Support for Men
How we can help?
We want to help men living in the shadows of abuse to start leading the lives they want and deserve.
We are here to help you make sense of your story, answer those difficult questions and come to terms with how this has impacted your life.
Sexual assault can happen to anyone, no matter your age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused may have many of the same feelings and reactions as other survivors of sexual assault, but they may also face some additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.
Did you know?
If you are a man who has been sexually abused as a child or experienced rape or sexual assault in your lifetime —you are not alone.
It is estimated that each year in the UK, 12,000 men are raped and 70,000 are sexually abused or assaulted.
Some men who have survived sexual assault as adults feel shame or self-doubt, believing that they should have been “strong enough” to fight off the perpetrator. Many men who experienced an erection or ejaculation during the assault may be confused and wonder what this means. These normal physiological responses do not in any way imply that you wanted, invited, or enjoyed the assault. If something happened to you, know that it is not your fault and you are not alone.
Men who were sexually abused as boys or teens may also respond differently than men who were sexually assaulted as adults. The following list includes some of the common experiences shared by men and boys who have survived sexual assault. It is not a complete list, but it may help you to know that other people are having similar experiences:
- Anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, flashbacks and eating disorders.
- Avoiding people or places that remind you of the assault or abuse
- Concerns or questions about sexual orientation
- Fear of the worst happening and having a sense of a shortened future
- Feeling like “less of a man” or that you no longer have control over your own body
- Feeling on-edge, being unable to relax, and having difficulty sleeping
- Sense of blame or shame over not being able to stop the assault or abuse, especially if you experienced an erection or ejaculation
- Withdrawal from relationships or friendships and an increased sense of isolation
- Worrying about disclosing for fear of judgment or disbelief
It can be hard to tell someone that you have experienced sexual assault or abuse. You may fear that you will face judgment or not be believed. For many male survivors, stereotypes about masculinity can also make it hard to disclose to friends, family, or the community. Men and boys also may face challenges believing that it is possible for them to be victims of sexual violence, especially if it is perpetrated by a woman. You may not know how to put into words your thoughts and feelings or fear losing control or becoming overwhelmed by emotions.
We know it is not easy to break the silence but here at The Birchall Trust we will do the following to help you:
- Listen to you – you matter and will have our undivided attention
- We will believe you
- We will be there for you
- We will not ask you to talk about the details of the assault
- We will help you access other support and resources if you need to
Talking about your experience can have a positive impact on your life today.