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Stop Blaming Women:
The State of Sexual Violence Within the UK

Sexual violence is a huge issue in the UK and it’s not just women who are victims of sexual violence, it’s men too. In the last decade, there has been a dramatic increase in sexual assault and rape occurrences, with the number of rape occurences rising to more than THREE times the number of offenses than just 10 years prior.

Within this article, we intend to take a look at the issue of sexual violence and how prevalent it is within the UK today. We’ll also discuss whether more should be done to help those that are victims of sexual assault, putting an end to victim-blaming and whether or not men can do more to prevent sexual violence.

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Is Sexual Violence Being Reported?

What Can Men Do to Help?

Getting Help with Sexual Violence

Understanding Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is a huge issue in the UK and it’s not just women who are victims of sexual violence, it’s men too. In the last decade, there has been a dramatic increase in sexual assault and rape occurrences, with the number of rape occurences rising to more than THREE times the number of offenses than just 10 years prior. 

Within this article, we intend to take a look at the issue of sexual violence and how prevalent it is within the UK today. We’ll also discuss whether more should be done to help those that are victims of sexual assault, putting an end to victim-blaming and whether or not men can do more to prevent sexual violence.

“It has taken until the end of the 20th century for sexual violence to no longer be considered a “minor issue” and to gradually become criminalised.”

Sexual violence is highly stigmatised in all settings, thus the level of disclosure of the assault tends to vary between regions. In general, it is widely underreported and due to this available data tends to be underestimated compared to the true scale of the problem. For a long time throughout history, sexual violence was considered as only happening to women and as being commonplace and “normal” during both war and peace times from the Ancient Greeks to the 20th Century. It has taken until the end of the 20th century for sexual violence to no longer be considered a “minor issue” and to gradually become criminalised.

Types of Sexual Assault

The term “sexual violence” is an encompassing, non-legal term that is used to refer to crimes like sexual assault, rape, sexual harrassment and more. It’s worth noting that the legal definition of these crimes may vary slightly from country to country. Some of the crimes that are encompassed under sexual violence are defined below:

  • Rape – Rape is defined as non-consensual penetration of someone’s vagina, anus or mouth by another person’s penis. *NOTE: This technically means that by law, only men are capable of committing rape. A woman can be convicted of rape if they assist a male perpertrator in an attack.
  • Sexual Harassment – Sexual Harassment is defined as “unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a secual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating the recipient’s dignity, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environemtn for the recipient”.
  • Sexual Assault – Sexual assault is defined as any physical, psychological and emotional violation in the form of a sexual act, inflicted on someone without their consent. 

How Common is Sexual Violence in the UK?

Figures from the British Crime Survey show that 1-in-4 women and 1-in-30 men experience rape or a serious sexual assault at some point during their lives. For the year ending March 2020, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that 3.8% of adults aged 16 to 74 years had experienced sexual assault by rape or penetration (including attempts) since the age of 16 years. The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that for the year ending March 2020 there were 773,000 adults aged 16-74 years who were a victim of sexual assault (including attempts) within the last year – with almost 4 TIMES as many female victims as male (618,000 vs. 155,000).

In the years ending March 2017 and March 2020 combined, it was reported that just less than half of victims aged 16 – 74 years who experienced rape or assault by penetration (including attempts) since the age of 16 years, had been a victim more than once (49%).  This figure was significantly higher for women than men (51% and 22% respectively). Over one-fifth of victims reported experiencing this type of assault more than three times since they were 16 years old (22%).

Latest estimates from the CSEW showed that fewer than 1-in-6 female victims (16%) and fewer than 1-in-5 (19%) male victims aged 16-59 years of sexual assault by rape or penetration since the age of 16 had reported it to the police.

Who is at Risk of Sexual Violence?

Sex

It is estimated that for the year ending March 2020, 618,000 women and 155,000 men aged 16-74 years experienced sexual assault in the last year. This marks a prevalence rate of roughly 3 in 100 women and 1 in 100 men.

While both men and women are the victims of sexual assault, it tends to be found that the large majority of victims (that report the crime) are female, with 84% of cases recorded by police within the year ending March 2020 including a female victim. Similarly, more victims of rape offences recorded by police were female (90%) than male (10%).

