THE NUMBER OF men in rural Ireland seeking help to deal with abuse has increased, according to one counselling service.
Connect counselling says that some counties – including Cavan, Westmeath, Offaly, Sligo and Waterford – have seen a ratio of 2:1 in male to female callers to its helpline.
The service said that the male callers from these counties often reported being isolated and unable or unwilling to access face-to-face services.
Nationally, two-thirds of the total number of phone calls were from women.
Connect, which runs an out-of-hours telephone service for abuse survivors, answered 2,600 calls in the first six months of the year, with almost half reporting abuse within the family home.
One quarter said they had experienced abuse in their community while 15% reported abuse in institutions.
Connect service manager Theresa Merrigan said the figures go against the perception that abuse in Ireland has been largely an institutional problem, and instead highlight a higher prevalence in the family setting, particularly relating to abuse which has occurred more recently.