A DOMESTIC abuse service set up to help male victims has revealed the demand for its support as it plans an event to mark its first anniversary.

Men Standing Up (MSU), run by Bradford Cyrenians, offers services including a confidential helpline, emergency accommodation and a peer support group.

Its helpline, which was set up in September last year, had taken 142 calls up to July and it has had 70 referrals from organisations including the police.

Its peer support group, which started in February and meets every fortnight, has been boosted after securing £2,546 from West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson's safer communities fund.

MSU service manager Humayun Islam said: "There is a real need for a male domestic abuse service and that all organisations should encourage more men to come forward.

"I think we still need to further promote the service as there are many men suffering in silence still not knowing that there is a service like MSU now in Bradford to support them."

The grant will be spent on room hire, two trips for the group and a laptop projector for speakers and presentations.

It is the first group nationally to be set up just for men fleeing domestic abuse. It aims to boost self-esteem of its members and increase their self-confidence.

The service was set up after receiving a £234,000 lottery grant. It was further boosted by a £135,000 donation from The Henry Smith charity.

Men from Lancashire and London have even accessed the service, which has two full-time staff and two volunteers.

Crash Pad, a service set up in May, offers the men safe accommodation at sites across the Bradford district.

"So far five men have accessed our crash pads and moved on to more suitable accommodation, or other safe accommodation.

"This shows that there is a need for emergency accommodation for men," said Mr Islam.

"We want to continue to develop and to concentrate on supporting the men accessing the service and maintain the quality of support offered by our supporting housing officers."

MSU's work will be highlighted at a first anniversary event in October.

"I am looking forward to our first anniversary as we will have our peer support group speaking at the event and giving their response to the positive support provided by the MSU service," said Mr Islam.

"Men who suffer from domestic abuse are now more confident to come forward for help."

MSU's free confidential helpline is 0300 303 0167.