Published 19 November 2019

DA poster1.jpg

More than 160 male survivors of abuse in Kent have received specialist support paid for by the Police and Crime Commissioner since April.

Dads Unlimited in Ashford, and the Tunbridge Wells-based domestic abuse charity Davss, were both successful in securing money from PCC Matthew Scott’s office in the spring.

Speaking on International Men’s Day, Mr Scott said:

‘To hear that these two projects have helped 169 men in just six months is fantastic.

‘Davss tell me they helped 50 male domestic abuse victims between April and September – almost double the number compared with the same six months in 2018. Of those, 14 were referred into the service by Kent Police. These figures suggest more men are feeling more comfortable in speaking out and seeking help, and that Kent Police officers are more aware of victims’ support needs and are more aware of who they can refer those victims to.’

Dads Unlimited provides 1:1 mentoring support for fathers to help them develop positive relationships with their children. Between April and September the group supported 181 men, of which 119 had identified themselves as victims of emotional or domestic abuse.

Nav Mirza from Dads Unlimited said:

‘The 1:1 Mentoring Service has been a lifeline for these men in seeking support for the crimes they have had to endure. What these figures also tell us is that there is an issue around the confidence of male victims to come forward and complain; but with our support we hope to address this and raise awareness of an issue which has largely remained invisible.’

Mr Scott said:

‘After receiving support from Dads Unlimited, vulnerable men tell us they are better equipped to cope with everyday life. They are recommending the service to others, demonstrating the positive impact the service is having.’

Dads Unlimited’s mentoring service (£30,000) and Davss’ male victims of domestic abuse project (£4,800) both received money from Mr Scott’s Victim Specialist Services Fund this year. The £300,000 fund supports projects which help particularly vulnerable or specialist groups such as child sexual abuse victims, and victims of domestic abuse.

Mr Scott added:

‘Of course women and girls still make up the vast majority of abuse victims. That’s why I fund a number of projects which provide specialist help and support to female abuse victims too.

‘I will be supporting White Ribbon Day on November 25. Men and boys have a big role to play in calling out violence against women when it occurs.

‘But on International Men’s Day I want to celebrate the good work being delivered locally by Dads Unlimited and Davss. Men, as well as women, need to know that if they are experiencing abuse at home - which could be emotional, or physical, or both - there is help out there for them.’