Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Peter McCall, welcomes funding for a dedicated male Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor (IDSVA), offering critical support for victims of domestic abuse (DA) and sexual violence (SV).
The IDSVA role, funded as part of MOJ’s Domestic and Sexual Abuse Community fund, will provide tailored support for male victims and enhance Victim Support’s existing team of 28 specialist professionals, supporting males, females and young children who have experienced DA/SV in Cumbria.
In 2021-2022, Cumbria’s Victim Support IDSVA team received 773 sexual violence referrals and 10% of victims supported were male. For all other crimes, referrals made by men increases to a third.
Peter McCall comments: “Accessing support for any type of crime can be difficult, especially for men. This is often due to traditional perceptions and outdated stereotypes of masculinity, that leads to a reluctance in men asking for help or reporting their abuse.
“This role will work alongside the new male Independent Victims Advocate (IVA), also dedicated to helping men and boys that have been affect by crime and will hopefully encourage more males to seek out and accept support.
“It is generally the case, that when we talk about sexual or domestic violence, 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.
“Anyone can be a victim of sexual violence and/or 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.”
Talking about the male Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor (IDSVA), Detective Chief Inspector, James Yallop said: “This role will benefit victims with timely specialist support through a single, dedicated, accessible person.
“This will help give people confidence that they have options, at an otherwise lonely and harrowing time.
“We appreciate that contacting the police is not always an option at the beginning of a survivor’s journey to leave an offender.
“I hope that for many, getting earlier specialist support through such a specialist person and role will provide victims with the knowledge and resources to feel empowered to contact the police when the time is right for them.
“If you are considering reporting domestic abuse offences to us, please know that our officers are here to listen, to offer support to you and to investigate any crimes committed against you. Whenever you are ready to speak to us.
“No matter how many times you have spoken to us before, what you have said to us before about an incident or offender or when the offences were committed, we understand how difficult it is to report this type of offence; we are ready to take that call.”
Lee Evans, Area Manager at Victim Support comments: “We are very pleased to be working with the Police and Crime Commissioner to provide these much-needed roles in Cumbria.
“Victim Support offers specialist support services for male and female victims of sexual offences, and we work hard to attract referrals from every section of the community, including from under-represented groups and communities.
“We know that male victims of sexual violence face particular barriers that makes it even less likely they will seek our support and these new roles will work hard to encourage victims to access the support they need.
“All our support can be accessed regardless of whether a report has been made to the police, so please do contact us at any time.”
Support is available at:
Local number 0300 30 30 157
24hr Supportline 08 08 16 89 111
Helping men escape domestic abuse and domestic violence
Confidential helpline 01823 334244 weekdays 10-4pm
Victim directory of support services
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Birchall Trust (South Cumbria) helping clients who have experienced rape, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse 01229820828 email@example.com
In an emergency call the Police on 999
For non-emergency enquiries call 101 or contact www.cumbria.police.uk or call 101