AN INCREASING number of men are reporting being abused by their partners, according to new figures from the Scottish Government.
The number of recorded incidents involving male victims of domestic abuse in the Lothian and Borders police area has increased to 1,351 in 2009/10, 143 more than the previous year.
Overall, domestic abuse incidents have fallen for the first time in 10 years across Scotland.
Incidents recorded by police in Lothian and Borders decreased by 0.9 per cent in 2009/10 to 9,566, from 9,652 in 2008/09.
The latest figure for the area represents 18.4 per cent of the total 51,926 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by police in Scotland in 2009-10.
The Scottish Government has launched a helpline for male victims of physical, psychological and emotional abuse.
Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said: “Scotland is leading the way in tackling domestic abuse.
“Our hard-hitting campaigns broke taboos, got the message out that this behaviour is totally unacceptable and created awareness of the wide-range of help and support for victims.
“It is encouraging to see that reported domestic abuse incidents are now on the decrease and police forces are cracking down on this despicable behaviour.
“We’re also pleased that more men in the Lothian and Borders area are finding the courage to come forward and our confidential Men’s Advice Line stands ready to support men experiencing abuse.
“Preventing domestic abuse and offering practical and emotional support for victims to get their lives back on track is a key priority.”
Men who are experiencing domestic abuse can contact the Men’s Advice Line free on 0808 801 0327 and is open Monday – Friday, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm.
Victim Support Scotland also provides free confidential support and advice to male and female victims of crime, reported or unreported. Area co-ordinator for Victim Support Scottish Borders, Karen Lawson is keen for male victims of domestic and sexual abuse to come forward and seek support.
Victim Support Scottish Borders is based at 72 High Street, Galashiels and can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9am and 3pm on 01896 751212 or alternatively call the Victim Support Scotland helpline on 0845 603 9213.
More information can be found at www.victimsupportsco.org.uk