Julian House opens second refuge for men escaping domestic abuse

In addition to our vital services for women, we’re now opening our second refuge for men escaping domestic abuse – thanks to funding from Wiltshire council.

‘We’re determined to provide the support that male victims need.’

We have teamed up with Wiltshire Council to open our second refuge for adult male victims of domestic abuse. This was made possible by Wiltshire Council’s Public Health Team who allocated a portion of the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Grant to Julian House.

The project has been a success, resulting in a safe, fully furnished accommodation situated in a convenient location in Wiltshire that will temporarily house two adult males who require low-medium support. Staff will be available to assist residents with mental health support and guidance, alongside access to an emergency 24-hour call service – ensuring the residents have the safety and stability necessary in such a time of crises.

Helen Bedser, Chief Executive of Julian House, says:

“1 in 7 men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. We are determined to provide the support that male victims need to recover, regain their independence and build a new life for themselves.”    

Why we need more men’s refuges 

According to SafeLives data, only 4.8% of victims supported by local domestic abuse services are men. Considering that men make up 25% of domestic abuse reports recorded by police (ManKind Initiative), this shows a large proportion of male victims are being failed by domestic abuse services.  

Additionally, the number of men who don’t receive adequate support when/after experiencing domestic abuse may be higher than anyone suspects. This is because men are often reluctant to talk about or report their abuse largely due to a fear of being ridiculed or not being taken seriously (domesticshelters.org).

Our work not only provides a safe shelter for male victims, but it also helps to spread awareness of the issue – hopefully prompting more men to speak up and seek help. 

What is domestic abuse? 

Domestic abuse is an offense which takes place within families or relationships. Most people immediately think of physical abuse, but it manifests in many forms, such as:

Financial abuse 

This is when perpetrators use finances to mistreat and control their victims. For example, through restricting the victim’s access to their own money.  

Emotional abuse

This includes behaviours that perpetrators use to manipulate and control their victims. For example, they may humiliate the victim to lower their self-esteem.

Sexual abuse

This is when victims are forced into non-consensual sexual activities. It is possible for the perpetrator to be a woman and the victim to be her male partner.  

Stalking and harassment

This includes obsessive and unwanted behaviours that are persistently used against someone. For example, perpetrators may send abusive text messages and follow a victim around.  

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these forms of abuse, male or female, there is support available with Wiltshire’s domestic abuse support service, FearFree:  

Call: 01225 775276  

Email: spa@fearfree.org.uk 

Always call 999 in an emergency. 

How to access the refuge 

The new provision is now open, and professional or self-referrals can be made via Julian House, ManKind or the Male Domestic Abuse Network. Details can be found below: 

Julian House (professional or self-referrals): Call 01380 738006 or email wiltshiredva@julianhouse.org.uk 

ManKind (professional or self-referrals): Call 01823 334244 

Male Domestic Abuse Network (professional referrals): access https://mdan.org.uk/services-portal/

Julian House is a vital support system for society’s most vulnerable people. The council funding has been an immense help, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to build a men’s refuge to operate alongside our existing women’s refuges.  

Please consider supporting Julian House, so that we can continue helping society’s most vulnerable