Amen Annual Report 2012

amen.ie

Amen Annual Report 2012

Amen Support Services Ltd, Company Registered in Ireland 489263Directors: Michael Power, Finola O’Sullivan (2013)


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Chairperson/Director’s Report........................................................................................... 3Staff and Committee Members.......................................................................................... 4About Amen Support Services............................................................................................ 5Part 1 - ActivitiesActivities in 2012................................................................................................................ 8Part 2 – Annual StatisticsNumber of Contacts............................................................................................................. 15Part 3 - Services:Services Provided to Clients................................................................................................. 17Time of Contacts.................................................................................................................. 19Part 4 – The HelplineThe Helpline......................................................................................................................... 21Repeat & First Time Contacts with Amen Support Services Ltd........................................... 12Unanswered Calls................................................................................................................. 23Crisis & Information Calls..................................................................................................... 24Part 5 – Court Accompaniment ServiceCourt Accompaniment ........................................................................................................ 26Part 6 – Support Group MeetingsSupport Group Meetings...................................................................................................... 28Part 7 – CounsellingCounselling........................................................................................................................... 30Part 8 – Profile of ClientsTypes of Abuse................................................................................................................... 32Age of Client....................................................................................................................... 34Ethnicity of Client............................................................................................................... 35Relationship Status............................................................................................................. 36Location of Clients.............................................................................................................. 37Part 9 – How Services Users became aware of Amen Support ServicesContact with other agencies before contacting Amen Support Service............................ 39How Services Users became aware of Amen Support Services.......................................... 40Part 10 – Financial Details and AcknowledgmentsFinancial Details and Acknowledgement……………………………………………………………………….. 412


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Chairperson’s ReportI am extremely happy to present to you the fourth Annual Report from Amen Support Services Ltd.The information provided in this report outlines the work conducted by the service and aims toprovide the reader with an understanding of the organisation and the victims contacting us.A 2005 study by the National Crime Council stated that 26% of the men surveyed had experienceddomestic abuse. It also stated that 13% of men and 13% of women had suffered physical abuse.One in twenty men who are victim of domestic abuse report the abuse to the Gardai, whereasone in five women report the abuse. These figures show that domestic abuse against men isprevalent in Ireland and is a subject that needs to be spoken about. It is affecting many men on adaily basis and unfortunately it would appear that these men are often unwilling to come forwardand speak about the abuse.As with previous years, the demand for services has increased. In 2011, a total of 4303 contactswere recorded by Amen. This figure has increased to 5225 in 2012.I believe that the overall numberof contacts received by the organisation (5225) during 2012 is a testament to the sadly increasingdemand by men and their families for information and support. I, along with the staff and NationalExecutive Committee Members of Amen Support Services Ltd., strive to provide a high quality serviceto many male victims of domestic abuse, their concerned family members and friends who contactthe service on a daily basis.We admire the strength and determination of the male victims of domestic abuse who contact us.Picking up the phone and asking for help is the first step on the road to getting their lives back, andto trying to end the cycle of violence. I hope that we can continue to support these men for manyyears to come. The National Executive Committee and staff of Amen Support Services Ltd. continuedto work tirelessly in 2012 to empower male victims, and in turn make them and their children safefrom domestic violence.The activities and achievements outlined in this report as well as the crucial daily work undertaken byAmen would not have been possible without our supporters, funders and donors. In a time ofdiminishing resources and economic hardship for all, Amen Support Services Ltd. is grateful for theircontinued generosity and determination to make a difference. With this support, Amen will continueto be here for men who need us, and continue to provide a range of crucial services.I commend this report to you.Finola O’SullivanDirector & Chairperson of National Executive Committee of Amen Support Services Ltd.3


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Staff Members:Niamh FarrellSandra KellyAoife McGrathKate MarkeyGerry LeneghanDr. Michael O’ SheaStephen MoynihanDavid BurkeManagerSupport WorkerSupport WorkerClerical OfficerCourt AccompanimentCounsellorCounsellorCounsellorNational Executive Committee / Board of Directors 2012:Eugene WoganFinola O’SullivanMichael PowerDonal GeraghtyNicola DowlingJamie CorcoranLiam BoweChairperson & DirectorSecretary & DirectorTreasurerCommittee MemberCommittee MemberCommittee MemberCommittee Member4


