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Refuge set up for male DA victims in Essex

Alex House has opened its doors in Harlow, the first such refuge in Essex for male victims of domestic abuse. It is named after Alex O’Donoghue, who took his life in 2022 after years of suffering abuse.

That is “a reality that too many men face in silence,” local media quoted his mother Alison Askwith as saying when opening the shelter. “This refuge symbolises a beacon of hope and support for those experiencing similar struggles.”

The shelter will be run by domestic abuse support charity, Safer Places, whose director of operations Jayne Gentry said it will provide support for men who are often forgotten in discussions on domestic abuse.

“At Alex House, male victims will receive specialist support and meet other men who have had similar experiences, thereby making them feel less alone”, she added.

The Essexlive.news website reported 6,689 domestic abuse crimes recorded by Essex Police in 2022/23 had a male victim, representing 27.4% of the total 24,456 cases.

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