Shedders help to spread the ‘Open Up’ message
Thursday 18th January 2018 @ 13:09 by Adam Higgins
Dukinfield News

Regulars at the Shed Project in Dukinfield are backing a campaign to encourage male victims of domestic abuse to open up.

The male members are helping Tameside Council reach older men, with the message that there is support and practical help available for anyone experiencing domestic abuse – no matter what their age or gender.

One in six men experience domestic abuse but they are less likely than women to tell anybody. It’s hoped the #OpenUp campaign will help reassure male victims that they are not alone and encourage them to tell someone and get support.

Domestic abuse isn’t just violence, it can also involve controlling and coercive behaviour such as controlling someone’s money or preventing them from seeing family and friends.

There is local support and help available for all victims of domestic abuse by visiting www.tameside.gov.uk/domesticabuse or call 0800 328 0967 – but in an emergency, you should always call 999.

The Shed, at the Together Centre at Loxley House, is a safe, friendly and inclusive workshop, where men (and women on Fridays) come together to work, take part in activities and socialise.

Members have joined Tameside men from all walks of life – from Hyde United footballers to bin men – who are helping to reach men all over the borough with the #openup message that it’s important to talk to someone and seek help.

Posters have gone up across the borough, including male toilets in pubs and gyms, to reach men with the message. The campaign is also targeting men online and on social media.

Tameside Council Deputy Executive Leader Cllr John Taylor, who is responsible for community safety, said: “Men are renowned for bottling up their problems and feelings but we want to urge them not to keep domestic abuse a secret.

“Male victims may feel very alone but one in six men are victims, that’s at least one person within your sports team, office or group of mates at the pub.

“We want to highlight that getting help is the strong thing to do and hope the campaign will reach out to all men – whatever their jobs, interests or backgrounds – and encourage them to open up and get support and practical help.”

You can follow the conversation by using the hashtag #openup on social media.