Male victims of domestic abuse are being urged to call a Derbyshire County Council helpline as Coronation Street highlights the issue in a current high-profile storyline.
In recent episodes viewers have witnessed popular long-standing character Tyrone Dobbs being victimised by his pregnant partner Kirsty.
Abuse has escalated from Kirsty’s controlling behaviour and verbal outbursts to hitting Tyrone in the face and cutting his lip, throwing objects at him and pushing him against a wall with his arms behind his back.
It is hoped the storyline involving a leading character will prompt local men who may be suffering in the same way to call Derbyshire’s Domestic Abuse Helpline. The 08000 198 668 helpline, funded by Derbyshire County Council, operates all day every day and supports men as well as women. When men dial they are offered an option to go through to a specialist male advice line.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health Councillor Carol Hart said: “We welcome the recent Coronation Street storyline for highlighting the fact that men can be victims of domestic abuse too and are very likely to try to hide it.
“We hope it will encourage more men who are suffering to have the courage to get help and the confidence that they will be believed.
“Hundreds of people call our helpline every year and they’re put in touch with agencies in their local area that can help and offer support ranging from and urgent refuge place to financial and legal support.”
As the soap storyline has progressed over the past few months Tyrone has consistently made excuses to friends about his injuries and minimised Kirsty’s behaviour. Latest figures from the British Crime Survey show that male victims of domestic abuse are twice as likely to suffer in silence than women.
Men can also get information and support and find out about male refuge services from Derbyshire SAM (Support and Advice for Men) at www.derbyshiresam.org.uk Residents can also get advice and support with domestic abuse from Derbyshire County Council’s ‘Stop Hurting – Start Talking’ campaign at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/social_health/adult_care_and_wellbeing/keeping_safe