A new support service is being launched to help 5,000 victims of sexual, gender-based and domestic crime each year.
The Men's Development Network, a Waterford-based charity, has announced a phone advice line for male victims of domestic abuse.
Live from Monday, the 1800-816-588 service will be operated by expert counsellors from across the country and offer 36 hours support each week, Monday to Friday.
The charity said it will provide an outlet for men, who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse in their relationship, to speak confidentially with professionals who are trained to advise on gender-based domestic crime.
The most-recent research from the National Crime Council found that up to 88,000 men across Ireland have been severely abused by a partner at some point in their lives.
The advice line's initial roll-out is working toward facilitating up to 5,000 calls a year.
Sean Cooke is CEO of the Men's Development Network: "The most-recent research from the National Crime Agency estimates that more than 300,000 people, approximately 6% men and 15% women, have experienced domestic abuse in their relationships.
"While more women are affected than men, only 5% of men report incidents to the Gardaí, indicating that the majority of men suffer alone.
"Everyone affected by crime has the right to seek support and justice, but our research shows that most men suffer their abuse in silence because they are ashamed and believe it makes them less of a man."
"With that in mind, the arrival of our male advice line today not only highlights that support is needed across the board where sexual and gender-based crime exists, it also offers a much-needed opportunity to communicate the damage that male stereotyping can cause when it comes to equality.
"Some common indicators of male domestic abuse include verbal abuse and belittling, possessiveness and jealousy, on-going accusations of being unfaithful, trying to control where you go and who you see, trying to control how you spend money or deliberate default on joint financial obligations, making false allegations about you to your friends, employer or the Gardaí, threatening to leave you and preventing you from seeing your children."
The core funder of the service is TUSLA, the Child and Family agency.
TUSLA has taken a leading role in developing a national strategy to better understand all incidences of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, increase the perception of these crimes as unacceptable and bring about increased safety for victims and increased accountability of perpetrators.
Thelma Blehein is senior co-ordinator for domestic violence at TUSLA: "For both men and women, these forms of violence and the associated crimes can have devastating physical, emotional, physiological and financial consequences, as well as for society as a whole.
"The arrival of the Men's Development Network's Male Advice Line is wholly welcomed by TUSLA as it supports our efforts and strategies to address and ultimately prevent this violence and abuse."
The Advice Line can be accessed on 1800-816-588 at the following times:
- Monday: 10am-6pm
- Tuesday: 12pm-8pm
- Wednesday: 10am-6pm
- Thursday: 12pm-8pm
- Friday : 2pm-6pm