world.

But freedom came at a cost, deep within himself he was always that 11 year old boy, dirty ashamed, unable to tell a soul of the sordid abuse he had endured. But Carl found a friend someone he could hide out with when the memories emerged, Alcohol.

In 2014 I met Carl and for the first time ever he poured out his story, he was scared, shaking, crying not knowing what reaction he would get. when I told him I believed him and that it wasn’t his fault 30 years of shame and guilt began to erode and after 9 month of therapy Carl booked himself in to rehab. Carl excelled as he did with most things in his life.

Carl completed rehab for alcohol addiction in 2014 he had been clean for two years. He was volunteering at the rehab centre, he had become a trustee for cleanslate and ran the men’s breakfasts on a Saturday morning where his humility, humour and passion inspired other survivors. He began to help a 27year old woman who was addicted to drink and drugs, he bought her food, he arranged a rehab appointment but more than that he didn’t judge her he just wanted her to see that there was still a chance at life.

Carl felt that he was invincible there was only one more thing he needed to do. That was to reconcile with his mum, she had refused to believe Carl’s account of what happened and they had not spoken for 2 years but Carl felt strong enough to deal with the situation. He called his mum but she refused to listen to him, insisting he was a despicable man who made up stories about decent men to excuse his own weaknesses and addictions.

That night Carl left his home booked into a hotel with as much alcohol as he could get, he stayed there for 2 weeks despite efforts by his wife, the rehab centre and myself to get him to leave. The ambulance was called but they refused to do anything because Carl had capacity to choose! The police were called but they also refused to do anything as Carl wasn’t hurting anyone or causing a disturbance.

Carl died in September of multi organ failure, His funeral was attended by 170 people family, friends, colleagues even the girl he had helped was there.

Carl was funny, conscientious, caring, empathetic he was one of the good guys he wanted to use his experiences to help others.

Carl was robbed of his father’s protection and denied his mother’s love

The 11 year old boy who for a year endured the most vilest of abuse who couldn’t scrub himself clean enough not even as a man of 48, died because the stigma of abuse is still too hard for us to believe it happens

Testimony 2

Clean Slate really supported me as it made me understand what happened wasn’t my fault, helped me deal with the negative thoughts, anger and emotions that had built up, helped me with coping strategies in response to ‘triggers’ and, made me feel that instead of existing I could move forward and start living my life once more.

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