Council backs launch of domestic abuse charity supporting male victims and survivors
February 22, 2019
A domestic abuse charity specifically supporting male victims and survivors is now open in Wirral.
Having registered as charity in April 2018, Paul Lavelle Foundation officially opened in Royal Standard House, Birkenhead, today with the help of backing from sponsors including Wirral Council and Involve North West.
Paul Lavelle Foundation (PLF) was formed first as an online community and later as a registered charity by the family and friends of Wirral man Paul Lavelle.
Tragically killed by his abuser in May 2017, Paul’s loved ones created the charity in his memory and as a way to raise awareness of the issue of domestic abuse, particularly supporting male victims and survivors to speak out and access support.
After gathering a considerable online following the group saw a gap in the community for domestic abuse support that catered to men. After joining the Wirral Domestic Abuse Alliance and speaking at the Wirral Domestic Abuse conference in October 2018 the charity, who are big supporters of the Council’s #ItsNeverOk campaign against domestic abuse, forged ahead with their plans to open a community hub for PLF.
Speaking of the charity’s launch, Cllr Paul Stuart, Chair of Wirral Domestic Abuse Alliance and cabinet member for Law and Order said: “Domestic abuse is an issue that affects many in Wirral. I am proud that we are able to back Paul Lavelle Foundation to set up offices which will make outreach and support options for men who are experiencing domestic abuse more easily accessible.
“While statistically more women are victims and survivors of abuse, we know too that men can also be abused in this way. Often this abuse can go undetected for years until a survivor speaks out or an abuser is found out.
“In Wirral we’re committed to recognising all kinds of abuse regardless of the survivor or abuser’s backgrounds. The future is bright for Paul Lavelle Foundation and I congratulate the dedicated volunteers who are bringing this vital work to light.”
The PLF offices will provide services including guidance and emotional support for men who are suffering in an abusive relationship. It will offer a safe place for men to visit and chat about any issues they may be experiencing.
Paul Gladwell, a founding trustee at PLF and good friend of Paul’s, said: “The foundation has grown at a seriously fast pace over the 12 months we have been a charity. We have always tried to walk before we can run but we have found that we are actually sprinting due to the response we have had since we set up the community from people wanting our support.”
The offices will also provide a space for family members to contact the group and voice concerns about their loved ones. Gladwell said: “We are finding that many of the people contacting us with concerns seem to be worried mothers, family members and friends and not the man suffering.”
Gladwell continued: “We need men to feel comfortable to open up. This is one of the biggest issues for male victims of domestic abuse and this is the issue we are trying to change, to support men to realise they’re in an abusive situation and access our services.”
The launch event saw a plaque unveiled, commemorating Paul who was a much loved friend and family man. Attended by multiple agencies and domestic abuse organisations, speakers included Paul Lavelle’s mother Barbara Lavelle, trustee Paul Gladwell and ex-Everton player Neville Southall who also attended the event, to help unveil a plaque and say a few words commemorating Paul, who was a devoted Everton Football Club fan.
- If you or a male loved one have been affected by domestic abuse, visit the Paul Lavelle Foundation’s website for more information: paullavellefoundation.co.uk/
- For information about domestic abuse support options more generally in Wirral, visit: www.itsneverokwirral.org
- In an emergency, always call 999.