Hull charity sees 50% rise in male victims

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Published: Tuesday 2nd June 2015 by KCFM

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Survivors Hull and East Riding say they’ve seen a rise in the number of men reporting sexual abuse in the last year.

There’s currently a waiting list of two to three months for victims to see the charity Survivors, as it’s the only organisation in East Yorkshire that provides rape counselling for men; something which they don’t receive any funding for.

Chief Officer Denise McCunnell says the Jimmy Savile scandal has helped to alleviate the stigma surrounding male victims:

“People, males particularly, have been encouraged to come forward because other males have come forward. The public has actually accepted them as being victims this time instead of potential perpetrators.”

She says some of the men who come to them have kept their ordeal secret for years:

“It’s wanting to change their lives, because they’re actually carrying this burden around with them all the time. It’s also made them better fathers because sometimes they’re really overprotective of their children because of what’s happened to them.”

Denise says they recently helped an 82 year old man who had kept his abuse secret for 76 years:

“He’d been abused when he was six, and he remembered it like it was yesterday. It’s affected his life ever since. It stopped him from doing the job that he wanted to do. Generally just making him want to hide, and using alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.”

She says for many of the men they help, fear has stopped them from speaking out;

“There can’t be anything more scary, I don’t think, than a six year old boy being abused by perhaps somebody he knows quite well or even a stranger, and then finding that he has to carry that secret around with him for the rest of his life, unless he actually receives help.”

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Published: Tuesday 2nd June 2015 by KCFM

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