Male rape charities given £600,000 government funding

image copyrightMinistry of Justice
image captionThe government said the Male Rape Support Fund was the first dedicated fund for male victims

Male victims of rape are to be supported with a new £600,000 government fund.

Twelve charities to be given money from the new Male Rape Support Fund were announced earlier by Victims Minister Mike Penning.

He said nationally about 75,000 men were victims of sexual assault in 2012-13, but few went to the police for help because the crime was "taboo".

The fund will support the chosen charities over two years.

Its aim, announced by the Ministry of Justice in February, is to provide online information and face-to-face support at centres across England and Wales.

'Hugely traumatic crime'

Currently there are five male victim special support centres in the UK. There are 145 for women and girls.

Mr Penning said: "Latest estimates show that more than one in 10 victims of rape or attempted rape every year are men. Yet few come to forward to report it or seek help.

"I want to change that - it's vital these victims are helped to cope and hopefully recover from is a hugely traumatic crime."

The bulk of the funding - £400,000 over two years - is going to Survivors UK for a national website and online support service for male victims.

It will include information, an online community forum, web-chat and blogs from survivors.

Another recipient, Safeline in Warwickshire, welcomed the fund but said it was a shame less was being given to face-to-face counselling services.

The charity successfully bid for £60,743 to set up a weekly support group for men.

Safeline chief executive, Neil Henderson, said: "This money will make a huge difference. Male rape is an area that's been hidden and not funded at all previously so this is very welcome.

"Many victims don't realise that specialist charities exist and they tend not to come forward, but then they're severely damaged."

Safeline also plans to establish a project for boys between 13 and 17, a mentoring service and to increase training for volunteer counsellors.

The Green House in Bristol also hopes to support child victims, after securing £45,968. Its director, Michelle Windle, said: "It's rare that a victim will go to the police or seek immediate help - on the contrary, he will often be as desperate to keep it a secret as his attacker is.

"Through our specialist service, men and boys can become emotionally open and understand and release painful feelings that may have previously been discharged through violence to others or self-harm."

Funding recipients:

  • Axis Counselling, Shropshire
  • Barnsley Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Service, South Yorkshire
  • Mankind, East Sussex
  • New Pathways, Merthyr Tydfil Mid Wales
  • Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Wirral
  • Rotherham Women's Counsel and Pitstop for Men, South Yorkshire
  • Safeline, Warwickshire
  • Southampton Rape Crisis
  • Sunderland Counselling Service
  • Survivors Trust UK, London
  • Survivors, Manchester
  • The Green House, Bristol

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