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012About Amen Support ServicesAmen Support Services Ltd. was established to address the needs of male victims of domestic abuse.Since its origin sixteen years ago, we have received contacts from thousands of men who haveshared their experiences of abuse at the hands of their violent partners or wives.We provide:a confidential helpline;one to one support service offering; information, guidance and emotional support to menwho have often suffered years of physical, verbal, psychological or financial abuse;weekly support group meetings;a court accompaniment service;a limited counselling service; andan Outreach Clinic in Dublin City Centre, in order to broaden accessibility to the service.The above supports are utilised nationwide by male victims of domestic abuse.The organisation is governed by a National Executive Committee (NEC) who act in a voluntarycapacity. The NEC is lead by two Directors. Throughout 2012, Eugene Wogan and Finola O’Sullivanacted as Directors. The NEC meets on a monthly basis. During 2012, the organisation employed fourfull-time employees including a manager, a clerical assistant and two support workers who assistthose contacting the confidential helpline. A part-time court accompanier is utilised by theorganisation on a case by case basis. This person assists male victims of domestic abuse in makingapplications to both the District and Circuit Courts. We also avail of the services of three part-timecounsellors who meet with male victims who may need further assistance.The victims contacting the service vary in age and social background. There is no “standard” victim ofdomestic abuse. Domestic abuse does not affect one specific age group more so than others and isnot more common amongst those from a particular social class. We support men from every socio –economic background. The issue of domestic abuse affects men of every religion and ethnicity.Men ranging in age from 18 years of age to men over the age of 80 contact us.In addition to the support services, we work to increase public awareness of the plight of malevictims of domestic abuse through media interviews, school presentations, awareness raisingcampaigns and community events.5


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Domestic abuse perpetrated against men takes many forms. It is generally categorised in the formsof physical, verbal, psychological, sexual and financial abuse. One or more, if not all of these formscan be present in the relationships described by those men contacting the service or receivingsupport.Domestic abuse perpetrated against men is prevalent in Ireland. Research conducted by the NationalCrime Council in Ireland in 2005 stated that just over a quarter (26%) of men has suffered domesticabuse and 13% of men suffered physical abuse.An attitudinal survey conducted by Cosc – The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexualand Gender-based Violence in 2008 highlighted that almost half (42% )of those asked considerdomestic abuse against men to be common and one in five (21%) of people surveyed said they knewpersonally, a man who had been a victim of domestic abuse.The Amen Support Services confidential helpline at 046 – 9023718 is open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm,Monday to Friday.Amen Support Services can be contacted by any of the following means:Helpline: 046 – 9023718Email: info@amen.ieWebsite: www.amen.ieFacebook: Amen NavanTwitter: AmenIrelandBlog: http://amensupportservices.blogspot.ieYouTube: Amen ieAddress: St Anne’s Resource CentreRailway StreetNavanCo. Meath6


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Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Activities in 2012As with previous years, 2012 was an exceptionally busy year for Amen Support Services Ltd. Theorganisation grew from strength to strength. The year also saw some new developments, such asparticipation in International Men’s Health Week (www.mhfi.org) and continued participation inNational Steering Committee on Violence Against Men chaired by Cosc – The National Office for thePrevention of Domestic, Sexual & Gender Based Violence. (www.cosc.ie). Throughout this time, thesupport staff and management of Amen Support Services have strived to provide a high qualityservice to male victims of domestic abuse and their concerned family members in a professional andefficent manner whilst showing empathy and compassion to all.Media Interviews:We aim to use every media oportunity to create awareness of the issue of domestic abuse, highlightthe suport service and influence civil society to change the perception that domestic abuse genderissue. Domestic abuse, whether perpertated by male or female, is abuse; a victim is a victim whethermale or female.We are pleased to report increasing media exposure during 2012 around the problem of domesticabuse, and particularly around the issue of male victims of domestic abuse. In the past year, Amenrepresentatives conducted a total of 36 media interviews. This included 34 radio interviews, anewspaper article and also highly sought slots on the RTE Six One News and the main evening newson RTE at 9.00p.m. The RTE website and RTE News App for smart phones also covered the work ofAmen during September to coincide with the launch of the 2011 Annual Report.8


