Violence against men can affect men and young people in any socio-economic, religious, ethnic, racial or geographical group. 40% of domestic abuse victims are male. Sexuality is no protection. Heterosexual or gay men are equally vulnerable. It cuts across all demographics.
Following a grant from the Big Lottery seven years ago CoVASS was able to pioneer a service specifically tailored to male victims of abuse. This was the first service of its kind here in the Highlands.
Thankfully, things have changed considerably over the last seven years. To begin with, we had great difficulty convincing some prominent agencies here that violence against men even existed. As for recognising male victims and listening to them, this was unheard of and it took us some time to break down the barriers men here had built up after having received such poor treatment elsewhere.
Our service is one of support for a number of issues around violence and abuse working in the areas across the Highlands. We recognise that many men do not want to contact statutory agencies but need help in their own communities. In addition, rural living can have its own difficulties which impact on an already difficult situation. Men may also be afraid that in taking the abuse outside the relationship, they might be seen as the perpetrator and not the victim as attitudes can be old fashioned and out of date. We work gently and at your own pace. We promise patience and compassion but above all we will listen and help.
Our aim is to build up your confidence so that you are able to take charge of your own life and make your own decisions – not to be controlled by anyone else. We can provide information on housing, benefits, schooling, your rights, etc. and we can liaise with other agencies on your behalf so that any changes or involvement with police, social work etc. does not add to your stress.
We also offer a counselling service which is free of charge for the men we support.
You are our priority at all times.
Scottish Charity No: SC037634