Charity for abused men among 24 to receive lottery windfall

A charity that helps abused men is to receive almost £420,000 from a £12 million fund for survivors of domestic violence.

The Big Lottery Fund cash is being awarded to 24 projects across Scotland as part of its Becoming a Survivor programme.

Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS) will receive £419,283 to help expand its services, which include a national helpline.

Aaron Slater, helpline and support manager for AMIS, said: “Of particular significance is the message that the Big Lottery Fund communicates to all the men in Scotland who are suffering domestic abuse: we recognise domestic abuse affects you and you deserve to be recognised and supported to become a survivor.”

He told how the cash would help deliver “an expansion of the AMIS national helpline service in terms of greatly increased opening times with the possibility of more practical and sustained assistance”.

AMIS will also be working in partnership with Edinburgh-based charity Rowan Alba to deliver a new face-to-face support service which it hopes will better meet the needs of men who have been affected by domestic abuse.

Jackie Killeen, Scotland director for the Big Lottery Fund, said the £12 million of grants being awarded would ” help to build support around the needs of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable and hidden people”.

She added: “These projects will work with those concerned, supporting them at as early a stage as possible. They will also reach into some of Scotland’s most remote and rural communities helping families and children relocate to places where they can feel safe.

“The latest Police Scotland figures indicate the number of reported domestic abuse incidents in Scotland have risen over the last year, so we know that this is an area where our funding is desperately needed.”

Police recorded 60,080 incidents of domestic abuse in 2012-13, up from 59,847 in the previous year.

NHS Lanarkshire is being awarded £701,030 for its domestic abuse response project which aims to help victims feel safer, secure a home and get access to specialist emotional and practical support.

Ann Hayne, gender based violence manager at NHS Lanarkshire, said it was “absolutely delighted” with the support of the Big Lottery Fund.

“Given the level of domestic abuse evident in the area, we have no doubt it will be well received, well used and illustrate good practice for future developments,” she added.

Stirling Citizens Advice Bureau will receive £460,669 to allow it to work with Women’s Aid and others to run a domestic abuse transitions advice project, offering legal and welfare advice and one-to-one support to victims, helping them move to new homes and live in safety.

Bureau manager Craig Anderson said the funding would allow it to “inform, enable, empower and support women and children leaving abusive relationships to positively move forward”.