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Awareness Campaign:Our annual awareness campaign for the organisation ran for two weeks in late September and earlyOctober. The title of the campaign was “It can happen to your father, your brother, yourson.....YOU” highlighting that victims of domestic violence are from all walks of life and promptingfamilies that victims may be someone close to them.The campaign was a great success with advertisments placed on Dublin Buses as well as in publicrestrooms. Radio advertising was broadcast on local stations. We are grateful to Cosc - The NationalOffice for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, who funded the awarenesscampaign.Presentations:We seek to inform the public, students, professionals and organisations about domestic abuse.During 2012 staff from Amen Support Services Ltd. delivered 15 presentations to second and thirdlevel educational institutions throughout Ireland as well as community groups and professionalworking groups. These institutions included Trinity College Gender Equality Society, Nursing studentsin Dundalk Institute of Technology, Meath Primary Healthcare Social Workers, YouthReach pupils andnumerous secondary schools. The presentations are an extremely effective way of raising awarenessand informing people about the work of Amen.9


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Training Workshops:We have developed a training workshop for people who may come in contact with male victims ofdomestic abuse through the course of their own work, for example health care workers; one suchworkshop was with Northwall Community Development Project in Dublin.DIT Student Partnership:As an organisation we are committed to ongoing research intodomestic abuse. Following the 2011 successful researchcollaboration with Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) StudentsLearning with Communities Initiative, we were pleased to bepart of the 2012 post graduate Master of Arts in Public Relationsprogramme.Participating students carried out research into devising a domestic violence awarenesscampaign for a target audience of 18 - 25 year olds. We intend to use this research to inform ourfuture domestic abuse awareness campaigns.A further link was established with a group of 4 th year students of Marketing from Dublin Institute ofTechnology in Aungier Street. These students investigated the potential and benefit to Amen of usingsocial media in order to target a wider audience and reach an age profile that Amen does not havemany enquiries from i.e. 18-30 year olds. This research collaboration has led to the development ofan Amen Facebook account, YouTube channel, Twitter account and a blog.Student Research:Amen Support Services Ltd. are delighted to meet with students from all disciplines in order for thesestudents to gain a further insight into the issues experienced by male victims of domestic abuse andhighlight the work of the organisation. During 2012, staff and management met and wereinterviewed by five students. Two of these students travelled from the UK and met with severalvictims to gain an increased knowledge base on the issues experienced.10


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012International Men’s Health Week:Amen Support Services Ltd., in conjunction with Sosad, Meath Community Drug & Alcohol Response,Meath Partnership and Jigsaw coordinated a Men’s Health Fair in the Newgrange Hotel Navan onJune 12th 2012. The Men’s Health Fair was in support of International Men’s Health Week; the firstof its kind to be held in Meath and was a wonderful success. Twenty eight individual organisationstook part providing information on various health and well being topics. The aim of InternationalMen’s Health Week is to empower men and boys to take care of their health. During 2012, the focusin Ireland was upon encouraging men and boys to develop a 'First Instinct' which is to seek help andsupport in times of difficulty or trouble. The Men’s Health Fair was a means to inform and encouragemen to be active in their own healthcare.Dr. Melissa Corbally, Lecturer of Nursing in DCU opened the Men’s Health Fair witha presentation onthe effects of Domestic Abuse and in particular highlighted the impact that a Domestic Abusesituation can have on a male victim. The Irish Heart Foundation provided information on whatconstitutes a healthy and balanced diet in order to promote a healthy heart. They presented ways toprevent and reduce high blood pressure. The Irish Heart Foundation also offered free blood pressurechecks, a service which was in great demand on the night. While many health topics were covered onthe night, there were also representatives from Meath County Council promoting Road Safety, theSimon Community, Job Matters, Meath Partnership and many others. The Red Cross provided freehand massages and the HSE Smoking Cessation Service offered free carbon monoxide level checksand My Studio gym offered free body fat testing.The Men’s Health Fair would not have been possiblewithout the support and participation of the numerouslocal charities and the many national organisationswho gave so freely of their time and expertise.We are grateful to local businesses who very kindlysponsored the event and of course to the general publicwho attended on the night. We would also like to thank Meath GAA captain Kevin Reilly and formerMeath player and current Meath GAA selector Trevor Giles (pictured above) for giving up their timeand agreeing to take part in publicity for the event.Amen Staff & NEC MembersIrish Heart Foundation Nurse performing blood pressure checks11


