'I stood freezing in a churchyard at 3am' - domestic abuse victim tells how he escaped relationship

The victim was in an abusive relationship for 15 years.
The victim was in an abusive relationship for 15 years.

A domestic abuse victim has told of how he managed to escape a violent and controlling relationship after 15 years.

The man, whose identity has been protected, was beaten, isolated from friends and stopped from working during a "systematic" period of abuse at the hands of his same-sex partner.

"It took four months for me to feel strong enough to find a place of my own."

"It took four months for me to feel strong enough to find a place of my own."

The victim was even banned from owning a mobile phone during the relationship.

The man's story has been revealed in a Wakefield Council report, in which it was revealed that more than 20 male domestic abuse victims are being supported by the authority.

The report gave details of how he escaped the relationship.

In it, he said: "I found an old mobile phone and I made phone calls to the domestic abuse helpline.

"I pretended I was going for a walk or was going shopping.

"They (the helpline) told me, "You have to leave, it's very important you get out of this relationship."

"I must have left at three o'clock in the morning. I waited around for a taxi for a couple of hours in the churchyard, freezing cold.

"It took me to the nearest train station, and I hopped on a train and came to a safe house."

"It took four months there for me to feel strong enough to find a place of my own."

The victim said it was important people in a similar position find support and explained why he'd found it so difficult to leave his partner.

He added: "I still feel ashamed even today to admit I was in an abusive relationship, I think it's something to do with being a man.

"You're supposed to stand up for yourself, you're supposed to protect yourself.

"You hear a lot about women's groups and of course women and children are always going to get priority, but men also need help."

Mark Brooks, from the ManKind initiative which offers support for abuse victims, said that services for men had improved substantially over the past 10 years.

He said: "This report shows quite clearly that men are victims of domestic abuse.

"It's vital that if you are in this situation that you realise you can escape and that there is help out there for you.

"Many men suffer in silence for years without realising what is happening is unacceptable and that there is actually support available.

"In addition, friends, family and work colleagues should always look out for men who they think may be a victim of domestic abuse and try to find a way of helping them leave.

"If you are in immediate danger, please call 999 or call a national helpline for men, or your local domestic abuse service."

If you are a man or a woman and in an abusive relationship, you can call Wakefield Council on 0800 915 1561 or ManKind on 01823 334244.

Local Democracy Reporting Service