A NEW service to help male victims of domestic abuse has been set up in Bradford amid fears that the issue remains a “taboo subject.”

Men Reaching Out, run by BEAP Community Partnership, is open to victims of domestic abuse aged 16 or over.

Victims can call the service’s free and confidential helpline if they have suffered emotional, physical, sexual or verbal abuse.

The need for such a service was highlighted in a report, released by the ManKind Initiative in February 2017. It found 13.6 per cent of men in the 2015/16 financial year said they have been a victim of domestic abuse since they were aged 16, compared to 26.3 per cent of women.

It also found that, for every three victims of partner abuse, two will be women and one will be a man.

Male victims, at 39 per cent, are more than three times as likely than women not to tell anyone about the partner abuse they suffer.

Humayun Islam, BEAP chief executive and service founder, said the service was set up because domestic abuse against men remains a taboo subject in society.

He said: “Throughout the UK it is a massive issue.

“It is still a taboo subject and not enough provision for male domestic abuse.

“Abuse is abuse, it can happen to anybody. We all need to take male domestic abuse seriously, to change the perception that it can happen to men too.

“The service puts a hand out to support victims at an early stage. A lot of men don’t know about these services.

“It happens across the board; different races, ages and professions.

“Men often find it difficult to talk and say how they are feeling.

“There are not too many services for men, where do they go?”

“They may not have been believed before, but we do believe them and find them appropriate support.”

A team of seven people, including four volunteers, work at the service. All of them have previous experience of working with male victims of domestic abuse.

It offers emotional support and provides information and signposts them to other specialist services including agencies specialising in tackling substance misuse and mental health.

The service gives information on guidance including how to access housing and help make applications, how to report incidents to the police and who to approach for legal help.

Men Reaching Out’s helpline, 01274 731020, is open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 3pm, or people can leave a voicemail outside of these times. Alternatively, men can email menreachingout1@gmail.com.