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012An Garda Siochana National Crime Victims Forum:Representatives from Amen Support Services attended theNational Crime Victims Forum held in Garda Headquarters,Phoenix Park, Dublin in September 2012.The event was hosted by RTE Crimecall presenters Grainne Seoigeand Philip Boucher – Hayes along with Deputy CommissionerNacie Rice and Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan.The theme of the event was “Diversity”. Presentations were delivered byGarda Ian Leslie who presented on the Garda Older Persons Strategyactions, Sergeant Dave Mc Inerney presented on the Garda Racial& Intercultural Diversity Officeand its responsibilities. DetectiveSuperintendent Walter O'Sullivan presented on the Garda roles of Senior Investigating and FamilyLiaison Officers demonstratinghow the results of team work can prevent and reduce furthervictimisation.Staff Training:Amen Support Services are committed to providing a high quality service to male victims of domesticabuse. In light of this, staff undertake several training courses and briefing sessions. Support Workersattended a HSE facilitated briefing session on Children’s First Guidelines. Representatives from theorganisation also attended briefing on the Children’s Referendum and attended Data Protectiontraining.Flora Women’s Mini Marathon:One of our Support workers, Aoife along with Sinead Reilly and Garda Tara Brady took on thechallenge of completing the Women’s Flora Mini Marathon in June and raised over €300 for AmenSupport Services Ltd.12


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Lighthouse Community Church Christmas Carol Concert:Pastor Jamie Corcoran and thecongregation of the LighthouseCommunity Church in Navan, Co. Meathheld a Christmas Carol Concert inDecember 2012. All the proceeds fromthe night went to Amen Support Services. Committee member, Donal Geraghty addressed thoseattending on the night and briefly spoke about the work of the organisation; the services offered andshared the stories of some victims who have experienced domestic abuse. Pastor Jamie Corcoran is acommittee member of Amen Support Services.National Steering Committee for Violence against Men:The development of the National Steering Committee forViolence against Men was established in late 2011. The committee comprises of statutory agenciesand Non - Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating nationally on issues relating to violenceagainst men. The committee chaired by Cosc - The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic,Sexual & Gender Based Violence, met on several occasions since its establishment.It continues to be a very welcome progression. Amen Support Services will maintain a presence onthe steering committee and will strive to represent male victims of domestic abuse at this nationallevel.13


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Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Number of contacts received each month in 2012We had 5225 contacts to Amen Support Services during 2012.These contacts include helpline calls, one to one meetings, court accompaniments, emails, textmessages and post received. This figure showed an increase of 922 contacts or almost 18% on thefigures recorded in 2011.15


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Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Services ProvidedThe helpline is the main source of contact for Amen Support Services; this and other services arelisted below.82% of contacts to the service were received through the helpline4,496 helpline calls were received1,247 new individuals contacted the service in 2012emails (353) to the organisation account for 6% of overall activity262 one to one client information sessions were delivered (Amen office and DolphinHouse combined)13 weekly support group meetings were facilitated45 court accompaniment sessions were provided138 counselling sessions were carried outDuring the contacts to the service, support workers speak with the service users in order to assesstheir individual situation and in turn provide them with the information suited to these needs.Support workers discuss the options available to the service users and provide them with informationon the legal remedies that may be available to them, if appropriate.17