Age

Figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) year ending March 2018 to year ending March 2020 combined showed that both men and women aged 16-19 years (2.9% and 12.9% respectively) and 20-24 years (2.6% and 10.5% respectively) were significantly more likely to be victims of sexual assault within the last year than any other age group.

*Data isn’t collected for those aged under 16 years about their experience of sexual assault.

Age Group

Percentage of Adults Who Were Victims Once or More

16 – 19 Years

2.9% Men | 12.9% Women

20 – 24 Years

2.6% Men | 10.5% Women

25 – 34 Years

1.2% Men | 3.2% Women

35 – 44 Years

0.4% Men | 1.9% Women

45 – 54 years

0.4% Men | 1.6% Women

55 – 59 Years

0.3% Men | 1.5% Women

60 – 74 Years

0.2% Men | 0.6% Women

Data collected from 24 police forces showed that females aged 10 – 24 years were disproportionately more likely to be victims of sexual offences. E.G. While 5.7% of the female population were aged 10 – 14 years, this age group accounted for 24.1% of police recorded sexual offences where the victim was female. One-third of all female victims were aged under 15 years old.

Male victims aged 5 – 19 years were also disproportionately more likely to be victims of sexual offences. For example, while 6.2% of the male population were aged 10 – 14 years, this age group accounted for 29.5% of police recorded sexual offences. More than half (55%) of all male victims were aged under 15 years.

Age Group

Percentage of Adults Who Were Victims Once or More

Under 5

Male: 6.7% | Female: 3%

5 – 9 Years Old

Male: 18.9% | Female: 6.9%

10 – 14 Years Old

Male: 29.5% | Female: 24.1%

15 – 19 Years Old

Male: 14% | Female: 21%

20 – 24 Years Old

Male: 6.6% | Female: 11.6%

25 – 34 Years Old

Male: 9.8% | Female: 15.1%

35 – 44 Years Old

Male: 6.4% | Female: 9.2%

45 – 59 Years Old

Male: 5.7% | Female: 6.7%

60+ Years Old

Male: 2.4% | Female: 2.4%

Ethnicity

Figures from CSEW for the year ending March 2018 to year ending March 2020 combined,  show that those of Black or Black British and Mixed ethnic groups were significantly more likely than those in the White, Asian or Other ethnic groups to experience sexual assault within the last year.

Ethnicity

Percentage of Adults Who Were Victims Once or More

Mixed

All Adults: 3.6%

Black or Black British

All Adults: 2.9%

White

All Adults: 2%

Asian or Asian British

All Adults: 1.4%

Other Ethnic Group

All Adults: 0.8%

For rape and sexual assaults by penetration, there was no significant difference between ethnic groups, or across ethnicity for men and women. However, for indecent exposure or unwanted sexual touching, those in the Mixed ethnic group were significantly more likely to be victims than those in the White, Asian and Other ethnic groups.

Marital Status

Figures from CSEW for the year ending March 2018 to the year ending March 2020 combined, showed that adults aged 16 – 74 years who were single (4.7%) were more than twice as likely to experience sexual assault than any other marital status.

Women who were divorced or legally separated were significantly more likely to be victims of sexual assault than married or widowed women. Single men were more likely to experience sexual assault than men in any other marital status except those who were separated.

Marital Status

Percentage of Adults Who Were Victims Once or More

Single

Men: 2% | Women: 7.5%

Cohabiting

Men: 0.7% | Women: 3.4%

Divorced/Legally Dissolved Partnership

Men: 0.5% | Women: 2.5%

Seperated

Men: 1.2% | Women: 1.7%

Married

Men: 0.3% | Women: 1.1%

Widowed

Men: 0.1% | Women: 0.8%

Disability

For the year ending March 2018 to year ending March 2020 combined, CSEW found that women with a disability were more likely to have experienced sexual assault within the last year than women without a disability (5% and 2.8% respectively). However, for men, there was no significant difference between men.

Sex

Percentage of Adults Who Were Victims Once or More

Male

Disabled: 0.9% | Not Disabled: 0.9%

Female

Disabled: 5% | Not Disabled: 2.8%

Employment

It has been found that of adults aged 16 to 74 years, those who were unemployed were more than twice as likely to have experienced sexual assault within the last year than those who were employed or economically inactive.

