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More Domestic Abusers Seek Help

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More Domestic Abusers Seek Help

Photo: MD Reykjavík

The number of perpetrators in domestic abuse relationships that seek help in the treatment centre Heimilisfriður has increased by 25% from last year, Vísir reports. The majority of those who seek help are males, between 85% to 90% of the total, and male on female violence is often more severe.

The treatment centre Heimilisfriður (Peace of the Home), which is run by the Ministry of Welfare, has been in operation for twenty years. Children's protection agencies, as well as police authorities, have steered perpetrators to Heimilisfriður, but many have also sought help by themselves. Around 920 individuals have sought the services of the treatment centre in those twenty years, but there has been a noticeable increase recently, with a 25% increase between this year and the last.

The psychologist Andrés Ragnarsson, one of the founders of Heimilisfriður, believes that movements such as #MeToo and an increased focus on domestic abuse has led to this change "I believe what we are doing now is incredibly positive, and we are opening the lid on something that has been kept silent for far, far too long." Some of those who seek help have even mentioned movements such as #MeToo specifically when they arrive for assistance "I don't have the exact number for those who have done so, but some have. They have mentioned it, that something started to happen, as they examined their behaviour they realized that what they were doing was not simply "something", but that it was actually violence that they were performing"

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