PCC commissions direct support for male victims of crime
As part of national Men’s Health week, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Peter McCall, is highlighting Victim Support’s new role for male victims in Cumbria and how men affected by crime, can access specialist support services.
Help is available to male victims of crime, with a wide variety of support services available across the county. Men need to know that if they have been a victim of crime, support is out there.
The recent launch of a male Independent Victims Advocate follows the findings that during 2021-22, twice as many women accessed PCC commissioned support services compared to men.
As part of a new pilot programme, Victim Support are recruiting a dedicated male victim caseworker who will provide specialist tailored support to male victims of all crime, including survivors of sexual violence and/or domestic abuse. Responsibilities include providing support, advice and information including accessing specialist support such as The Bridgeway Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) and reporting to the police.
Talking about the new male case worker role, Peter McCall comments: “We need to understand why certain groups within our communities do not come forward to report crime so that we can provide the right support, challenge any barriers male victims face and understand more about the fact that men access services in different ways to women.
“It’s important, especially during Men’s Health Week, to make men more aware of the specialist services available, encourage them to come forward and give them confidence to access the support they need.
“Men may feel that our support services are aimed at women and as a result, not access support. This often means some men ignore issues and problems, which may include the fact that they have been a victim of crime.
“The new Independent Victims Advocate role, adds to a wide range of existing victim support services available to men in the county, and is specifically tailored for male victims, as some men only feel comfortable talking to a male case support worker.
“It can be difficult for men to reach out for help, as they might be concerned how others might view them if they report a crime, or they may not want to relive painful memories.
“Providing designated support from a male case worker, will hopefully encourage more male victims to come forwards and report. The message is clear. Help is out there; you do not have to suffer in silence.”
Lee Evans, manager at Victim Support, Cumbria comments: “We are very pleased to be developing this work with our partners.
“We, of course, recognise that males are not a single group and there are many differences and diversity, but research has shown the impact of crime can be experienced differently for men due, in part, to cultural and societal expectations.
“We hope that the advocate role will help encourage more male victims to access dedicated and tailored support in order to assist them to cope and recover.”
Detective Superintendent Sally Blaiklock, Head of Cumbria Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, said: “We welcome this additional support, which I’m sure will be beneficial to all men and boys who access this service.
“We are aware that some men and boys may feel uncomfortable or be unwilling to report what has happened. My message to them is that any report they provide will be dealt with the upmost sensitivity and they will be taken seriously. We work with trusted partner agencies to ensure that a victim receives appropriate support, tailored to their individual circumstances.
“If you are a victim of any form of abuse, please report this to police so we can investigate.”
Support is available at:
Local number 0300 30 30 157
24hr Supportline 08 08 16 89 111
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 email@example.com
Birchall Trust (South Cumbria) helping clients who have experienced rape, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse 01229820828 firstname.lastname@example.org