Ireland’s national Male Advice Line (MAL) has announced a significant expansion of its now 10-strong client support team, as well as increased operating hours.

The National FREEPHONE service (1800 816 588) offers confidential phoneline advice and support to men experiencing domestic, sexual or gender-based violence and abuse. It is open seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Managed by the Men’s Development Network and supported and funded by Cuán, the new national agency addressing Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, the Male Advice Line has helped thousands of victims since its launch five years ago.

As of Monday, April 15, trained MAL personnel are now available to callers 50 hours each week:

  • Monday & Wednesday: 10am–8pm
  • Tuesday & Thursday: 12–8pm
  • Friday: 2–8pm
  • Saturday, Sunday, Bank Hols: 2–6pm

The service is staffed by fully qualified counsellors and psychotherapists. They offer support to victims and also family members/friends seeking guidance about how to help a loved one cope with emotional and/or physical abuse, including coercive control.

It’s been two years since the Male Advice Line added Client Support staff to provide dedicated one-to-one wraparound support to individuals in their own locality.  This has considerably improved supports and outcomes for men experiencing relationship abuse.

Now new team members have been recruited to extend MAL’s Client Support reach across seven regions, namely the West, North-West, North-East, Dublin/Wicklow/Kildare, South-East, South-West and Midlands. A total of 10 staff are already in place, with recruitment for a Client Support Worker in the North-West underway (see

Joyce O’Sullivan, Deputy Director of Clinical Services with MDN and MAL Client Support team lead, explains how they are responsive to clients and support them in their journey.

“Responding to referrals, our role is to provide practical on-the-ground assistance, building resilience and capacity among the men we engage with.

“This remote, wraparound service involves case management, crisis intervention (including individual risk assessment and safety planning) and signposting to suitable supports.”

MAL Supervisor Derek Smith stressed that callers are assured of the utmost respect and confidentiality. “Our core objective is to ensure you feel safe and can talk through what is happening to you without fear, shame or blame.”

Yet many men remain reluctant or embarrassed to seek help. “Very often they opt to simply accept their situation, rather than face the stigma of admission. Our message is: you are not alone — reach out to us.”

He reports that “our listening and non-judgemental approach creates those spaces of safety for men,” with one recent caller saying that ‘apart from getting sound advice, I truly felt I was heard and understood.’

“When we feel understood, we are at the first point in healing,” Derek says. “So, while we are constantly aware of upskilling and training our team in the various facets of abuse the person-centred approach is so important for us on the line.”

The relief that comes with being listened to and feeling supported can be paired with planning a positive way forward with the assistance of the Client Support team. Regional staff are now on hand countrywide to advocate for clients in meetings with other agencies, including housing bodies, as well as providing medical, employment, education, and legal assistance, including court accompaniment.

After connecting with the Male Advice Line, and getting expert follow-up support, men frequently gain a new perspective and sense of self-esteem — realising that, as Derek puts it, “this is a life situation – not their life.”