New Domestic Abuse Service for Men Opens in Kent

A new confidential Domestic Abuse Victim Empowerment Service, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner will support male victims in Kent and Medway

In a first for  Kent, a new victims service wholly focused on men will offer support to male victims of domestic abuse. The new Domestic Abuse Victim Empowerment Service will be managed by Ashford based charity Dads Unlimited and has secured two years funding for this vital service from the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Domestic Abuse Victim Empowerment Service also known as ‘DAVE’ will make a huge difference across the county to the estimated  one in six men who are, or have been,  victims of domestic abuse.  However, it is very likely that  this figure could be much higher as many cases go unreported as men often do not realise, they are victims and if they do, are too embarrassed or think that they will not be believed,  so do not report the crime, or seek help.  Domestic abuse is not just physical it also includes emotional and psychological, coercive control and isolating people.

The DAVE team will provide a confidential service for male victims across Kent and Medway. Each victim will be assigned a personal advisor who will provide emotional and practical support, plan their physical and emotional safety, help to maintain relationships with children and offer support through the justice process and court visits.

Gay Larter, Director of Domestic Abuse Services, Dads Unlimited, said,  “Our new advisor service  for male victims of domestic violence will be a lifeline for men seeking support for the crimes they have had to endure. What our current services tell us is that there is an issue around the confidence of male victims to come forward and complain; but with support we hope to address this and raise awareness of an issue which has largely remained invisible. We are extremely grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner for giving us this valuable opportunity to deliver a bespoke service designed around male victimology which will offer a trauma-informed service to support recovery for them and their children.”

Matthew Scott, Police and Crime Commissioner, said,  “I am proud to fund this innovative scheme.  We know men can be victims of domestic abuse too, not just physical abuse but coercive and controlling behaviour too.  It can be particularly hard for men to acknowledge they have problems, but I know this service will offer meaningful support.”

Male victims of domestic abuse should phone the DAVE helpline in confidence on 01233 680160 or register for confidential support by visiting

Notes To Editors

Case study: 50+ father from Kent

X has been a victim of continued verbal abuse for seven years. X stated that he did not really notice it, but his friends and family had.  There had been some intermittent  physical abuse that he just accepted despite it resulting in a permanent injury. X reports that it only dawned on him that he was in an abusive relationship when a doctor asked him to be specific about an injury he had sustained.

Throughout the last seven years X has been distanced from his family and using coercive control, any external relationships old or new  have been ‘discouraged’.

The police have been called, support services are involved, but X feels no one is taking him seriously.

X  feels he cannot leave the home as he is so worried about how mum may treat the children if he is not around, and he is sure that mum may not co-parent in the children’s best interest.

About DAVE, The Domestic Abuse Victim Empowerment Service

DAVE the new confidential Domestic Abuse Victim Empowerment Service is coordinated by the charity Dads Unlimited.

Male victims of domestic abuse should phone the DAVE helpline on 01233 680160 or register for confidential support by visiting

About Dads Unlimited

Dads Unlimited, supports the well-being of Dads through family breakdown by mentoring them, helping them to achieve a positive co-parenting relationship, reducing parental conflict; and helping prevent male suicide across the county.