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Cumbria PCC commissions specialist support for male victims

PCC Peter McCall has announced he will fund a male Independent Victims Advocate.

The new role will sit within charity Victim Support and provide a specialised service for male victims of all crime, including survivors of sexual violence and/or domestic abuse. 

Recruitment for the role is currently ongoing and will run as a pilot until the end of March 2023. 

The new advocate will provide support, advice and information including on accessing specialist support as well as reporting crime to the police. 

The manager at Victim Support, Cumbria, Lee Evans, while acknowledging that males are not a single group, said that crime can be experienced differently by men “due, in part, to cultural and societal expectations.” 

Victim Support is a nationwide charity which, however, has local victim care teams. 

Cumbria OPCC told Police Oracle that the role has been designed for specific needs identified by local agencies. 

Peter McCall said: “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.

“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.”

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