Employment Status

Percentage of Adults Who Were Victims Once or More

Employed

1.9%

Unemployed

4.4%

Economically Inactive

2%

Student

6.7%

Looking After Family/Home

1.3%

Long-Term/Temporarily Sick/Ill

2.5%

Retired

0.4%

Other Inactive

3.3%

For each occupation type, women were more likely to experience sexual assault than men. The greatest difference was with full-time students where around 11.6% of female students had experienced sexual assault in the last year cmpared to only 4.2% of men.

Employment Status

Percentage of Adults Who Were Victims Once or More

Full-Time Students

Men: 4.2% | Women: 11.6% | All: 8%

Never Worked/Long Term Unemployed

Men: 0.7% | Women: 3.7% | All: 2.7%

Managerial & Professional Occupations

Men: 0.8% | Women: 2.8% | All: 1.8%

Routine & Manual Occupations

Men: 0.5% | Women: 2.6% | All: 1.5%

Intermediate Occupations

Men: 0.5% | Women: 1.8% | All: 1.2%

Area

For the year ending March 2018 to the year ending March 2020 combined, CSEW found that of adults aged 16 – 74 years  those that lived in urban areas were more likely to have experienced sexual assault within the last year (2.1%) compared with those who live in rural areas (1.7%). Once again, women are more likely to be victims of sexual assault than men within all output area classifications.

Police records for offences by region show that the highest rate of sexual offences in the year ending March 2020 was recorded in Yorkshire and The Humber (3.2 per 1,000 population) with the lowest rate actually being recorded in London (2.3 per 1,000 population). This could reflect regional differences in the rates of sexual offences, but could also reflect regional differences in the reporting of sexual offences to the police and their subsequent handling of offences.

Area

Rate of Sexual Offences Per 1,000 Population

England & Wales

2.9 per 1,000 population

Yorkshire & The Humber

3.2 per 1,000 population

North East

3.1 per 1,000 population

North West

2.9 per 1,000 population

East Midlands

2.8 per 1,000 population

South East

2.7 per 1,000 population

East

2.7 per 1,000 population

West Midlands

2.6 per 1,000 population

South West

2.4 per 1,000 population

London

2.3 per 1,000 population

Number of Perpetrators

Within the years ending March 2017 and March 2020 combines, the CSEW estimated that the majority of victims who experienced rape or sexual assault by penetration since the age of 16 years had been assaulted by a single perpetrator (66%), with 21% having been assaulted by two different perpetrators, 8% by three perpetrators and 5% by more than three perpetrators.

Number of Perpetrators

Percentage of Victims Who Were Assaulted

One

66%

Two

21%

Three

8%

More than Three

5%

Sex

Within this same time period it was found that the vast majority of victims who had experienced rape or sexual assault by penetration since they were 16 years old reported that the perpetrator was male 98% of the time and female in just 2% of offences. Nearly two-thirds of victims (64.9%) reported the perpetrator to be between the ages of 20 – 39 years old.

Perpetrator Characteristics

Sex of Victim: Male

Sex of Victim: Female

Sex of Victim: All

Male Aged Under 16

0.7%

0.6%

Male Aged 16 – 19

10.9%

18.5%

18.1%

Male Aged 20 – 39

54.7%

65.4%

64.9%

Male Aged 40 – 59

17.8%

13.5%

13.7%

Male Aged 60+

1%

1%

All Males

85.6%

99%

98.3%

 

Relation to Victim

It was found that women were more likely to know their perpetrator than men, with female victims who experienced sexual assault by rape or penetration since the age of 16 knowing the perpetrator 86% of the time compared with 60% of the time for men. Women were found most likely to be victimised by their partner or ex-partner (44%), closely followed by someone who was known to them (other than a parent of family member) (37%), which includes friends (12%) and dates (10%),

More than one-in-seven women (15%) reported being assaulted by a complete stranger that they didn’t know, whereas this was true for almost half of male victims (43%).

Sex

Partner/Ex %

Family Member %

Other Known %

Stranger %

Male

25%

3%

32%

43%

Female

45%

4%

37%

15%

Location of Crime

It was also found shockingly that for these time periods, the most common location for a rape or sexual assault by penetration to occur was in the victims own home, such was the case for 37% of respondents. This was followed by the perpetrators’ home (26%), and had taken place in parks, pubs, car parks or the street for 14% of victims.

