At least 1 in 6 men living in the UK have been sexually abused or assaulted, and yet it takes 26 years on average for a man to speak out about it.
This week is Men’s Health Week (June 14 – 20) and the theme is mental health, COVID-19 and what’s next.
For this, Merseyside Police is looking at how sexual violence is affecting men in Merseyside and the support services available.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “Figures show that 3 in 20 men are affected by sexual violence, yet far too many victims still don’t reach out for help.
“This Men’s Health Week, I am uniting with sexual violence services on Merseyside to raise awareness of the support which is available and to urge any man who has been subjected to sexual violence to seek help.
“You will be heard, you will be listened to and you will be supported.
“It doesn’t matter when it happened or if you’ve reported it to the police or not, support is always available.
“Here on Merseyside, one of our Victim Care Merseyside providers, the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC), has a dedicated male Independent Sexual Violence advisor, as well as male-only group therapy, which is specifically designed to meet your needs.
“Please don’t suffer in silence – contact RASASC or RASA Merseyside today.”
RASASC’s male Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Rob said, “My role as an ISVA is to work with people who have experienced rape or sexual assault, irrespective of whether they have reported to the police. The nature of the support that I provide can vary from case to case and depends on the needs of the individual and their circumstances.
“Support can include me providing accurate and impartial information, emotional and practical support, and support before, during and after court. I act as a single point of access for the survivor and their dependants, while providing a professional service.
“It takes a lot of courage to speak out about sexual violence and it’s really important to understand that this wasn’t your fault. You didn’t do anything to deserve it. Talking to support organisations like RASASC is confidential, non-judgemental, understanding, and friendly.
“We’re here for you.”
Julie Evans, Director of Operations at RASASC, who provides specialist support to survivors in St Helens and Knowsley said, “It’s important for men and boys to know that it’s okay to talk about this and to seek support. At RASASC you will be believed and supported.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual violence, contact the police on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.
SAFE Place Merseyside is the Sexual Assault Referral Centre for the Merseyside area. They offer forensic medical examination services to support victims of rape or serious sexual assault.
If you don’t want to report the incident but would still like to seek support, you can contact SAFE Place Merseyside on 0151 295 3550 or visit http://www.safeplacemerseyside.org.uk/ .
For more information about the support offered in Merseyside, please visit:
RASASC at https://www.rasasc.org/
RASA Merseyside at https://www.rasamerseyside.org/
Alternatively, please visit www.victimcaremerseyside.org for information, advice and the details of more than 70 victim support agencies.