A new outreach clinic for men – Men’s Aid – will begin in Drogheda later this week and the news has been warmly welcomed by Independent councillor Declan Power.
Men’s Aid Ireland, formerly known as Amen, is based in Navan and is the only dedicated national service supporting men and their families experiencing domestic violence in Ireland. They offer services such as counselling, legal and practical support and a court accompaniment if required.
Their new appointment only Drogheda clinic will take place on the last Friday of every month, with the first clinic due to be held this Friday (July 31). Booking is by appointment only. Men’s Aid Ireland can be contacted on 01 554 3811 or by email [email protected]
Cllr Power has welcomed the decision to bring a ‘Mens Aid’ clinic to Drogheda. “Many Men in this country experience domestic violence and abuse and often find it difficult or reluctant to ask for help or assistance due to humiliation and stigma. Often it is a family member a brother, sister or a friend that make the initial contact to seek help on their behalf,” he said
“The term domestic violence can be misleading and does not always mean physical violence. It could be verbal or emotional; for instance when your partner tells you, you are worthless, a bad father or is continually calling you derogatory names. It could be controlling behaviour or coercive control; finding ways to keep you from doing what you want to do, by taking your car keys or tracking your communications, by checking your mobile phone, social media or making threats against you.
“It could be economical; not allowing you to have access to finances or a job. It could be through constant intimidation; continually yelling or slamming doors. Or, it could be isolating; keeping you from family and friends. It can also incorporate “second wave abuse”, using the courts or your children for example to punish you….and, yes, it can mean physical violence as well; punching, hitting with objects, kicking or pushing.”
According to Men’s Aid Ireland, approximately one in seven men are the victims of domestic violence in Ireland, including non visible abuse such as coercive control and/or parental alienation. The organisation say they have received an increased number of calls and texts messages particularly in recent months.
“I can only imagine how difficult it was for struggling relationships during lockdown and having to isolate under the same roof and even more difficult when children are involved,” the Clogherhead-based councillor said. “There shouldn’t be stigma when it comes to men seeking help in abusive relationships and for the betterment of the family.”
The Men’s Aid Ireland national helpline takes 10-14 calls, emails and texts per day from men or a member of their family seeking advice and support. According to Shine, the mental health charity, men account for 83% of suicide victims in Ireland.