Published: 15:20, 20 September 2021
| Updated: 19:03, 20 September 2021
A new confidential domestic abuse victim empowerment service exclusively for men has become the first of its kind in Kent.
The support programme will be delivered by Ashford charity Dads Unlimited and has secured funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner for two years.
Also known as ‘DAVE’, the service will be open to men from across Kent and Medway.
It is estimated one in six men are or have been, victims of domestic abuse. However, that figure could be much higher as many cases go unreported as men often do not realise they are victims.
Gay Larter, director of domestic abuse services at 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."
"It can be particularly hard for men to acknowledge they have problems..."
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott describes scheme as "innovative".
"We know men can be victims of domestic abuse too, not just physical abuse but coercive and controlling behaviour too," he said.
"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 should phone the DAVE helpline on 01233 680160 or register for confidential support by visiting savedave.