launch: Joe Hanney, Det Con Mark Brennan and Safe Project’s Krishna Tailor at RWL Gym, for the campaign
Police are to target sports clubs and gyms to urge men who are suffering domestic abuse to seek help.
Leicestershire Police is delivering leaflets to venues popular with men across the city and county to spread the message that help is available to victims.
In 2011, about 11 per cent – 321 – of the victims of the 2,800 domestic crimes reported to Leicestershire Police were men.
Research has shown that men are less likely than women to seek help.
Officers launched their campaign yesterday at RWL Gym, in Barkby Road, Thurmaston.
Detective Constable Mark Brennan, of the force’s domestic abuse investigation unit, said: “Traditionally, there is a massive problem of men trying to be macho and thinking they can soldier on instead of asking for help.
“So, we came up with the idea of going to places where men tend to gather, including gyms, sports clubs and social clubs, to get our message across that help and support is available.
“Our message is that domestic abuse comes in many forms.
“It does not have to be physical, it can take the form of threatening or controlling behaviour and even stalking. We’ll be asking beat officers to use their discretion and deliver the leaflets to venues they think are suitable over the next few weeks, to get our message out to as many men as possible.”
A 31-year-old Leicester man who suffered physical violence and taunts at the hands of a former girlfriend, welcomed the police campaign.
He said: “There are a lot of women and men who are suffering but are not telling anyone about it.
“I have a feeling that under-reporting is going to turn out to be a bigger problem among men because we’re supposed to be able to deal with anything that comes our way.
“Anything the police can do to bring more victims out, whether they are men or women, is to be welcomed.”
Det Con Brennan said women were about three times more likely than men to seek help, according to research carried out by the Home Office.