Domestic abuse services to help men in Cumbria

Date: Friday 1st May 2020
Peter McCal
Peter McCal

MEN suffering from domestic abuse can access services across Cumbria to help understand and get away from their abusers, police have promised.

Abuse isn’t just physical — it can be controlling with a partner deciding what their victim wears, who they speak to, where they go and isolating them from loved ones. Coercive control is also a type of abuse where someone threatens, intimidates or embarrasses their partner to punish them. Not allowing their partner money to spend is also a tactic used by abusers to keep their victim dependent on them. Sexual abuse is also a type of abuse — feeling forced in to a sexual situation that is not wanted.

Victim Support can support anyone over a number of crimes, including abuse, and is available Monday to Friday from 9am-6pm on 0300 303 0157. Victim Support nationally also has a 24/7 online chat at The Bridgeway Sexual Assault Support Service offers a lifeline to those who have been victims of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse in the county and is open 24/7 and can be contacted on 0808 118 6432. And North and West, Safety Net offers support to anyone who has experienced rape, exploitation, sexual or domestic abuse. They can be contacted from Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, on 01228 515859.

Cumbria’s police and crime commissioner Peter McCall, who provides funding to these services, said: “It’s often thought that women are the only gender that suffers from domestic abuse but this could not be further from the truth.

“Men can be on the receiving end of abuse and they should not have to deal with this all by themselves. I am urging men to speak out about the abuse they are suffering, whether this is to the Police or one of the services above.

“Reporting and speaking out about what you have endured does not make you any less of a man, it does not make you weak. It takes so much strength to not only deal with abuse but to step away and talk to someone about it. Please do not suffer in silence. There are people who can help you.”

Detective chief inspector Dan St Quintin said: “We know that men can also be domestic abuse victims. This is not something that just happens to women. It happens in same sex relationships too.

“The abuse may not be just violence, it could be sexual, psychological or financial. The abuse could be controlling or coercive. No-one has the right to control or dominate someone in this way.

“Domestic abuse is horrible and it happens across the whole of our communities in Cumbria, regardless of gender, age, sexuality, race, religion or financial position.

“I want to put a clear message out to male victims as well as female victims — please don’t suffer alone or in silence. All reports of domestic abuse that police receive are treated seriously and sensitively. Please trust us to work with you to put an end to what you are experiencing.”