Survivors UK tackle assumptions about male rape
According to figures from the Metropolitan Police, at least one man every hour is the victim of some form of sexual crime in the UK’s capital city. In response to these figures, Survivors UK have launched a campaign in a bid to raise awareness of sexual violence against men.
Official statistics recently released by the government have revealed that only 11% of male sexual crime victims actually report the incident to the police. In addition, further figures from the Met Police show that between 2009 and 2010 – a total of 945 sexual assaults against men were reported in London, suggesting that the true figure is somewhere around 10,000.
The Survivors UK campaign pictures a rugby ball pierced by a nail, and carries the message ‘Real Men Get Raped and Talking About It Takes Real Strength’. The hard-hitting campaign is set to be featured on 140 escalator panels throughout the capital, coinciding with the Six Nations rugby tournament. In addition, they will also feature on billboards at busy London train stations Waterloo and Clapham Junction when England are playing home tournaments.
Survivors UK spokesman Michael May explained how the organisation opted to use an ‘alpha male’ sport to channel their message in an attempt to challenge some of the assumptions in existence about the kind of men who get raped.
‘It’s just as likely to be a rugby player as a librarian, a suited city banker as a hooded gang member. And we hope that by challenging our innate assumptions about the identity of male victims, we can make it even fractionally easier for a male rape victim to ask for help.’ He said.
Victims of sexual violence often find it extremely difficult to recover from the trauma they experience, especially in cases in where they have felt unable to report the incident through official channels.
Male victims in particular may struggle to overcome preconceptions that they should have been able to fight off the attacker, or that they should be ‘dominant’ during sexual encounters – both are reasons that could prevent them for reporting the attack for fear of stigma and embarrassment.
If you are the victim of sexual violence, it is important that you report the incident and seek help. If you are a male, get in touch with Survivors UK who will be able to offer you emotional support over the telephone as well as directing you to additional services if appropriate.
Women who have experienced sexual violence should get in touch with Women’s Aid.
Whilst these helplines are extremely beneficial, individuals who are suffering from long-term trauma because of sexual violence may also wish to look into counselling. Visit our pages on trauma counselling and sexual abuse to find out more, or alternatively visit our homepage and use the search tool to locate a qualified professional in your local area.
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