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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Men stopped from using ATM cards by abusive partners

Eilish O'Regan, Health Correspondent

MEN whose abusive partners or wives are not allowing them an ATM card and access to their weekly wages are among the desperate callers to a domestic violence support service.

The men may only be allowed €20 to €30 a week as an “allowance” and must survive on the money, leaving them demoralised and unable to put petrol in their car.

Their hidden plight is revealed in the annual report of the support group Amen which is seeing a rise in demand for its services.

One in four men who is contacting  the service say they are being physically abused by their partner or wife.

Three quarters are suffering a combination of verbal, psychological and financial abuse, according  to the report.

Less than 1pc of the men who are seeking help are being sexually abused by their partners, according to the figures.

The organisation is reporting  more demand for its services with over 5,225 contacts last year, an increase of 18pc.

These contacts include helpline calls, one to one meetings, court accompaniments, emails, text messges and letters.

"Many men have expressed that they "envy" males who have physical scars because the scare from emotionla or verbal and psychological abuse are fare more damaging.

"The constant criticism and belittling have a long lasing damaging effect on a victim of domestic abuse," the report revealed.

Since the service started in 1997, support staff have heard accounts from men who have experienced severe and at times life threatening physical abuse.

"These men have recounted incidents of stabbings and severe beatings.They can have their limbs broken as a result of their abusive partner, trapping their arms in the door.

"Men have spoken of feeling powerless and afraid.On several occasions men have had to lock their bedrooms at night due to the fear that their abusive partner may attack them during the night."

One man spoke about an attempt by his violent life to set the carpet outside his bedroom alight in an attempt to lure him from his locked bedroom.

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