Charity launch campaign in wake of Lancashire solicitor's murder
A men's charity is hoping the case of a murdered solicitor will encourage more domestic violence victims to come forward and seek help.
Sharon Edwards was convicted this week of fatally stabbing her husband David at their home in Parkers Wood Close, Chorley.
The trial heard the 42-year-old had repeatedly inflicted violence on Mr Edwards, 51, but he felt unable to escape the abusive relationship, despite friends and colleagues noticing he had visible injuries.
Domestic violence against men remains a taboo subject, with many victims fearing they will not be believed, according to charity Mankind, one of the only organisations in the UK that helps male victims.
Chairman Mark Brooks said it was estimated just over 5,000 men in Lancashire report domestic abuse to the county’s police. But there are many others, like Mr Edwards, who do not come forward.
Mr Brooks said: “This appalling tragedy proves once and for all that men, as well as women, are victims of domestic abuse. It also shows that it makes no difference what background or job a man has, he can still be at risk.
“Many who call our helpline include solicitors, GPs, bankers and businessmen – there is no typical male victim. There are some great organisations in Lancashire supporting men and of course the police will as well, so if you are a male victim, please get help – you will be believed.”
Typically a fifth of all people who are victims of domestic abuse and report to the police are men, and, overall Government statistics show men make up one in three of all victims.
The difference between the Government statistics and the police figures are due to high levels of under-reporting by men.
Officials at Chorley FC, where Mr Edwards was a season ticket holder, are also considering how they can raise awareness of domestic violence to honour his memory.
A memorial was held by his friends at Chorley FC’s social club. Last Saturday, as the team played Telford, the crowd burst into a rendition of “There’s Only One Dave Edwards” followed by a round of applause.
Josh Vosper, from the club, said: “Dave will best be remembered as a friendly face, a stalwart. He came everywhere with us, he was part of the team. The fans broke into song for him last Saturday, it shows everyone still thinks of him and he’ll never be forgotten.
“He covered up his injuries. He liked a drink so we thought it was from falling over. It was a stewardess who cottoned on she might be involved after hearing his wife shouting.
“Dave is close to our hearts, so we are considering raising awareness of domestic violence against men, in his memory.”
• Men affected by domestic violence in Preston, Chorley and South Ribble can contact: http://www.pdvs.org.uk or Mankind on 01823 334244.