UK – Government male victim fund favours women’s services

The Home Office has announced that funding allocated to services for male victims of domestic and sexual violence will mostly go to women’s charities.

The Government allocated £225,000 to a male victim fund for 2011-2013  which represents just over half a per cent of the £40m it has ring-fenced up to 2015 for specialist local domestic and sexual violence support services, rape crisis centres, the national domestic violence helplines and the stalking helpline.

The male victim fund has now been allocated to 12 local charities across England and Wales but only one award went directly to a dedicated charity just for male victims. The other charities to win funding include North Derby Women’s Aid, The Women’s Support Network and a number of local services specialising in work with female victims. Futhermore, only two-thirds of the awards went to fund projects for that are inclusive of adult heterosexual men.

The news has surprised specialist men’s charities as they had previously been excluded from accessing the existing Ministry of Justice Rape Support Fund after UK Rape Crisis secured a proviso that only organisations providing a dedicated women’s service could apply to that fund – thereby excluding organisations that specialize in helping male survivors from applying.

Dedicated men’s services who applied unsuccessfully to the 2011-2013 male victims fund include The Men’s Network, The ManKind Initiative, Mankind Counselling, Survivors Manchester and Working With Men.

The news reflects the experience of dedicated men’s services in other countries according to Martyn Sullivan, CEO of Mankind Counselling who has produced a report (click here to read more) on service delivery to male survivors of sexual abuse in American, Canada and Australia.

Writing in the report Martyn said:

“The recent financial situation on charitable organisations has created a situation where there is fierce competition for dwindling funds that were never very large in the first place. These are tough times and though in a different context, I heard similar stories in Australia and Canada. There the funding streams were created specifically for men’s services but still no male agencies received any money with grants being awarded to the existing women’s and generic counselling services.”

The names of 12 local services that received a share of the £225,000 fund are listed below. The Men’s Network wishes them every success in providing services for male victims in their area:


Three projects won funding to work with gay, bisexual and transgender male victims and they were:

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation in Manchester which will produced information resources, specialist training for staff and volunteers and run 1-2-1 sessions for gay male victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.

GALOP in London will undertake awareness raising targeted at the LGBT community, set up of an information and empowerment prevention project and further support for the established case management system to better understand trends and improve casework.

North Derby Women’s Aid will recruit and train a specialist advice worker, to support the drop in sessions working in partnership with Derbyshire Friends (LGBT group) for male victims of domestic violence.


One project won funding to work with boys:

Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) will set up a to provide a dedicated counselling room for 5-18 year old male victims of sexual violence and to deliver a dedicated publicity campaign.


Three projects won funding to work with male victims of domestic violence and they are:

Safer Wales – a community safety charity – will continue to work with the Dyn Project which offers advocacy, web support, a helpline and publicity and safety packs across Wales.

Preston Domestic Violence Service which specializes in working with women and manages Chorley Women’s Refuge will run awareness raising events for local agencies and the general public. The service will be advertised at Preston North End Football Club and leaflets, business cards etc will also be available at the Football Club.

Blackpool Advocacy which runs the Blackpool Women’s Centre aims to increase awareness in Blackpool via a publicity campaign and to support a helpline to ensure men can access help.


Three projects won funding to work with male victims of sexual violence and they are:

The Women’s Support Network in the North East of England will train staff and volunteers working with male victims and rebranding the service.

Rosa and Safeline in Coventry will run a promotional campaign and to further support a male users forum.

Survivors UK is running an awareness raising campaign across London and has already launched a “Real Men Get Raped” advertising drive.


Two projects won funding to work with male victims of domestic violence and male victims of sexual violence they are:

Arch North Staffs will run a campaign targeted at preventing Domestic and Sexual Violence and supporting men to access existing services for men.

Southampton Rape Crisis will use its award to fund counselling and therapeutic groups for men and to fund the helpline.

The Men’s Network

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