Thursday 13th February 2014: Male victims of rape and sexual violence will receive increased access to vital help and support thanks to the first dedicated fund designed specifically to meet their needs, Victims’ Minister Damian Green MP has announced in an MoJ statement today.
Since 2011, MoJ has provided over £5m to organisations supporting both male and female victims of sexual violence.
Today, the government has committed £500,000 over the next financial year to provide services like advice and counselling, specifically to help male victims. It is hoped that the additional support will encourage more men who are victims of sexual crimes to come forward to seek help.
Help Break the Silence about the Rape of Men
To coincide with this announcement, the Ministry of Justice has been working closely with charities including The Survivors’ Trust, Survivors Manchester, Mankind, First Step, Survivors UK and Rape Crisis to help raise awareness of male rape and sexual abuse and we have launched the #breakthesilence awareness raising campaign on social media today.
Evidence suggests that there are over 9, 000 male victims of rape, or attempted rape, each year. That’s 12% of all rape victims. Yet we know it is common for men not to come forward or to take years to report being a victim of this crime because they fear not being believed, feel alone and worry people will blame them for what’s happened.
This campaign is aimed at helping men who have been victims of sexual abuse (whether as a child or an adult) realise they are not alone and encouraging them to seek support. Popular soap opera Hollyoaks recently included a controversial story-line on male rape and we have collaborated with Hollyoaks to spread this message. We have worked with them to produce a video which will be launched on MoJ’s YouTube channel shortly.
We’ll be tweeting throughout today from @MoJGovUK – follow us and re-tweet us to help #breakthesilence. Below is an infographic which contains more information about the extent of sexual crimes against men and boys.
Further support for victims of domestic and sexual violence
In the 2012 Victims and Witnesses Consultation, a commitment was made to use a proportion of the additional revenue raised from offenders to provide specialist services for victims of domestic and sexual violence.
In addition to the £500,000 to support male victims of sexual violence, the balance of the £2m funding in 2014/15 will be used as follows:
• £200k for the national commissioning of training to build capacity in the voluntary sector for advocacy services for victims of sexual violence
• £1.3m to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) as part of their 2014/15 victims’ services grant. PCCs with their knowledge of local issues and priorities are best placed to determine the needs of victims in their area and how to meet these requirements.
In deciding on how best this additional funding for 2014/15 could be used to support victims of domestic and sexual violence, the Ministry of Justice took on board the views of the VCSE sector and Police and Crime Commissioners.
Further information on both the male rape support fund and advocacy training will be available in due course.