Nearly four million men and boys in the UK are raped and sexually abused in their lifetime according to Government figures and yet most victims don't have a specialist service for male victims in their area.
Last month the government announced £4 million of funding to open four new centres for victims of rape and sexual assault an secure the future of 65 existing centres - but male victims are being overlooked according to frontline workers.
Speaking to the local press in Brighton, Martyn Sullivan, CEO of Mankind Counselling in Brighton said:
"We welcome any funding that supports victims of rape and sexual abuse but it saddens us that yet again little thought has been given to adult male survivors of sexual crimes.
“The Government’s own figures estimates that 1 in 9 males have suffered childhood sexual abuse and 1 in 29 have experienced rape in adulthood. With this decision, they have chosen to ignore the 3.8 million actual men and boys that these figures represent.
“Male specific agencies were excluded from the Rape Support Fund last year and it looks like the same thing has happened again.
“There has been a rise in cases being reported in light of the Jimmy Saville scandal and we are expecting even more cases.”
Mankind Counselling, which works with adult men who been victims of rape and sexual abuse at any time in their lives, has seen a trebling in the number of men it helps in the past five years - demonstrating that where appropriate and effective services are available, men will get help.
CEO Martyn Sullivan is a leading expert in the field and in author of the excellent 2010-2011 report: “An Exploration of Service Delivery to Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse”.
For frontline workers engaging with men and boys it's important to remember that the lack of services in this area means that male victims will often show up in other services dealing with health, mental health, addiction, criminal justice etc and an awareness that men and boys are victims can make it easier for more men to get help.