A Conservative MP has joined in a project against domestic violence, emphasising a need to tackle such abuse in both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

Michael Fabricant, MP for LIchfield, joined the Pathway Project against Domestic Violence in Lichfield last Saturday, holding a placard reading “real men don’t hit women”. The project deals with all domestic violence, against both men and women.

Mr Fabricant told PinkNews that domestic violence in same-sex couples, emphasising the need for the Pathway Project. He said: “Domestic violence is not restricted to straight couples. Sadly it occurs amongst gay couples too. This is totally unacceptable and individuals in relationships such as these need guidance and a refuge. That is why the Pathway Project in the Lichfield constituency is so valuable.

“If the Project contact me, I would be more than happy to arrange a visit by a Home Office minister so she or he can see the excellent work being undertaken in Lichfield and Burntwood. I was proud to hold the banner ‘Real Men don’t hit Women’ and was delighted so much money was raised for this Project.”

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday Mr Fabricant said: “Last week I wore pink, in common with 100 others in Lichfield—pink trousers, pink shirt, pink feather boa—to walk for the Pathway project in my constituency. The project looks after those—not only women, but men too—who suffer from domestic violence. Will the Home Secretary or one of her team please come to Lichfield to see the good work the Pathway project is doing?”

The speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, responded: “The honourable gentleman must have looked even more exotic than usual.”

On Monday 28 October in the House of Commons, Mr Fabricant raised the work of the project with Theresa May, Home Secretary, and asked that the Home Office Minister visit the programme.

Mrs May responded to the request: “I know that my honourable friend has a fondness for taking photographs, and I wonder whether he has taken a photograph of himself that could perhaps be circulated to Members of the House for their edification. He makes an important point, however, and I commend the Pathway project in Lichfield. I have noted the honourable gentleman’s invitation, as has the Minister for Crime Prevention, my honourable friend Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) for one of us to come and visit. May I say what excellent work people in the Pathway project and similar schemes are doing on this important issue?”.

On the walk, Mr Fabricant was offered high heels to undertake the mile-long course around Lichfield, during which he was joined by the Chairman of Lichfield District Council David Latham.

Mr Fabricant declined, however, saying: “I chickened out… I didn’t fancy blisters or a bunion! But I probably over-compensated on the pink!

“The Pathway Project has become a major resource in the District. No-one deserves to have a home where they are being hurt by the other people they live with and that not applies to women, but men and children too. And that hurt doesn’t just apply to physical injury, but to verbal, emotional, social, financial, and sexual hurt too”.

The Project offers a 24 hour helpline: 01543 676800 and further information can be found at http://www.pathway-project.co.uk