Number of sexual offences against men in Newcastle doubles in 3 years

 Picture by: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images.

Picture by: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images.

The number of reported sexual offences against men in Newcastle has doubled over the past three years.

A SR News Freedom of Information request to Northumbria Police has revealed that the cases increased from 33 in 2011 to 65 in 2014, while up to October 2015 there were 56 reported.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Coleman, of the force’s Protecting Vulnerable People (PVP) Unit, said: “These figures show that more people now have the confidence to report rape to police than they did in 2011.

“You should never be embarrassed to report a crime because of your gende,r and you should be reassured that any reports will be thoroughly investigated by the force.

“We also endeavour to put our victims first and have dedicated teams and specialist officers who work closely with partners to provide an all-encompassing, compassionate, service to help fully support victims.”

Someone Cares, based in North Shields, is another charity which offers services to male and female victims who have suffered any kind of domestic or sexual abuse.

They have started a new project, called Male Voices Heard which caters specifically for male victims, after realising the rise in referrals of male services users was “significant”. The project received £204,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Project Manager Donna Lowden said: “About two years ago, we noticed referrals to Someone Cares for male victims were beginning to increase.

“We realised the rise in referrals for male clients was now significant and we must get proactive and seek specific funding. Through what we had been told by agencies and individuals who were referring into the service there are limited options for counselling male victims of abuse in Tyne & Wear.

“As we are an inclusive agency we feel strongly about ensuring male victims in Tyne & Wear have access to counselling. As far as I am aware we are the only agency in the area that offers free, unlimited counselling to male victims and their supporters in the Tyneside area.

“We offer free unlimited one-to-one counseling, in the near future the grant will also allow us to provide peer group and online counseling to male victims.”

Someone Cares and details of other support services open to male victims can be found on this map.

Someone Cares and details of other support services open to male victims can be found on this map.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=z0R8To3bQxUM.kujfgYF3tI64&usp=sharing

Michael May from Survivors UK, the largest charity in the UK which supports male victims of sexual violence, said that the reason why there is an increase in reports of sexual offences against men is due to “more public awareness and reporting of sexual violence, following highly publicised sex abuse cases”.

The graphs show a similar trend with both male sex offences and sex offences in general as both have seen an increase in the number reported in the past two years.

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However, statistics based on cases reported to the police may not represent the scale of sexual offences committed against men. According to Mr May, research done by Survivors UK shows that less than four per cent of male victims actually go to the police to report a sexual offence.

This differs from the amount of women who report sexual offences, which is just under 50 per cent.

Mr May added: “The change in how much we talk about sexual violence against men not only raises more awareness, but by seeing male victims being talked about it has given male victims permission to come forward and be recognised and taken seriously.”

Survivors UK offer counselling from their London base as well as a national web and text chat support service, which is available throughout England and Wales.

Johanna Robinson, a Senior Manager with The Survivors Trust, an agency for 141 specialist organisations for support for sexual violence, claims that male survivors particularly struggle with ‎the stigma and shame associated with rape and sexual abuse and the association that they will go on to be abusers.

Ms Robinson claims that rape reports are up 87 per cent‎ across the UK since 2012, partly due to the exposure of the Jimmy Savile case and general increase in media and public awareness of rape and sexual abuse.

However, she states that services to help victims are at risk due to lack of funding.

“We know that historically men struggle to come forward to disclose, particularly to the police, and welcome that this is changing in Newcastle. But this needs to be accompanied by the resources to support Survivors, many of whom will have been silent for decades.

“Specialist services are at risk with many having limited or no funds to run essential services next year. We also need to educate and protect, preventing further abuse,” she said.

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