Paid staff for men's domestic violence helpline

After a three-year search for funds, the Mankind Initiative is to start using paid staff to run its national helpline for male victims of domestic violence.

Now that the Tudor Trust has offered a grant of £30,000 over two years, Mankind is able to upgrade the service from ten hours a week staffed by volunteers to 35 hours per week with three paid employees.

"We realised we had to develop the helpline, so we showed funders how we had been running it successfully with volunteers," said Stephen Fitzgerald, project manager at the charity. He said that the number of calls had risen from 500 a year at the start of the project to 1,500 a year today.

Fitzgerald said he had found it difficult to convince funders to take the issue seriously. "We had been trying all over the place to get funding," he said. "We tried the lottery, but it wrote back to say it didn't think domestic violence was a social problem for men.

"Then we tried through the Home Office, and we had a couple of letters from Baroness Scotland politely refusing. She made it quite clear the Home Office was prioritising women, which is unacceptable."

Mankind is using the success in a campaign for further funding, and has recently secured £5,000 from the Big Lottery Fund's Awards for All programme.

- See Fundraising News, page 7.

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