In a first for Kent, a new victims service wholly focused on men will offer support to male victims of domestic abuse. The new Domestic Abuse Victim Empowerment Service will be managed by Ashford based charity Dads Unlimited.
The Domestic Abuse Victim Empowerment Service, also known as ‘DAVE’, will make a huge difference across the county to the estimated one in six men who are or have been, victims of domestic abuse.
It is likely that this figure could be much higher as many cases go unreported as men often do not realise they are victims and if they do, are too embarrassed or think that they will not be believed, so do not report the crime, or seek help. Domestic abuse is not just physical – it also includes emotional and psychological, coercive control and isolating people.
Gay Larter, Director of Domestic Abuse Services, Dads Unlimited, said, “Our new advisor service for male victims of domestic violence will be a lifeline for men seeking support for the crimes they have had to endure. What our current services tell us is that there is an issue around the confidence of male victims to come forward and complain; but with support we hope to address this and raise awareness of an issue which has largely remained invisible. We are extremely grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner for giving us this valuable opportunity to deliver a bespoke service designed around male victimology which will offer a trauma-informed service to support recovery for them and their children.”
The DAVE team will provide a confidential service for male victims across Kent and Medway. Each victim will be assigned a personal advisor who will provide emotional and practical support, plan their physical and emotional safety, help to maintain relationships with children and offer support through the justice process and court visits.
“I am proud to fund this innovative scheme,” said Matthew Scott, Police and Crime Commissioner. “We know men can be victims of domestic abuse too, not just physical abuse but coercive and controlling behaviour too. It can be particularly hard for men to acknowledge they have problems, but I know this service will offer meaningful support.”
Male victims of domestic abuse can phone the DAVE helpline in confidence on 01233 680160 or register for confidential support by visiting www.savedave.org.uk