The Home Office has pledged to go further in helping men and boys who are victims of crimes such as domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Today, the government has published its first cross-government position statement on male victims of crimes, which sets out the scale of abuse against men and the specific vulnerabilities they face.
The Male Victims Position Statement sets out 12 specific commitments to better enable male victims and survivors to come forward and receive the support they need and bring perpetrators to justice. These include:
- providing £500,000 to specialist organisations that support male victims and survivors of domestic abuse
- awarding a specialist LGBT domestic abuse organisation that supports LGBT victims and survivors with £500,000
- providing £24 million over the next three years for services providing advice and counselling to all victims of sexual violence, including men and boys
According to research by the Male Survivors Partnership some men can take over 31 years to disclose their ordeals. The statement notes that attitudes around masculinity can mean male victims take a long time to report these experiences.
Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerabilities, Victoria Atkins said:
Men can, and do, suffer from crimes such as domestic and sexual abuse. It is a horrendous experience that often goes unrecognised and it is heartbreaking some men feel they cannot report their experiences because of societal views around masculinity.
As a government we are determined to bring these horrific crimes to light and support victims and survivors, regardless of gender.
Mark Brooks OBE, Chairman of the ManKind Initiative, a national domestic abuse charity for male victims, said:
This first-ever Government statement is a huge leap forward in ensuring there will at last be full and equal recognition that men are victims of these terrible crimes. We are proud to have worked with the Government and other charities to have produced this clear and inclusive message.
We are confident it will encourage more men to come forward, ensure better professional support when they do and also give fresh impetus in changing society’s attitude towards male victims.
For far too long men suffering from these crimes have felt they are invisible, they are somehow to blame and that no one will believe them. This statement should give them more confidence in reaching out for the support they need and rightly deserve.
Duncan Craig, CEO of Survivors Manchester said:
I’m so pleased to see the government’s position statement on boys and men affected by crimes classed as Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). As a professional working with male survivors of sexual violence and a survivor myself, this statement sends a clear message to boys and men that the government sees you and they are taking what happened to you seriously, that kind of recognition is priceless and will positively add to men’s healing.
On behalf of the Male Survivors Partnership, we welcome the government’s position statement on boys and men affected by VAWG crimes. This historic step forward gives male victims and survivors the overt recognition they deserve and enables us and service providers across the UK a national point of reference
These measures are on top of commitments made to all victims of gender-based violence as part of the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy refresh, which was published yesterday.