Men and boys must not be forgotten in domestic abuse council support strategy, health experts warn

Men and boys must not be forgotten when talking about victims of domestic violence, health experts have been warned.

The comments came as health leaders discussed Surrey County Council’s domestic abuse strategy.

The Surrey Against Domestic Abuse plan sets out the work undertaken across Surrey to tackle domestic abuse and violence.

Written in collaboration with Women’s Aid, it aims to support domestic abuse survivors and their children to build resilience and gain independence.

The report was presented to Surrey County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board on Thursday (June 7).

The detailed plan pulled together by the Office of Police Crime and Commissioner David Munro was welcomed by members of the committee, including chairpersons of clinical commissioning groups, SCC members and health watchdog representatives.

Councillor Clare Curran, cabinet member for children, raised the point that often men and boys are overlooked as also being victims of domestic violence.

She asked: “What are we doing about the fact that this can also affect men and boys?”

Lisa Herrington, head of policy and commissioning for Surrey’s Office of Police and Commissioner, said domestic abuse was considered a gendered crime – a hate crime committed against a certain gender – but that the policy worked to cover everyone.

She said: “We know there are male victims and that it affects all our diverse communities and very much LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender).”

The Crime Survey for England and Wales estimates that nationally 1.9 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the 12 months to March 2017 (1.2 million women and 713,000 men).