Location

Men

Women

All

Own Home

21.7%

37.9%

37.1%

Offender’s Home

30.5%

25.8%

26%

Park/Other Open Public Space

10.2%

5%

5.2%

Pub/Club/Disco

7.7%

4.4%

4.5%

On the Street

< 1%

2.8%

2.8%

School/University

< 1%

3%

3%

Car Park

< 1%

1.1%

1.1%

Work

< 1%

< 1%

< 1%

Public Transport

< 1%

< 1%

< 1%

Somewhere Else

16.7%

19%

18.9%

Under the Influence

Victims of rape and sexual assault by penetration since the age of 16 were also asked whether they believed the perpetrator(s) was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and whether they were under the influence themselves.

Perpetrator Under Influence of Alcohol

Victim: Men

Victim: Women

Victim: All

Yes

32.9%

39.6%

39.3%

No

54.3%

47.7%

48%

Don’t Know/Can’t Remember

12.8%

12.7%

12.7%

In the most recent incident for victims, 39.3% of all victims reported that the perpetrator(s) were under the influence of alcohol, with 48% of all victims reporting their perpetrator wasn’t under the influence of alcohol and 12.7% claiming they don’t know or can’t remember.

Perpetrator Under Influence of Drugs

Victim: Men

Victim: Women

Victim: All

Yes

6.7%

7.8%

7.7%

No

61.8%

67%

66.8%

Don’t Know/Can’t Remember

31.4%

25.2%

25.5%

Once again, in the most recent incident for victims, 7.7% of all victims reported the perpetrator to be under the influence of drugs at the time of offence. According to these figures, perpetrators were almost 5 times more likely to be under the influence of alcohol than drugs.

Perpetrator Drugged Victim

Victim: Men

Victim: Women

Victim: All

Yes

9.2%

5%

5.2%

No

80.2%

87.2%

86.9%

Don’t Know/Can’t Remember

10.6%

7.8%

7.9%

Of all victims, 5% reported that they thought the perpetrator had drugged them during the incident. It was found that men were almost twice as likely to be drugged by the perpetrator (9.2%)  than women (5%).

It was also found that of victims who reported the perpetrator to be a complete stranger, the majority (64%) reported that they themselves were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, with almost half (49%) reporting that the perpetrator was also under the influence of alcohol and 14% said they thought they had been drugged.

 

Perp Under Influence of Alcohol

Perp: Partner/Ex

Perp: Family Member

Perp: Other Known

Prep: Stranger

Yes

29.9%

24.4%

47.2%

49.5%

No

61.5%

68.2%

41.5%

23.4%

Don’t Know/Can’t Remember

8.6%

7.4%

11.3%

27.1%

Perp Under Influence of Drugs

Perp: Partner/Ex

Perp: Family Member

Perp: Other Known

Prep: Stranger

Yes

9.3%

6.4%

8%

No

81.9%

81.9%

65.3%

27.3%

Don’t Know/Can’t Remember

8.8%

28.3%

64.7%

 

Perp Drugged Victim

Perp: Partner/Ex

Perp: Family Member

Perp: Other Known

Prep: Stranger

Yes

2.6%

10.4%

5%

14.1%

No

94.7%

84.6%

83.5%

72.2%

Don’t Know/Can’t Remember

2.7%

4.9%

11.6%

13.7%

 

Victim Use of Alcohol or Drugs

Perp: Partner/Ex

Perp: Family Member

Perp: Other Known

Prep: Stranger

Under Influence of Alcohol

18.2%

54%

63.9%

Under Influence of Drugs They Chose to Take

2.1%

0%

2.1%

2.3%

For victims who reported the perpetrator to be a partner/ex-partner, the percentages 18.2% of victims reported being under the influence of alcohol themselves while just under 30% reported the perpetrator to also be under the influence. Where the perpetrator was a family member, 10.4% of victims reported feeling that they were drugged.

Are Sexual Assault Crimes Reported?

Many victims of rape and sexual assault decide not to open up to anyone about their situation and experience for many reason. According to CSEW, more than 30% of all victims who had experienced rape or sexual assault (including attempts) since the age of 16 years decided NOT to report the incident to anyone at all.

According to the same data, men (71.5%) were ever so slightly more likely to tell someone they personally know about the incident than women (69.1%). Both men and women were more likely to tell a friend or neighbour (41.2) than their own family member or relative (32.6%). Surprisingly, of men who told someone, they were found to be three times more likely to tell a work colleague (13.4%) than women were (4.3%)

Only 28.5% of all victims told someone in an official position, with the most common choice for both men and women being health professionals (21.2% and 17% respectively) followed by the police (19.1% and 15.8% respectively).

