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Men across the county are being reminded of the support available following incidents of domestic abuse.
Over the last six years, 54,000 men have reported incidents to Kent Police, which makes up around a third of all the reports received during that time. So far this year there have been 24,037 reports of domestic abuse and in 6,579 of the cases the victim has been male.
Anyone can be a victim of abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality or background. It doesn’t have to be physical either. Verbal threats, financial abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour are all forms of abuse and should never be tolerated.
The force is taking the opportunity to remind men that help is available and is supporting a national day of awareness on 2 November 2022, which has been set up by the domestic abuse charity, ManKind, which says that one in every six men will become a victim of domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime and rarely come forward to report incidents or seek help.
Tackling domestic abuse and protecting those most at risk are priorities for Kent Police and all victims will now be provided with an enhanced response, additional support and safeguarding through a dedicated Domestic Abuse Hub.
The hub provides innovative support for victims using video technology to virtually respond to calls. It means victims can speak to an officer face-to-face immediately so that details of incidents can be recorded quickly and evidence including the scenes of incidents and any visible injuries can be seen. It also allows officers to put in place immediate safeguarding where needed and link in with partner agencies and charities straight away.
In many of the reports received, psychological abuse - for example coercive and controlling behaviour - is prevalent. This is an act or pattern of acts including assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse which can harm, punish or frighten people.
Detective Chief Superintendent Emma Banks said:
‘We know that talking about domestic abuse can be extremely difficult and we do a lot of work to encourage reporting and to support those people who do have the courage to come forward.‘Whilst the majority of cases affect women, we know there are many men who have or continue to suffer from abuse and we want to reassure them that incidents reported to us will be dealt with sensitively by our officers.‘There is a wealth of support on offer and we work closely with a number of partner agencies and charities to ensure victims are safeguarded and have access to information and help. There is extra support for men who, along with being victims of abuse, also face other challenges like access to their children and housing support whilst incidents are investigated.‘We also know that each case will be different and whilst we strive to ensure those committing domestic abuse face the full force of the law, victims are our priority and we measure our success on ensuring the best outcome for them, whatever that may be.’
To report incidents of domestic abuse visit www.kent.police.uk You can also visit www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk and www.mankind.org.uk for additional support.