Cupids Health

Half of men have had unwanted sexual experiences, UK study finds | Rape and sexual assault


About half of men have had an unwanted or non-consensual sexual experience, research suggests, as a leading charity calls for more attention to be paid to sexual abuse survivors who identify as male.

Mankind UK said many men who had such experiences often felt unable to talk about them and often took decades to tell anyone what had happened to them.

“I didn’t want to believe that it had happened. I wanted to deny that it had happened,” said the playwright Patrick Sandford, who for a quarter of a century told no one about the abuse he suffered as a schoolboy.

Sandford told the Guardian he spent decades fearing being stigmatised if he spoke out. “There is this huge thing that if a man admits to having had some kind of sexual victimhood, that is seen as weak.”

He said he feared he would be labelled a potential abuser himself because of a myth that persists that many men who were abused as children go on to perpetuate that abuse.

According to the research, carried out for Mankind and seen by the Guardian, 9% of people identifying as men said they had been raped or assaulted by penetration, 14% had been coerced or pressured into sexual activity and 21% had taken part in sexual activity with an adult while under the legal age of consent. Respondents were asked if they had experienced 15 different categories of unwelcome or non-consensual sexual activity. Half said yes to at least one. This was revealed in a poll of more than 1,000 people carried out by Savanta ComRes on the charity’s behalf.

Mankind said referrals had increased by 95% since this time last year. “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,” the charity said.

The government is consulting on its strategy for dealing with violence against women and girls and Mankind has called for a national sexual crimes strategy that takes a more inclusive approach to meeting the needs of all victims of unwanted sexual experiences”, its co-chief executive Lucy Hughes said.

Sandford, whose play Groomed is available to watch on Soho Theatre’s website, said he felt more attention and provision needed to be given to male survivors of sexual abuse, though he stressed that should not come at the expense of female survivors, who should also be given greater support.

“I’m not saying it’s worse for men. I’m just saying it’s different. And it’s not a competition. These figures are very shocking. But, if those figures were half as big, it’s still terrible. Any child or man being abused should not happen. And the same is true of women.”

Mankind plans to contribute to the government’s consultation process and hopes to secure funding to continue its research into the prevalence of sexual violence against males. It set up a website, 1in6.uk, in December 2020 to offer male survivors self-help resources and information, as well as a route to access further support. It encouraged anyone affected by the issue to visit the site.

Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,011 UK male adults aged 18 or older online from 5 to 7 February 2021. It said 1,174 men were asked if they were happy to answer the question, with 163 declining and the rest answering. The data was weighted to be representative of population by age, region and social grade.

This article was amended on 17 February 2021 to add some more detail about the questions asked in the research.



Source link

RSS52.1k
Follow by Email77.5k
Twitter