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Helpline calls have increased by 841 contacts whereas 63 further one to one sessions wereconducted by support staff.A total of 353 emails were recorded by the organisation. These emails are generally from malevictims seeking support. These victims may not feel comfortable enough to contact the helplinedirectly and often prefer the anonymity offered by email. Support staff reply to all client emails asquickly as possible and this is generally done so within 24 hours of the organisation receiving theemail.Information for concerned relatives and others :As mentioned previously, services are not only offered to male victims of domestic abuse but also toconcerned family members, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and also professionals inclduingG.P.’s, social workers and counsellors.Information is tailored to meet the individual needs of the caller. Family members and friends,inlcuding mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, etc. are regularly looking for helpful or useful tips onhow to approach their family member about the abuse they know they are suffering. They frequentlyseek information on how to get their family member to speak openly about the abuse andrecurrently search for ways in how they can help their child or sibling.18


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Time of Contacts with AmenThe Amen Support Services office is open Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. During thesehours, helpline support, one to one assistance, email guidance and court accompaniment is available.83% of all contacts to the service were recorded during these operating hours. 17% (915) of calls falloutside office hours which represents a decrease of 5% when compared with figures for unansweredcalls in 2011.19


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Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Number of calls to the helplineSince it’s establishment in 1997, Amen Support Services have offered confidential helpline supportand assistance. The helpline operates Monday to Friday from 9.00a.m to 5.00p.m.As mentioned previously, helpline contacts to the service are the main source of contact for clients toreceive support and guidance from the organisation. Helpline countacts account for 82% of overallcontacts to the services and this equates to a total of 4496 helpline calls.21


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012First time and repeat contacts with Amen Support Services Ltd.There was a greater number of repeat contacts to the service during 2012 than in 2011.We are currently installing a new database which will allow further analysis of these trends in thecoming years.22


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Unanswered callsDuring 2012, a total of 915 calls went unanswered with the majority (46%) of these occuring over theweekend period. This figure is a slight decrease on the figures reported in 2011.Graph showing number of unanswered calls per month23


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Crisis & Information CallsSupport Workers classify calls into a two categories based on the type of call. These categories aredefined as Crisis calls and Information calls.Crisis calls are defined as those which need immediate action or those where further activities arerequired. These actions may include a referral to Gardai or social workers. Crisis calls may alsoinclude those calls where a man may need to attend a court office to apply for an order or where aclient may require counselling as soon as possible.Information calls are those calls with which the caller simply requires information on a particularissue including for example their nearest court office, where to make a court application or how tocomplete a court application form.24


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Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Court AccompanimentThe Court Accompaniment service continued with an increased demand on the service. A total of 45court accompaniment sessions were conducted during 2012.Note: Court accompaniment is not provided during August 2012, as both the District and CircuitCourts close for this month.The Court Accompanier assists the male victim of domestic abuse in making court applications andsupports him during the court appearances for family law matters. Examples of accompanimentsprovided in 2012 include applications for Protection and Safety Orders, attendance at hearings fororders under the Domestic Violence Act 1996, hearings for guardianship, access applications andcustody applications.26


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Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Support Group MeetingsDue to funding constraints we were unable to provide weekly support group meetings on acontinuous basis throughout 2012. However, despite these constraints, two very successfulprogrammes of support group meetings took place during 2012. The meetings focused on emotionalsupport and ran over a ten week period with a different theme covered each week. The majority ofmen who participated in the programme had no prior experience of group meetings. Members of thegroup, who experienced varying degrees of domestic abuse, shared their experiences, includingunemployment, marital and relationship break down and often mental health difficulties. Whilsttheir experiences were individual and unique, common elements were shared and encountered byothers in the group. These shared experiences enabled the men participating to develop a sense ofself confidence and personal development.‘From the outset, the participants were offered the opportunity to nominate topics for discussionwhich they alone felt would be helpful to their own individual processes. One subject, which wasmentioned by a number of participants is that of legal input. While the group meetings are very muchtherapeutic by nature, a number of group participants saw a need for the inclusion of legal matters.Without exception, the men stated that they benefitted from the meetings. Most stated that theinteractions with other male victims of domestic abuse and the topics covered in the presentationshelped them to move on in their own processes. All stated that they would like a follow up meeting orseries of meetings to be offered, another suggestion which will be explored in 2013.’Dr. Michael O’Shea Support Group Meeting Facilitator28


