A temporary refuge has opened at a hidden location in Wiltshire to help men fleeing from domestic abuse.

The decision to build a refuge specifically for men comes after nearly 2,000 men were reported as victims of domestic abuse in Wiltshire in 2023, which is well above the UK average.

Other domestic abuse refuges, such as the refuge for women in Swindon which was visited by Queen Camilla, have previously proven successful and so now Wiltshire Council hopes to be able to offer the same safe space to men.

“Everyone can be a victim of domestic violence which is why it is so important we have refuge accommodation available for men, in addition to the support already provided by Wiltshire’s domestic abuse support service, FearFree," said Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, cabinet member for public health.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Nearly 2,000 men were reported as victims of domestic abuse in Wiltshire in 2023Nearly 2,000 men were reported as victims of domestic abuse in Wiltshire in 2023 (Image: Getty)

The accommodation consists of a flat, located at an undisclosed location in Wiltshire, which can accommodate two adult males that require low to medium support.

It will act as a place for domestic abuse victims to get out of their abusive situations and receive daily support from staff as well as an emergency 24-hour on-call service. 

In addition to Wiltshire Council, the new refuge is being supported by Julian House, which is a service providing life-changing support for victims of domestic violence in Wiltshire.

"We are really proud to be opening this refuge for male victims of domestic violence in Wiltshire, adding to our existing refuge services for women and children in the county," said Helen Badser, chief executive of Julian House.

"One in seven men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. We are determined to provide the support that male victims in the local community need to recover, regain their independence and build a new life for themselves."

Anyone male in Wiltshire who believes he is a victim of domestic abuse and could benefit from the refuge can now self-refer via Julian House, ManKind or the Male Domestic Abuse Network, and professional referrals are also accepted.

However, the groups have all urged people in an emergency to call 999.

The new domestic abuse refuge is being funded by Wiltshire Council's Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities’ Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Grant and services will be delivered by Julian House.