Commissioner praises new service supporting male survivors of domestic abuse and violence
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Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston has praised the impact of a unique service supporting male victims of violence as the UK marks International Men’s Day.
Since launching in June this year, B-United has received 75 referrals – 36 of which were in October alone.
The service, managed by Peterborough Women’s Aid, provides emotional and practical support to male victims of domestic abuse and violence across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Huntingdonshire and Fenland.
In its first six months, the service has seen significant month-on-month increases in referrals.
Funded by the PCC until March 2025, B-United is one of very few dedicated male domestic abuse support services in the country, offering a full-time Male Specialist Community Worker to provide ongoing support to victims.
With the spotlight on male-centred violence as part of International Men’s Day, the Commissioner has reached out to male victims in Cambridgeshire to remind them they are not alone, and that specialist help is available.
Darryl said: “I am proud to fund this specialist service for male victims of violence and abuse. This project is unique and expands support beyond the boundaries of helplines, enabling male victims in Cambridgeshire to receive help from a dedicated key worker who understands their trauma and is trained to respond.
“We know that male violence and abuse is often not reported, with as many as half of all victims suffering in silence. Many of those men who have already received support through B-United admitted they didn’t think they would be believed, and it has been reassuring for them to have access to the same support worker, continuously.
“I want every victim of sexual abuse or sexual violence to know that we care deeply about what they have gone through and will do everything possible to help them move on.”
Mandy Geraghty, Chief Executive of Peterborough Women’s Aid, said: “On International Men’s Day, we recognise that male victims of domestic abuse deserve a support service that is accessible, specialist and non-judgemental. The B-United project supports male victims (only) offering expert emotional and practical support.
“Demand for this service is increasing. Since we started, we’ve received 75 referrals and 36 of these were in October alone. We have supported men from all cultural, professional and educational backgrounds – violence doesn’t discriminate. The more we raise awareness of the project, the more referrals we receive.
“Traditionally, support provided to male victims of abuse has been via helplines or from within existing domestic abuse services. This project is unique in the sense that help is provided is face-to-face and through a dedicated key worker. This means the survivor returns to the same person week after week and doesn’t have to retraumatise themselves by sharing their story with multiple professionals, multiple times.
“The project has been very successful in a short space of time, and we are so grateful for the Commissioner’s support. Without this service, where would male victims go?”
Since its launch, the service has supported male victims affected by a wide range of abusive situations including familial violence, female-perpetrated abuse and technological abuse.
One victim recently commented about the service: “I find you very easy to talk to, you clearly care and I cannot thank you enough for the support today, I see a light at the end of the tunnel - thank you so much for what you’ve done."
Supporting Victims and Witnesses is a key priority in the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan and he commissions a range of cope and recovery support services to deliver help in the way victims and survivors want.
Alongside the B-United service, the PCC has also commissioned Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group (PRCCG) to provide specialist support for male victims of sexual violence. This is one element of a countywide support service for victims and survivors of rape and sexual violence co-funded with the local authority and NHS England.
International Men’s Day is a global event celebrating the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. Alongside highlighting positive role models and raising awareness of men’s wellbeing, the national event aims to initiate discussion around some of the key issues impacting men across the world including suicide, domestic abuse and sexual violence.