Leeds & West Yorkshire

Male sex abuse victim sets up Leeds support service

Dave Graham
Image caption Dave Graham was abused at his home in January 2017

A man who was sexually abused by his mental health nurse has waived his right to anonymity to speak about the lack of support for male abuse victims.

Dave Graham was abused by Luke Smith at his home in Leeds in 2017.

He said that he felt "anxious and alone" after the incident but found there was little support available.

Mr Graham has now set up an online and telephone support group in the hope of helping other men in the same situation.

Smith was jailed for eight months in February after he pleaded guilty to to sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder at Leeds Crown Court.

Image caption Luke Smith (right) pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder

Speaking publicly for the first time since the court case, Mr Graham told the BBC how the incident had affected him.

"Sick, anxious, very nervous, scared. Not scared of him, scared of what had happened," he said.

"Considering how big a city Leeds is, and how fast it is growing, I would have thought there would be more support for male survivors.

"It was upsetting really and quite frightening because you do feel very much alone."

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, reports of sexual offences against men and boys have more than tripled in the past decade.

Mr Graham said he felt compelled to set up the service because there was not enough support available.

"I'm not a professional and I would never claim to be a professional," he said.

"What I am is a real life person that's experienced what you have experienced and therefore I can, hopefully, try and help make you feel less alone.

"The court case may be over but it's not over for me, that's the thing. The battle continues every day.

"I know there will be trolls [and] people that do not agree with what I'm doing, but if it helps one person then it is worth it, it really is."

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