"Men can’t come forward if there is no one to listen"
Male sexual abuse victims and survivors are rarely spoken about in Desi communities and wider society.
According to the NHS, one in six men has unwanted sexual experiences which can lead to many problems such as self-harm, insomnia and suicidal thoughts.
British Asian men are incredibly silent when they go through such encounters. There are not enough organisations helping them specifically which adds to the stigma of it.
However, with more open conversations, this can change.
Although, the first hurdle is to get elders and leading figures within South Asian communities to accept sexual abuse can happen to men. It’s not just an issue relating to women.
Once this is fully recognised, then males will find it easier to talk. The great thing about the following organisations is that they take these feelings into account.
They are aware of how male victims and survivors go under the radar but the tools they offer can dramatically help.
Male Survivors Partnership
The Male Survivors Partnership began in 2012 after a group of professionals discussed the need for an organisation that helps male victims.
They recognise the needs of boys/men as victims of sexual offences and offer a range of support services.
They have a directory leading to different helplines specific to someone’s situation.
However, they also have self-help guides that can help with the consequences of sexual abuse.
These guides usually cover things such as alcoholism, anxiety and eating disorders.
The Male Survivors Partnership also have a section where they speak on the myths surrounding abusive culture towards men.
Not only do they provide astounding research and facts to help victims, but they also give a catalogue of resources to help those in different circumstances.
Helpline: 0808 800 5005
The Survivors Trust
The Survivors Trust is a specialist organisation that offers help to those who have experienced rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Whilst their resources help both men and women, they recognise the importance of knowing men are at risk too. As written on their website:
“Every five minutes in the UK someone is raped. One in four women and one in six men have experienced sexual violence.
“15% of girls and 5% of boys have experienced sexual violence by the time they are sixteen.”
The Survivors Trust have over 124 member agencies across the UK and Ireland and provides therapy to over 80,000 survivors each year.
They manage to work with victims and survivors of all ages, genders, and backgrounds of all forms of sexual exploitation, as well as supporting partners and family members.
Therefore, British Asian men can find comfort in knowing they can go somewhere without judgement.
The Survivors Trust offer a free helpline, live chat service, localised support, workshops and guides to self-care.
Helpline: 0808 801 0818
Established in 1994, Safeline is a charity that gives tremendous support to victims of sexual abuse and violence.
They believe that “everyone affected by or at risk of sexual violence and abuse should feel supported and empowered”.
What’s great about Safeline is that they see the urge to not only help survivors cope with their trauma but get their life back on track.
This is especially important for British Asian male victims who can find it harder to integrate back into their family or surroundings – mostly down to the cultural stigma.
Additionally, they also offer aid for those as small as three years old.
Whilst this is a great support tool, it highlights the extent to which sexual violence occurs.
Critically, they also have catered structures where they can assist victims personally or help someone who knows a victim.
This is vital as most people getting abused find it hard to reach out. Therefore, Safeline gives a way for them to get help without endangering themselves further.
On top of that, they also offer prevention and early intervention projects, counselling, therapy and medical support.
Helpline: 0808 800 5005
Men Reaching Out
Men Reaching Out (MRO) is part of the BEAP Community Partnership located in Bradford, England.
Helping men since 2017, MRO was created in order to help male domestic abuse victims. But, they also offer support to those who have experienced sexual abuse too.
Humayun Islam, Chief Executive of BEAP and MRO founder reveals:
“One of the barriers that men face when talking about domestic abuse is that there are little or no services out there for them, which is why we have launched this programme.
“Men can’t come forward if there is no one to listen.”
As MRO is catered towards British Asian men, they are aware of the social and cultural impact this issue can have.
They also recognise that Desi communities don’t have certain organisations in place to help male survivors.
So, their structured system is tailored towards this minority and helps with emotional, financial and legal support.
They also offer peer groups for men, giving them a safe environment to talk and express themselves.
MRO are completely dedicated to helping South Asian men in the UK, although, all men are welcome to use their resources.
Helpline: 0127 473 1020
1in6 is a site funded by NHS England and delivered by Mankind UK.
Offering support services to UK men, they explain, discuss and support those who have been affected by unwanted sexual experiences.
What’s great about the site is that all the content is written by people who are survivors of sexual abuse, assault or violence.
Therefore, those seeking some refuge can find comfort in knowing they are being helped by those who have also been personally affected.
Some male victims suffer a great deal of manipulation and can often be oblivious to the abuse they are going through.
1in6 does a fantastic job at explaining what sexual abuse and encounters are and what they mean about “unwanted experiences”.
They also go in-depth about how poignant sexual abuse is towards men.
In 2021 research commissioned by Mankind UK, Savanta ComRes explored the prevalence of non-consensual sexual experiences among UK men.
Interviewing 1,011 UK males aged over 18, people were asked to read 15 non-consensual sexual experiences and select which had ever happened to them.
The results revealed that:
“42% selected at least one of the 13 sexual experiences which are legally defined as a sexual crime.”
“50% selected at least one of the 15 sexual experiences listed including sexual harassment and unwanted sexual innuendo which are covered by the Equalities Act.”
As well as giving the public this important information, their support services for male victims are great.
They have a text service and also provide tools to help with finding a counsellor and sexual assault referral centres.
1in6 also have a category where people can read real stories from survivors, showing them they are not alone.
Helpline: 0808 800 5005
These sexual abuse organisations are doing fantastic work for male victims.
They give an adequate amount of support and some are catered towards British Asian men which will help them come forward.
These organisations are imperative for all male victims in a society that still has to recognise their experiences and trauma.
If you are or know someone getting sexually abused, then reach out to one of these organisations. You are not alone.