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Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012CounsellingAs funding is limited, counselling is offered to those male victims of domestic abuse most in need ofimmediate support from a counsellor. This service is available in the Amen Support Services’ office inNavan, Co. Meath and is provided by trained and skilled counsellors. Counselling is offered to malevictims of domestic abuse who require additional emotional support and guidance. A total of 138counselling sessions were delivered during 2012. Whilst we strive to accommodate those men inneed of counselling as quickly as possible, there is generally a waiting list for the service with oftentwo or more men waiting for a counselling place to become available. There is no fee for counsellingservices, however, all clients are asked to make donation if at all possible.We are grateful to the Family Support Agency for funding the counselling service at Amen SupportServices.‘Through counselling clients are attempting to come to terms with traumatic events and changes intheir lives that can leave them at risk of social isolation, depression, anxiety, and poor health.Individual counselling offers men a chance to talk in depth about the emotional and psychologicalimpact of abuse or relationship breakdown on their lives. The most common issue for men is copingwith being separated from their children and the uncertainty surrounding their own futures, wherethey may no longer have roles as fathers, providers, or life-partners. It can be a daunting prospect toface starting over without your family. The men range in age from their 20s to their 50s and comefrom all walks of life, both urban and rural backgrounds. Some clients are understandably unsure atfirst if counselling is the right choice for them, but men generally report that it has been of realbenefit to them. Clients are typically seeking to make sense of their current situation and to gainsome practical advice on safeguarding their mental health. Many men feel a sense of frustration andinjustice, while sometimes also trying to understand conflicting feelings they have for abusivepartners. For some men, counselling may represent the first real chance to talk to someone aboutissues that they have never spoken of to anyone about before.’Stephen Moynihan, Counsellor30


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Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Types of AbuseThe above chart indicates the types of abuse experienced by the men contacting Amen SupportServices.25% of those contacting the organisation detailed their experiences of sufferingphyscial abuse75% of those contacting the service reported suffering a combination of verbal,psychological or financial abuse.Less than 1% (6 people) reported experiencing sexual abuseMany clients experience more than one type of abuse with clients speaking about suffering physical,verbal and psychological abuse most often.Male victims of domestic abuse who make the brave and courageous step to contact Amen SupportServices Ltd. share their experiences of abuse. They speak about varying degrees of abuse that theysuffered at the hands of their violence partners or wives. These experiences range from verbal andpsychological abuse through to those suffering severe physical abuse and on occasion sexual abuse.Many men have expressed that they “envy the men with physical scars” as they state that the scarsleft from emotional or verbal and psychological abuse are far more damaging. The constant criticismand belittling can have a long lasting damaging effect on a victim of domestic abuse.Since the establishment of Amen Support Services in 1997, support staff have heard accounts frommen who have experienced severe and at times life threatening physical abuse. These men haverecounted incidents of stabbings and severe beatings.They have reported having to wear make up in an attempt to cover up bruises. Male victims havespoken about having their limbs broken as a result of their abusive partner trapping their arms in adoor. Men have also spoken about feeling powerless and afraid.32


