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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 February, 2004, 16:23 GMT
Refuge for male abuse victims
Man looking out of the window
A report estimates one in six men experience domestic abuse
An organisation which hopes to open the first refuge in Wales for men suffering from domestic violence says it hopes it will be operational within twelve months.

Husbands who have suffered abuse at the hands of their partners would be able to move into the safe house at Newtown in Powys.

It would have room for men and their children to seek refuge from violent women.

A UK Government report has estimated that one in six men suffer constant abuse at home.

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

Wales is a very macho place - it's not manly to say your wife beats you up
Malcolm, domestic violence victim

Montgomeryshire Family Crisis Centre, which hopes to open the refuge, has spent two years studying the needs of male abuse victims.

One victim of domestic violence, known only as Malcolm, from Penarth, near Cardiff, welcomed the refuge.

"Wales is a very macho place - it's not manly to say your wife beats you up," he said.

"I stayed with friends who just told me to go home and sort it, out but I knew if I did she would kill me."

Malcolm, 59, divorced his wife just three months after they were married, but said the refuge would help male victims of domestic violence.

"This new refuge is a wonderful idea," he said.


"I know of a lot of men who suffer in silence and have nowhere to go."

David Hughes from Mankind, a charity set up for male victims of domestic abuse, said men as well as women could suffer abuse.

"Everyone hears about battered wives but there are many husbands who suffer too," he said.

"Many husbands suffer in silence at the hands of cruel women and we want to give them every help we can."

Mr Hughes set up Mankind 11 years ago and said domestic violence needed to be tackled.

"This type of abuse has been kept quiet for too long and all because of the macho image of men," he said.

"They are not supposed to admit they have been attacked by their wife or partner.

"Fortunately attitudes have changed but men still need more help - that is what we are trying to do."

The plan to set up the mid Wales refuge comes after the plight of abused husbands was recognised by the government.

Home Secretary David Blunkett said men in abusive relationships were just as entitled to protection as women.

Domestic abusers face crackdown
03 Dec 03  |  Politics
Report to cut domestic violence
25 Nov 03  |  Shropshire


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