UK: CPS to issue first-ever guidance for prosecutors on handling male victims of sexual and domestic abuse

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Guidance for dealing with male victims of abuse will be sent to prosecutors for the first time as the CPS says they need specific protection in the same way as LGBT and black and ethnic minority people.
Previously there had been no specialised guidance for prosecutors on dealing with male victims of crimes such as rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Prosecutors hope the new documents will tackle attitudes which stop men coming forward for fear that they will be ignored and have their masculinity ridiculed.

While it says men have always been given equal footing with other victims, the document is the first time the CPS has directly addressed their issues.
It plans to update case studies and guidance to challenge myths and stereotypes and include the details of services which provide support for male victims.
Prosecutors will be sent information about the different issues faced by male victims, including the fact that boys are more likely to be sexually abused by “authority figures”, while girls are more likely to be targeted by family members.
Boys who have experienced childhood abuse also tend to come forward at a younger average age of 13, compared to 16 for girls.

Forced-marriage and honour-based violence affects men too, the guidance will add, as they can be blamed for the behaviour of women or for not being masculine enough.
A spokesman said the CPS had “previously looked to develop guidance and information on issues such as teenage relationship abuse, same sex abuse and older victim abuse.
“The CPS already includes sections on LGBT and minority ethnic communities within its domestic abuse and rape legal guidance and training.”
The director of public prosecutions, Alison Saunders, said: “The way society views masculinity can make it very difficult for men and boys who are the victims of sexual and domestic offences to come forward.
“This ‘public statement’ formalises the CPS commitment to male victims and recognises that stereotypes of masculinity and femininity can, and do, feed sexist and homophobic assumptions. These can deter male victims from reporting abuse and pursuing a prosecution.
“The statement addresses this challenge and I hope it will create an environment that gives male victims increased confidence to come forward and get the justice they deserve.”
A spokesman for men’s domestic violence charity ManKind Initiative said: “I am certain this statement will encourage more men to come forward with the full confidence of the positive support and acknowledgement they will receive when they do so.

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