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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 September, 2003, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Male domestic violence highlighted
Man generic
Devon Male has received 140 calls from men since its launch
Domestic violence against men in the South West is being highlighted by an advice charity.

The Devon MALE (Men's Advice Line and Enquiries) project, says it has received 140 calls from men since its launch six months ago.

The project, which also carries out outreach work throughout the county, held a meeting in Exeter for male victims to explain to police domestic violence officers their experiences.

The meeting, which was held on Saturday, was thought to be the first of its kind in the country.

There are issues that come up, such as 'Am I a man?'
Mark Coulter
A government report estimates one in four women experience domestic abuse and one in six men.

However, the statistics are inconclusive because many victims do not come forward.

Devon MALE Project Co-ordinator Mark Coulter said the issues affecting victims of domestic violence, whether they are male or female, are the same.

He said: "Victims they always feel that it is their fault, that they have caused this."

However, he said for men it can be more difficult to think about getting any help.

Abuse records

He said: "When a male is being victimised by a female, then there are issues that come up, such as 'Am I a man?'."

The organisation said that the first step in asking for help is men recognising that they are in an abusive relationship.

Until they do, the charity said nothing will change for the better.

The charity helps men to find new homes and start legal proceedings.

It said several actions can be carried out to help.

Victims should always keep a record of dates and times of incidents and always report the violence to their doctor and to the police.

They should also always tell family and friends what is happening, but not be provoked into retaliating.

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