Men's Policy Forum raises awareness of hidden problem

15 Mar 2011     Last updated: 8 Oct 2014

The Men's Policy Forum, as part of the Vital Links Programme, heard evidence in January from the Men's Advisory Project on the often silent and under resourced problem of men who are victims of domestic abuse.

NICVA’s policy fora are held as part of the Vital Links programme with the aim of increasing the interaction and understanding of the key institutions, the voluntary and community sector and foster and promote positive engagement.

As part of this programme the Men’s Policy Forum held a meeting in NICVA on Wednesday 26 January. The Co-Chairs, Jonny Currie, East Belfast Community Development Association, and Michael Lynch, Men's Action Network (seen above with Maxine McFarland) welcomed Maxine McFarland from the Men’s Advisory Project to deliver a presentation on findings from the ‘Towards Gender Equality’ research project.

The presentation highlighted several issues, including the lack of service provision in refuges for men who are victims of domestic abuse, lack of support from legal services, the different reactions from the PSNI, a fear of legal services favouring females when children are involved, and bringing services into line with provisions for females.

A question and answer session took place after the presentation and the need to mainstream and disseminate the findings of the research widely in order to make any policy changes was discussed. It was also stressed that in order to have any real impact there needs to be a combined effort from the public and the voluntary and community sectors. It was also noted that there is currently a fragmented approach within the men’s sector, and cohesion will be needed to pull together to make lasting change.

For information on the Men’s Advisory Project, please see their website - 

The next Men’s Policy Forum meeting will take place on Wednesday 20 April at 10.30am in NICVA. For further information on the Men’s Policy Forum, or any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Patricia Stewart, Policy Officer, on 028 9087 7777 or email [email protected]

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