Male victims of domestic abuse get shelters in Netherlands

February 9th, 2009 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Amsterdam, Feb 9 (DPA) Male victims of domestic abuse in the Netherlands can seek refuge in special shelters that are due to open Tuesday, the health ministry said Monday.

The four biggest cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht - each have received 200,000 euros ($255,920) to provide safe havens for abused men, the ministry said.

Each city should provide 10 shelters. Half the total of 40 abused men’s homes will be secret shelters.

The initiative is a response to increased demand for such homes by abused men who approached various health and social welfare institutions.

Domestic abuse among men may vary from physical or mental abuse by a male or female partner to trafficking by women.

Homosexual men who receive threats from relatives or men who refuse to give in to family pressure to commit murder in the name of family honour can also make use of the shelters.

The homes are expected in particular to serve the needs of men from Oriental migrant cultures.

It is unknown how many men in the Netherlands fall victim to domestic abuse. The current programme is a one-year-pilot during which demand and specific needs will be determined.

The opening of the men’s shelters is part of a larger government campaign to fight domestic abuse.

The Dutch health ministry recently raised its domestic abuse budget from 55 million euros to 73 million euros. In 2012, the annual budget will be 87 million euros.

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