On International Men’s Day, Friday 19th November 2021, we were proud to launch Ask Marc, our new support service for men in the Black Country affected by interpersonal violence.
Ask Marc will offer men living In the Black Country specialist support around rape and sexual violence, childhood sexual abuse, grooming and exploitation, domestic abuse, stalking, forced marriage and so-called “honour”-based violence. Ask Marc sends out a clear message of hope telling victims you don’t have to deal with it alone: someone is here to listen.
The service has been made possible with funding from the Office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, and was developed by Black Country Women’s Aid in consultation with male survivors of abuse following many years of men accessing the services. Ask Marc will work alongside police, community organisations and local authority partners to help survivors get the help they need.
Over 200 professionals attended our online launch events, hearing from speakers including male abuse expert Luke Martin, BCWA’s CEO Sara Ward and Therapeutic Lead Jennifer Lumsden-Gordon.
Black Country Women’s Aid CEO Sara Ward said:
“We know how difficult it is to report abuse and that telling someone is the first step to getting help; it is made doubly difficult when people don’t know if services are out there to help in the first place. Ask Marc has evolved to create a space where men feel that they can tell someone without fear or judgement. It is vitally important that no one is left feeling isolated and alone. We will be sharing our many years of experience supporting victims of violence and abuse to ensure that this service maintains the high standards that all victims need when seeking help.”
Andy, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who was supported by Black Country Women’s Aid’s rape and sexual violence services, talked at the launch about the importance of positive messages for men seeking support:
“I was at rock bottom when I plucked up the courage to contact Black Country Women’s Aid. When I called them, everything changed. Getting support was the best thing I ever did. I would encourage any man who is struggling to pick up the phone and talk to someone.”
We have had some fantastic feedback from professionals who attended:
“Its just so great hearing the passion and sense of justice from all the speakers”
“Really insightful presentation and discussion”
“Thank you Andy for taking the time to tell us your story, it will definitely help us to understand and help others”
“Absolutely fantastic !!!! so informative and really understand how and why this service is here, well done every one.”
“Huge thanks everyone and excited for the future in supporting male victims”
Ask Marc offers help and support for men affected by domestic abuse, stalking and rape and sexual violence. Ask Marc will provide confidential practical and emotional support. This includes one to one and telephone support, access to counselling, help to report to police, support at court, and support groups. Anyone can experience abuse. Don’t deal with it alone: Ask Marc.