MSP speaks out on abuse against men

DOMESTIC violence against men is a "growing problem" which is only now being properly addressed, communities minister Alex Neil told MSPs.

In a debate at the Scottish Parliament, he said nearly 8,000 instances of domestic abuse against men were reported to the police in Scotland in 2008-09.

Edinburgh teacher Alison Waugh and Fife woman Jackie Walls petitioned the parliament this year to give more recognition to the plight of male victims of domestic abuse, while in March, the Scottish Government funded a dedicated helpline for men.

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Mr Neil said: "We are clear there are differences in the experiences of male and female victims and we believe there are also differences in their service needs.

"One of the benefits of the helpline is it will help us to collect the necessary intelligence to be able to design services for male victims of domestic abuse.

"It in no way undermines or undercuts the very valuable work being done by the violence against women national group or any of the organisations associated with that campaign."