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It is not always women who feel the impact of domestic abuse. There are many men across the UK who struggle to recognise themselves as victims. People like Joe want to change that.

Emotional abuse dominated Joe’s married life. Desperately trying to hold on to the relationship they used to have, Joe stayed in the marriage and hoped things would improve. But as his ex-wife became more manipulative, he knew things had to change.

“Men can be victims of domestic abuse too… and it happens much more than people realise. It got to a point where I couldn’t cope with the cruelty anymore and I left. But the damage had already been done and I’ll never get over it. I couldn’t tell you some of the cruel things she used to do. My mental health has steadily deteriorated and it's affected every single part of my life.”

Joe tried to make a fresh start, free from his partner’s controlling grip that he had become so used to. Although he did his best to stay positive, there had been a detrimental effect on his confidence and, in turn, the ability to control his finances. As the weeks turned into months, the debt became overwhelming.

“Everything got on top of me and I had a bit of a breakdown. I got myself into a financial rut. I ended up living off credit cards and was borrowing money to pay off money, never getting out of the loop. I knew I would be buried if I didn’t reach out for help.”

That’s when we stepped in. Joe had heard about the Charity before but had never felt entitled to ask for help. When he eventually contacted us, his feelings of shame and isolation faded away as we sorted solutions together. We found that we were able to provide Joe with financial support to help him conquer his building debts. We also signposted him to our wellbeing and money advice services. Step by step, Joe is becoming financially stable and happier in himself.

“I’ve learnt to open up, sometimes you need to talk. If you need help, ask for it. The Charity saved me financially and they saved me mentally. They saved my life.”

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