Munich - A nationwide hotline for men affected by violence has been used by 1,800 people since its launch about a year ago. The hotline receives about six to nine calls per day and the number is growing. The figures on the service, launched by the states of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, were presented on Monday during an online press conference. Of the requests for help, 35 per cent had come from North Rhine-Westphalia, 18 per cent from Bavaria - the rest from elsewhere in Germany. Baden-Württemberg has participated in the programme since 1 April.

"The new support line for men affected by violence was accepted very quickly - contrary to the fears and prejudices that men would not seek help," said North Rhine-Westphalia equal opportunities minister Ina Scharrenbach (CDU). Bavaria's social minister Carolina Trautner (CSU) said the hotline filled a gap in existing support structures.

Three quarters of the callers using the hotline were aged 50 or younger. Some 85 per cent of those affected said they experienced psychological violence, 53 per cent from physical or sexualised assaults. According to Trautner, 70 per cent of the men were in an acute violent situation; 19 per cent had experienced violence as children or adolescents. They were most frequently assaulted by current or former partners.

In response to the increasing demand, the hotline has recently expanded its hours. The service, which is run by organisations in Augsburg, Bielefeld, Stuttgart and Tübingen, is planning a social media campaign to reach more men threatened by violence in Germany.

More information can be found at maennerhilfetelefon.de