Men suffering from domestic abuse can access services across Cumbria to help understand and get away from their abusers.
There are several Cumbria-wide organisations that can help any man who feels he may be in an abusive relationship. 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 money is also a tactic used by abusers to keep their victim dependent on them. Feeling forced in to a sexual situation that isn’t wanted is also a form of abuse.
Any man – or woman – who feels they are trapped in an abusive relationship should contact:
- Cumbria-wide Victim Support – which can support anyone over a number of crimes, including abuse; Mon – Fri, 9am-6pm, on 0300 303 0157. The national 24/7 helpline is 0808 1689 111. Victim Support also has a 24/7 online chat on its website at www.victimsupport.org.uk
- Cumbria-wide, The Bridgeway Sexual Assault Support Services – offers a vital lifeline to those who have been victims of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse in the county. The Bridgeway is open 24/7 and can be contacted on 0808 118 6432.
- North and West Cumbria, Safety Net – supports anyone who has experienced rape, exploitation, sexual and domestic abuse. They can be contacted Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm on 01228 515859.
- South Cumbria, Birchall Trust – The Birchall Trust offer counselling sessions to males and females of all ages who have experienced sexual abuse/rape. Counsellors help survivors to make sense of their story, answer difficult questions about what has happened to them, help people to come to terms with their situation and heal. The Birchall Trust can be reached on 01229 820828, Monday –Friday, 9am-5pm.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall’s office provides funding to these services. He 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.
“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.”