The government has set aside £500,000 on male victims of rape and sexual assault, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced.
The fund will be the first of its kind to be used exclusively in support of male victims.
An online discussion forum has been launched to canvass views from victims. The MoJ hopes to learn what kind of support would best help them and how they would want access to that support.
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, 72,000 males a year are estimated to become victims of rape or sexual assault, although a large number of these crimes go unreported.
Victims’ Minister Damian Green said:
“We believe around twelve per cent of rapes are against men. Yet many choose not to come forward, either to report the crime or seek the support they need. I am determined to help break the silence on a subject still seen as taboo.”
Duncan Craig, founder of the male rape victims support group Survivors Manchester, welcomed the announcement of the new fund, saying he hoped it would encourage more victims to break their silence.
“I’d like to tell all boys and men that are sitting in silence I have been there … Yes it’s difficult, embarrassing and painful to speak out but once you start healing, you will be able to break free from the legacy. Get support lads, don’t suffer. You deserve to be able to heal.”
Photo by ahabeland via Flickr