West Shore RCMP battle stigma with ‘men cry too’

Cops encourage all sexual assault and domestic violence victims ahead of World Mental Health Day

West Shore RCMP has a message for men across the region: it’s OK to cry, and we’re here to listen.

Const. Matt Baker, who sent a tweet from the force’s account encouraging men not to suffer in silence, said although men are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, they are much less likely to report these crimes to police.

“The idea is we just wanted to let men know they don’t have to be quiet anymore about any issues. That old mentality that men had where they keep things on the inside, where they grin and bear it and keep going, that’s going away,” Baker said.

READ MORE: Meet the new leader of the West Shore RCMP

Since the tweet on Sept. 27, Baker said it’s hard to tell if rates of reports from men have gone up. The stigma of what’s expected from men reduces how much violence against men is reported. Baker said this creates a “dark shadow” on statistics.

“Bad things can happen to guys,” Baker said. “Statistics show women do suffer more violence at the hands of men and their partners, but men do suffer violence too, especially partners involved in same-sex relationships and transgender individuals suffer more violence.”

READ MORE: West Shore RCMP unveils Wall of Honour

The West Shore RCMP is also turning its advice inward.

“Mental health issues are huge in the policing world, for first responders, paramedics, firefighters, police officers and military personnel,” he said. “It’s always a part of the things we see, the things we do. It takes a toll on the body, it takes a toll on the psyche.”

Baker said he’s seen a change in the force, with more openness in the office to talk about their experiences and the impacts.

“Everyone’s equal in the police’s eyes. We don’t care who you are. If something’s happened to you, it’s important you come in and talk to us. We can help you,” Baker said.

READ MORE: Centre for youth seeking mental health and addictions support opens in Victoria

keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Child hit and killed in driveway in Cobble Hill

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Cowichan Provincial Park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Mid-Island tracking toward driest June on record

Predictions for rain this week could bring temporary relief

Overpass, barrier, more parking considered for Cathedral Grove

Provincial government proceeding ‘with caution’

‘Danger Cat’ in medically-induced coma after serious dirt bike incident

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $3,000 for Campbell River man by Monday afternoon

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’ by authorities in Campbell River

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Team effort rescues injured mountain biker in Cumberland

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue, the Cumberland Fire Department and BC… Continue reading

West Shore RCMP bust drug lab after fire caused by production of cannabis shatter

View Royal lab near parks and children’s playgrounds, evidence of children in home

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

Man appealing conviction for drive-by shooting attempt in Nanaimo

Armaan Singh Chandi was sentenced to nine years in jail in B.C. Supreme Court last month

Sailing cancellations as Baynes Sound Connector set to undergo maintenance

Denman Island ferry out of service Wednesday night

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Most Read