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012On several occasions, support staff have heard from men who have had to lock their bedrooms atnight due to the fear that their abusive partner may attack them during the night. One man spokeabout an attempt his violent wife made to set the carpet outside his bedroom alight in an attempt tolure him from his locked bedroom.During 2012 we endeavoured to record the number of men contacting the service who havechildren. The organisation acts in line with the HSE Children First guidelines. Amen noticed thatincreasingly our clients tell us that their abusive partners falsely report to the authorities that theman has caused harm to his partner or to their children. Our clients tell us that this false reporting isimpacting on their mental health and on the relationship they share with their children.Physical Abuse:Men tell us of incidents of stabbing, hitting, punching, black eyes, biting, cigarette burns, throwingobjects, trapping limbs in doors and biting.Verbal/Psychological Abuse:Our victims report a variety of verbal and psychological abuse including: turning the children againsthim, not allowing him to see his family or friends, constantly wanting to know where he is, notallowing him to eat or sleep properly, criticising him, calling him names and making verbal threats orallegations against him.Financial Abuse:Men contacting us often speak of experiencing financial abuse. This abuse can be extremelydemoralising and can an enormous impact on a man’s self esteem. These men speak about theirpartner giving them perhaps €20 - €30 per week as an allowance. These men have no access to anyother money and in their partners eyes must make this money last for the week. They are regularlynot allowed an ATM card or access to their weekly wages or the joint bank account. Other examplesof financial abuse include, not contributing to household bills, demanding his wages, not allowinghim access to his bank account, withholding his ATM card, applying for large loans in joint nameswithout his consent, running up large credit card bills. At times, financial abuse has prevented menfrom travelling to our office as they are not in a position to pay for the extra fuel that may berequired to travel to the office. Financial abuse often contributes to a male victim’s reluctance tocontact Amen Support Services by telephone. Men are frequently not able to afford the additionalphone credit to contact us using their mobile phone. Using their home phone number is often notpossible and may have further consequences as their wives or partners may check the phone bill.33


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Age ProfileIn 2012, during the course of contacts including helpline calls, one to one support sessions and courtaccompaniments, contacts were asked their ages. This was in order to gain an age profile of thosemen experiencing abuse and contacting the service.The majority of men contacting the service fall within the 40 – 50 year old age bracket. Of those whodisclosed their age, a total of 502 contacts were in this bracket. Only 2 contacts which is in fact also 2individuals were between the ages of 18 – 20. When the two figures are combined, a total of 139contacts were recieved from people aged 18 – 30 years old. Over 70s account for 25 contacts to theservice.34


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Ethnicity of clientsIn recent years, it has come to the attention of Amen Support Services that there is a considerableincrease in migrant men contacting the service for support. During 2012, 357 contacts were receivedfrom people whose ethinicty is not originally Irish. These clients are from over 37 countries withclients from African nations being the most common.Like all victims of domestic abuse, men from various backgrounds and countries face the exactsame issues. They report incidents of severe physical abuses, verbal, psychological and financialabuse. Male victims of domestic abuse whose ethnicity is one other than Irish may face additionalbarriers.Migrant male victims of domestic abuse may experience difficulties relating to language, unfamiliarenvirons, lack of knowledge on available services, discrimination, uncertain immigration status andhaving little or no income. Many migrant men speak of their fears about their independent residencestatus. Over the past number of years, we have heard accounts of male victims of domestic abuseliving in incessant fear as they are residing in the country on their abusive partner’s visa. This is acause of great concern for these men. The abusive partner will regularly threaten to have their victimdeported. Migrant male victims of domestic abuse often believe that he is at severe risk ofdeportation should he leave the abusive relationship which unfortunately may force him intocontinuing to stay in that relationship.Many migrant men are frequently fearful of reporting incidents of domestic abuse to the Gardai asthey are anxious about the impact of doing so may have on their standing in the community. Migrantmale victims are fretful about being “shunned” by their community and other migrant men. Severalmigrant male victims of domestic abuse believe that by exposing their abusive partners that they willbe witnessed as weak or “less of a man” for allowing the abuse to continue. Migrant men are oftenproud of their standing in the community and are very apprehensive about losing the respect ofother migrant men within their community.35


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Location of clientDuring the course of support contact with the organisation, support staff ask clients where they arecurrently located . DNE refers to the HSE region of Dublin North East. DML is HSE region Dublin MidLeinster. S refers to the Southern region whereas W is the Western HSE region.As highlighted above, almost half of all contacts are received from within the Dublin North East areawhich includes counties Meath, Louth, Cavan, North Dublin, Monaghan and Westmeath.Whilst Amen Support Services Ltd. receive funding from the HSE Dublin North East to provide aservice within this region, the organisation is currently the only dedicated HSE funded support servicefor male victims of domestic abuse in Ireland. Therefore, the organisation recieves contacts from allacross the country and on occasion from callers abroad, including calls from countries such asFrance, Germany and Nigeria, the UK and receive emails from Australia and America amongst others.37


