Hull teaching primary care trust is to attempt to tackle the problems of domestic violence by using a social marketing campaign aimed at male perpetrators of attacks.

The PCT last week launched a confidential support service for men who want to change their abusive behaviour. It has enlisted the backing of local MP and health secretary Alan Johnson and Hull City football club.

Problem about men

PCT chief executive Chris Long, who chairs the city's crime and disorder partnership, said: "Domestic violence [prevention] has focused on women. What we had to say was actually this is a problem about men. Why do people do this and what might help them not do it? The PCT is positioning itself quite a long way upstream by dealing with issues that can become health issues a long time before they do."

The PCT commissioned research from Central Lancashire University to inform the campaign. Focus groups of domestic violence victims, perpetrators and men who may not have been involved in domestic violence were also set up.

The PCT hopes the campaign will impact on hospital admissions, violence and the admission of children into services, as well as conditions like depression.

Hull has more than 24,000 cases of domestic violence each year, three quarters of which go unreported. Twelve per cent of children in Hull live in households affected by domestic violence.