Today, (November 19) is International Men’s Day and Preston based sexual abuse charity Trust House Lancashire believes this day is a significant opportunity to focus on the needs of male survivors of sexual abuse and violence.
Research suggests that 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse or violence before their 18th birthday, and Trust House say that men often don’t see themselves as victims, and the stigma surrounding abused males results in unreported cases.
They add that this means the trauma of the abuse is never supported, and the impact of this can result in serious long-term health and wellbeing issues.
Trust House Lancashire is working hard to eradicate the stigma and urge males to come forward with experienced abuse and seek support.
Over the last twelve months, the charity has provided over 504 hours of counselling to males across the county.
The CEO of Trust House Lancashire, Catherine Smith from Penwortham said: “It is important to offer male survivors a safe environment where they feel believed and time to share their story. Over the years, we have worked with many male survivors who share that having someone who provided a listening ear and did not question the validity of their story was vital in their recovery and healing.”
Trust House believe that society also has a crucial role in reducing stigma and supporting all genders to come forward and seek support.
This support will in turn allow victims of abuse to regain control of their lives, lead meaningful relationships, and gain the positivity to move forward.
A male survivor of sexual abuse, who had used Trust House service's said: “Please don’t make the same mistake in life as I did. Life is for living. Break that silence, sexual abuse can happen to anyone regardless of your gender. It is so important to talk and be reassured you are a stronger person by doing so. I’m now being supported by professionals at Trust House Lancashire and learning how to heal.”
Established in 2014, Trust House Lancashire is a Specialist Rape and Sexual Assault Support Centre based in Preston which works across the county to deliver a range of services to support survivors of sexual violence.
This International Men’s Day, Trust House have also shared a story that is based on various real-life accounts of male survivors who have accessed support from the charity, as they hope
the story will encourage more males to come forward and seek support.
For more information about the charity and the support they provide, visit their website or call 01772 825288.