The number of Irish men reporting domestic abuse is on the rise.

According to Breaking News, the latest figures from AMEN (the voluntary Irish group founded in December 1997 to support male victims of such abuse) show that over 5,200 calls were made to its national helpline in 2012.

As the stigma surrounding domestic violence against men lifts, more and more men are picking up the phone and seeking professional help. Although the majority of recorded incidents of domestic violence in Ireland are of men on women, society often treats female on male violence as a joke.

But the figures speak for themselves. A total of 5,225 calls were reportedly made to AMEN's call centre last year, a 21% increase in the number of calls made in 2011.

According to the support group there were 1,621 reports of physical abuse. There were only 962 such incidents reported the year before, representing a 68% increase.

Although the vast majority of calls concerned violence others called the helpline to say their wife or girlfriend was abusing them verbally or psychologically.

Other types of abuse reportedly include financial or sexual abuse and the majority of victims chose to contact the service by phone rather than appear in person.

AMEN says the stigma surrounding male domestic abuse is still prevalent in Ireland but it urges those suffering at the hands of an abusive partner to contact them in confidence.

More Irish men are reporting physical abuse in IrelandGuardian