Male victims of violence on P.E.I. to get more support

·1 min read
'I think it's an important move, to serve anyone coming forward looking for support,' says Family Violence Prevention Services executive director Danya O'Malley.  (Shutterstock - image credit)
'I think it's an important move, to serve anyone coming forward looking for support,' says Family Violence Prevention Services executive director Danya O'Malley. (Shutterstock - image credit)

P.E.I. Family Violence Prevention Services will be hiring two new part-time outreach workers to help male victims of violence, one in Charlottetown and one in Summerside.

Currently the non-profit organization runs Anderson House shelter in Charlottetown and second-stage housing, staffs a crisis phone line and provides outreach services, information, public education, referrals to other agencies and advocacy on behalf of women.

"We have more and more referrals coming from various sources asking us if we support male victims of violence," said the organization's executive director Danya O'Malley.

"It's not rocket science to look at the referrals you're getting and think maybe we should have a service for that referral.

"If we're not doing it, no one else is."

'New territory'

After a review of its priorities last year, the board of directors decided they serve victims of any gender.

"It's definitely new territory for us," O'Malley said. She said they have been seeing some male victims but have not been staffed to help them.

"I think it's an important move, to serve anyone coming forward looking for support."

She expects most of the work of the new outreach workers will involve providing emotional support, and that there likely will not be a need for a shelter for men escaping family violence, but said it remains to be seen.

"You really can't say what the demand is or what the numbers will be until you offer that service," she said.

They plan to have the new outreach workers in place by early May.

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