A London based sexual abuse charity has recently reported a shocking statistic that only 3.9% of sexual assaults are reported by male victims. They state that the reason for this is the lack of specialist help available and the perceived stigma attached to a man being subjected to sexual abuse. Although there has been a steady increase in recent years, 3.9% means that 96.1% of male victims continue to suffer in silence.
Kemi Bardenoch of the Conservative London Assembly has this week published a report named ‘Silent Suffering: Supporting the Male Survivors of Sexual Assault’. The report highlights concerns that, although more victims of sexual abuse are coming forward than ever before, the number of men who are reporting incidents of sexual abuse is far lagging behind that of women. Combining statistics from the Home Office and Survivors UK, it is estimated that over the entire the UK between 2010 and 2014, 679,051 sexual assaults and rapes on males took place – a startling 652,528 of which were NOT reported to any Police force.
These shocking figures are due to “a multitude of social, procedural and emotional barriers”. Male victims especially have a fear of not being believed and fears that their sexuality could become the focus of a police investigation.
In a survey conducted by charity Survivors UK, 500 male victims of sexual assault were interviewed and between 2010 and 2014 and only 3.9% had reported their ordeals to the Police. Looking at the bigger picture, there were a staggering 26,483 male victims of sexual assault or rape in the UK in this period – 3.9% means that just over 1,000 victims reported matters to the Police. It was therefore only this small minority that could gain formal access to treatment, and vitally, seek justice for their suffering. Locally, the report states that there were a total of 18,872 incidents of sexual offences against men estimated by Lancashire Constabulary over the period 2010 – 2014, with only 736 actually being reported to the Police.
The report puts forward various proposals, one of which is that the Sexual Offences Act 2003 should be amended to include male victims – as it is in the USA. In the UK at present, a woman cannot legally rape a man.
It is clear that this issue is one that needs to be addressed on a national level by the Government, so that a clear strategy can be developed nationwide to assist male victims of sexual abuse – if the matter is not reported, access to treatment, justice and support is denied. There is a clear need to ensure that services offered to male victims match those services which are being afforded to female victims.
Here at Farleys we have a specialist and dedicated team of solicitors who can advise and assist you on claims arising from abuse. We have an enviable record in successfully pursuing Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims as well as claims against individuals and establishments/local authorities. For further information or to speak to a dedicated member of our abuse claims team please don’t hesitate to call 0333 331 5697. Alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.