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Tuesday
Mar112008

Battered men jostle for space in crowded Danish shelters (Denmark)

Copenhagen — Battered women in Denmark have a multitude of shelters to choose from but men in need of a haven after divorce, losing their job or fleeing abusive wives have to elbow for room in just three brimming crisis centres. Overlooking a canal in the picturesque Christianshavn neighbourhood of Copenhagen sits a red brick building with large bay windows: Mandecentret, the Scandinavian country's newest centre for men in distress. Inside the 650-square-metre (7,000-square-foot) building, the ambience is tranquil, with modern furniture, paintings on the walls, 12 rooms equipped with televisions and Internet connections, and professional counsellors to help men in need. Two other such centres exist in Denmark, but Mandecentret is the first in northern Europe to offer professional help to men fleeing from psychologically or physically abusive wives or floundering after a divorce.

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