Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Peter McCall is supporting the launch of the ManKind Initiative charity’s ‘Support for Male Victims of Domestic Abuse (DA) Day’ today (2 November 2022), to raise awareness of the specialist support services available to men across Cumbria.
During 2021-22, 10% of the survivors/victims of domestic and sexual abuse using Victim Support Cumbria, were male.
Peter McCall comments: “Campaigns such as ‘Support for Male Victims of DA Day’ provide the opportunity to make men more aware of the specialist services available, encourage them to come forward and give them confidence to access the support they need.
“It is generally the case, that when we talk about domestic abuse, we tend to assume the victims are women and girls. Whilst they remain the larger group, it is important that we also acknowledge and support men and boys who are vulnerable to being victims of these crimes.
“Men may feel that our support services are aimed at women and as a result, not access support. This often means some men ignore issues and problems, which may include the fact that they have been a victim of abuse.
“In Cumbria, we have a number of organisations providing support to men who have experienced domestic abuse, so male victims can feel confident that there are services out there for them.
“The Bridgeway Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) offers a 24/7 helpline for those affected by rape and sexual assault, including those who have experienced it as part of domestic abuse. Safety Net and The Freedom Project offer therapy to help male survivors of domestic abuse to deal with the impact and The Birchall Trust works with male and females who have experienced sexual abuse, including where this has been part of an abusive relationship.
“Recently, we also commissioned Victim Support to recruit a dedicated male Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor (IDSVA) who will provide specialist tailored support to male victims.
“Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, which is why it is vital to offer specialist support for men, women and children across the county. I urge victims to come forward. Don’t suffer in silence, help is out there.”
Cumbria Constabulary’s Domestic Abuse Lead, Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop said,
“This campaign is important because we understand male victims are less likely to report crimes of this nature.
“In our county, we have listened to feedback and taken steps to break down the barriers to reporting.
“As a result, we have worked with partner agencies, such as Victim Support and The Bridgeway, to enhance the services we can provide to male victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
“It is important to continue to run campaigns like this to raise awareness of all the support that is available to male victims, and how they can access support.
“Taking that first step to telling somebody what has happened to you is often the most difficult – but please know that if you do, you will be provided with information which will enable you to make choices on how you wish to move forward.”
Lee Evans, manager at Cumbria Victim Support comments: “We are very pleased to support the ManKind initiative. At Victim Support we recognise that male victims of domestic abuse face many barriers that can make it less likely they will seek support.
“In conjunction with the Cumbria PCC, we have recruited a dedicated male domestic and sexual violence advocate to provide tailored support. In addition, we offer specialist support services for all victims of domestic abuse, including children and we work hard to attract referrals from every section of the community.
“All of our support can be accessed regardless of whether a report has been made to the police, so please do contact us at any time.”
Jo Birch, Head of Operations at Safety Net said: “Safety Net supports this new dedicated day which highlights support for male victims of domestic abuse.
“Society places an expectation on men to be seen as ‘strong’ and many feel embarrassed or ashamed about being seen as a victim. But domestic abuse can happen to anyone – women, men and children all experience it. That’s why we provide a dedicated therapeutic service for men which includes a men’s peer support group.”
Support is available at:
Local number 0300 30 30 157
24hr Supportline 08 08 16 89 111
Bridgeway Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
0808 118 6432 (available 24/7)
Therapeutic services and counselling
Safety Net (North and West Cumbria) helping clients who have experienced rape, exploitation, sexual and domestic abuse. 01228 515859 email@example.com
Birchall Trust (South Cumbria) helping clients who have experienced rape, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse 01229820828 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Freedom Project West Cumbria
Support Helpline 07712 117 986 www.freedom-project-west-cumbria.org.uk
www.mankind.org.uk/help-for-victims/ 01823 334244 weekdays 10-4pm