Dear Mr Byrne,
Thank you for your email dated 24thSeptember 2014.
The Council and Havering Community Safety Partnership recognise that whilst domestic violence continues to disproportionately affect women and girls, men and boys are also affected by domestic violence as referenced in the Mayoral Strategy on Violence Against Women and Girls 2013-17. All victims of domestic violence, regardless of gender, are entitled to the same level of advocacy, advice, signposting and risk assessment. Furthermore all victims of violence and abuse have access to the same civil and criminal remedies.
We are committed to the Public Sector Equality Duty and are actively working to ensure that we fully understand the specific needs of victims of domestic violence and abuse and address the service barriers for groups where these exist. Since January 2013, sixteen male victims contacted Havering Women’s Aid helpline, Victim Support provided advocacy to one hundred and one male victims and the council supported fourteen high risk male victims of domestic violence and abuse through a multi-agency response.
In addition male victims are signposted to and supported by organisations such as Havering Women’s Aid, Mankind Initiative, and the Men’s Advice Line. The Domestic Violence Resource Guide 2012 has a dedicated section providing advice and information for men. It also includes information on same sex relationships and LGBT specific service provision.
Thank you for bringing the out-of-date information in the Domestic Violence Resource Guide 2012 to our attention. At the time of publication the data in the guide was correct. However, our plan was only to update this every two years and the updated resource guide will be available in November 2014.
As a commissioner of Havering Women’s Aid it does not fall within the council remit to suggest a name change, however, we make efforts to publicise that the advocacy and floating support service are available to all victims of violence regardless of gender. In addition, the Council will be conducting a wider review of domestic violence service provision to ensure that our provision, protection and legal redress meet the specific needs of all victims of domestic violence.
If you require any further clarification please email the Community Safety Team email@example.com