Recently The Stand, a very popular comedy club in Edinburgh, hosted a benefit in aid of MDASS.
MDASS, short for Male Domestic Abuse Support Service, is a joint project of national charities Rowan Alba and Abused Men in Scotland.
According to statistics published by the Scottish Government in October 2015, there were 59,882 domestic abuse cases in Scotland from 2014-15, a rise of 2,5% from the year before. The percentage of abuse with male victims also rose, from 12% to 20%. Considering that the number of incidents generally stays the same, it appears more victims, especially men, are coming forward. MDASS is there to help them receive the help they need.
Although it is still relatively small, MDASS is certainly offering a great service for those who need it. This is because it is a joint venture: Abused Men in Scotland offers a free, supportive helpline, which does not show up on your phone bill, and Rowan Alba provides 1-on-1 support in Edinburgh. The advice given ranges from financial and legal to emotional and practical support. “At the moment we have around 14 men receiving 1-on-1 support,” states one of the organisers, “and the helpline gets around 250 calls per year.” Most men are too ashamed or scared to reach out for help, which is why the charity does a lot to raise awareness.
The recent event was the third time MDASS hosted a comedy night to raise funds and awareness for their project. The show, hosted by Jay Lafferty, boasted four highly entertaining performers and an enthusiastic crowd. Although there were a lot of flyers and a banner drawing attention to the charity, abuse was not reflected in the theme of the performers’ shows. “It may seem a bit strange to host a comedy event for such a serious issue,” says one of the organisers, “The show won’t talk about abuse directly: we want people to have fun.”
The Stand often teams up with charities to host benefits, so if you’re a fan of comedy and would like to support a charity whilst having a great time, have a look at their programme on their website.
For more information about MDASS, visit their website or call 0808 800 0024. If calling from your mobile phone, please remember to erase the number from your call list.