Around half of men in the UK have suffered an unwanted sexual experience, according to new research.
According to the research, which involved a poll of over 1,000 people, around nine per cent identifying as men said they had been assaulted by penetration or raped, while 14 per cent had been pressured or coerced into sexual acts and 21 per cent had taken part in sexual activity with an adult before reaching the age of consent.
The findings have led charity Mankind to call for greater awareness around male sexual abuse, with many victims feeling unable to speak out about their experiences.
The charity reported that referrals to its service had increased by 95 per cent since this time last year. A spokesperson told The Guardian: “Covid restrictions have meant that people can’t access their usual sources of support and are reaching out for help which local services currently don’t have the capacity to deliver".
Currently, the Government is consulting on the approach to dealing with violence against women and girls. Mankind has called on them to produce a national sexual crimes strategy which takes an inclusive approach to dealing with all victims of sexual abuse.
How to get help and support
If you are a male victim of sexual abuse or domestic violence, you are not alone, and there are a number of resources you can turn to for non-judgemental, confidential advice.
If you're a male who needs support for sexual abuse, you can head to the UK portal for survivors at www.1in6.uk.
You can also call their helpline on 0808 800 500 for confidential help and advice.
Remember that sexual abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, sexual orientation or ethnicity, and you should not feel ashamed or embarrassed about asking for help.
If your life is in immediate danger, please contact 999 for assistance. If your life is not in danger but you need immediate help for your mental health or wellbeing, you can contact the Samaritans any time of day at 116 123.