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Service Users contact with other agencies before contactingAmen Support Services Ltd.Clients are asked if they have spoken to members of the legal or medical profession or An GardaSiochana prior to contacting Amen.A total of 2416 service users mentioned that they had spoken to one or more of the listed agenciesbefore their contact with Amen Support Services Ltd.43% stated that they had previously spoken to legal professionals including solicitors or the Legal AidBoard.39% reported or logged the incidents of abuse to An Garda Siochana.Logging incidents of abuse or breaches of a court order is a practice that is encouraged.This ensures that the victim has a documented record of incidents should they need it in thefuture.Clients are also encouraged to speak to their G.P or a medical professional. They arediscouraged from hiding the true cause of their injuries.39


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012How Service Users became aware of Amen Support Services Ltd.During the course of their contact with Amen Support Services Ltd. support staff endeavour to findout how contacts heard about the service or how they first became aware of the service.Replies are categorised as statutory and non statutory.Almost half (48% )of the callers to Amen were informed about us by a statutory agency or by anemployee of a statutory agency, for example, An Garda Siochana, HSE employees such as socialworkers, psychologists and nurses.The figure represents an increase of 41% in the number of men who were informed about us viastatutory agency compared with the percentage recorded in 2011.This increase in referrals from statutory agencies may suggest that these agencies are becomingmore aware of the work of Amen Support Services and the services provided by the organisation.The remaining (52%) of callers found out about us from other sources including media coverage,posters, internet and word of mouth.*This figure relates to the contacts who offered this information & is not reflective of all contactsreceived.40


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Financial DetailsIn 2012, Amen received a total of €187,521 in funding and donations, this is a decrease of €12,838.00from 2011; however the expenditure for 2012 also decreased to compensate for the reduction inincome. Amen had a slight deficits in 2012 of €2,822.00AcknowledgementsThe management and staff of Amen Support Services would like to most sincerely thank thefollowing people for their kind and generous financial support and help throughout 2012.HSE – Dublin North EastCosc – The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual & Gender Based ViolenceCommission for the Support of Victims of CrimeFamily Support AgencyWithout the funding received from the above listed organisation, Amen Support Services would notbe in a position to offer the services currently provided to male victims of domestic abuse.We would also like to thank those individuals who made extremely charitable donations in 2012.Amen Support Services Ltd. would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Catherine Bates, projectco-ordinator of the Students Learning with Communities Initiative in Dublin Institute of Technologyfor her continued support and for awarding us the opportunity to work with students to furtheradvance our work.We would also like to thank the students who completed valuable research through the initiative.The post graduate Public Relation students are: Eimear Seoighe, Susan Burke and Ali Kahtani. Thefourth year students of Marketing: Siobhan Woods, Stephanie Whelan, Katie McEvoy and ThereseRedmond, should also be acknowledged. They worked tirelessly to develop the social media profileof Amen Support Services.We would also like to thank the local and national community groups and charities who havecollaborated with the organisation on various projects throughout 2012.41


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012NoteFor the purpose of this Annual Report, Amen, Amen Support Services and Amen Support Service Ltd. areinterchangeable titles and refer to the charity organisation , Amen Support Service Ltd is a company limited byguarantee with no share capital.The information relates to details and facts disclosed by clients in the process of their contact with AmenSupport Services Ltd. The aim of Amen Support Services Ltd. is to provide support and information to malevictims of domestic abuse. Only partial information is available to Amen Support Services Ltd. on the majorityof men, in relation to the extent of abuse being experienced and the barriers and obstacles to help-seeking.Amen Support Services Ltd. operates in line with the Children First Guidelines.42


Amen Support Services Ltd, Annual Report 2012Amen Support Services Ltd.Annual Report 2012Helpline: 046 – 9023718Email: info@amen.ieWebsite: www.amen.ieFacebook: Amen NavanTwitter: @AmenIrelandBlog: http://amensupportservices.blogspot.ieYouTube: Amen ieAddress: St Anne’s Resource CentreRailway StreetNavanCo. Meath43

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