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A surprising number of men are the victims of domestic abuse.

Record number of Irish men seek help from abusive wives

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A surprising number of men are the victims of domestic abuse.

Last year, a record number, over 3,600 calls were made to Amen, a support organization in Ireland for male victims of domestic abuse, according to the organization’s annual report.

More than 25 percent of callers described incidents of physical abuse, while 35 percent experienced verbal abuse and 38 percent reported psychological abuse.

"Most men react by staying silent," said David Ring, Amen’s chairman, told the Independent.

"Often this silence is encouraged by the fear of ridicule and the realization that it is unlikely his partner will be evicted."

He added that when men do report incidents of abuse, they are most often not believed and are even viewed as the perpetrators. Many men fear losing their livelihood and their children if they leave their wives.

Declan Keaveney, a retired garda inspector and Amen committee member, was a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of his alcoholic wife.

"Men are often not believed or not listened to," said Keaveney. "They are not considered capable of looking after children."

Keaveney ‘s wife succeeded in getting a barring order against him after he told her that he wanted to separate. He was only allowed supervised access to their three children even though he was the victim. After a long court battle, he now has custody of the children.

"The hardest thing to deal with is not seeing your children," said Keaveney, who now helps men in court going through similar situations.

"Lots of men do not deserve to be near their children but society in Ireland needs to acknowledge that it (abuse) goes on, on both sides," he said, adding that men suffering domestic abuse were probably among the 424 male suicides last year.

"Some men see no other way out and they just take their own lives.”
 

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