Who Victim Told

Men

Women

All

Didn’t Tell Anyone

28.5%

30.9%

30.8%

Told Anyone

71.5%

69.1%

69.2%

Told Someone Known Personally

60.2%

59.9%

59.9%

Family/Relative

35.2%

32.5%

32.6%

Friend/Neighbour

39.2%

41.3%

41.2%

Work Colleague

13.4%

4.3%

4.7%

Told Someone In Official Position

35.9

28.1

28.5

Health Professional

21.2%

17%

17.2%

Police

19.1%

15.8%

16%

Lawyer/Solicitor/Legal Professional

4.1%

4%

Local Council Department

1.7%

1.7%

Other Government Agency

0.7%

0.7%

Told Someone In Official Position

33.8%

28.8%

29%

Counsellor/Therapist

24.3%

20%

20.2%

Victim Support

7%

6.4%

6.4%

Other Specialist Support Service

3.5%

4.6%

4.5%

Sexual Assault Referral Centre

3.4%

3.9%

3.8%

National Domestic Violence Helpline

1.9%

1.8%

Dedictaed Sexual Violence Helpline

1.2%

1.2%

Any Other Helpline

0.5%

0.7%

Told Someone Else/Other Organisation

9.5%

5.9%

6%

Many victims of rape and sexual offences feel the police aren’t able to help them or wouldn’t believe them if they decided to report the incident. It was found that of victims aged 16 – 59 years who had experienced rape or sexual assault since the age of 16, a staggering 84% decided not to tell the police along with 30.8% deciding not to tell anyone at all, with the leading reason behind this being that victims felt embarrassment about their situation, closely followed by 38% of victims reporting they felt the police wouldn’t be able to help them anyway.

An incredible 21.5% of all victims reported not telling police because they thought it was too trivial/not worth reporting. Rather surprisingly, just under 12% of victims also stated they didn’t tell the police as they didn’t wish for the perpetrator to get in trouble.

Why Not Tell the Police…

All Victims

Didn’t Tell The Police

84%

Embarrassment

40.1%

Didn’t Think They Could Help

38%

Thought It Would be Humiliating

33.7%

Didn’t Think They’d Believe Me

25.4%

Too Trivial/Not Worth Reporting

21.5%

Didn’t Want to go to Court

19.8%

Didn’t Think They Would Do Anything

19.6%

Didn’t Think The Police Would be Sympathetic

14.8%

Feared More Violence as a Result of Telling Police

13.4%

Didn’t Want the Person to be Punished

11.9%

Private/Family Matter/Not police Business

7.4%

Dislike/Fear of the Police

1.4%

Police Did Not Come When Called

0.6%

Some Other Reason

15.7%

Didn’t Tell Anyone

30.8%

What Can Men Do To Help Stop Sexual Violence?

While men and women can both be victims of rape and sexual assault, it’s disproportionately women who face the majority of sexual assault and rape. Not only do women experience a vastly disproportionate percentage of all sexual offences, but the majority of offences are indeed carried out by men.

While it’s certainly correct that it’s “not all men” committing these crimes, it’s on men to become better allies for women and help to fight against systemic violence, sexual harassment and assault by supporting women and promoting awareness among peers.

Just because women experience assault and rape more commonly than men do, that doesn’t make it a women’s issue to deal with – without men stepping up as allies and aiding the fight against sexual assault and rape, things may never change. While you may not realise, most of us participate in the culture that supports and encourages violence against women and girls in both small and large ways just by choosing to do nothing.

There are a number of different ways (both big and small) that we can work to end this violence against both men and women.

  • Educate yourself about sexual violence against both women and men; learn the facts and prevalence of these events.
  • Listen to and believe survivors
  • Participate in protest and petitions for tougher laws against perpetrators of sexual violence
  • Speak out about all forms of violence and abuse whether it’s against women or men.
  • Question gender roles and stereotypes
  • Respect your partner’s right to a different opinion
  • Speak out against the media’s portrayal of violence against women
  • Acknowledge that while it might not be all men, it’s MAINLY men committing these crimes.
  • Don’t allow gender stereotypes to define your belief of what it means to be a man
  • Stand up against other men who use violence against others
  • Don’t patronise sex workers
  • Get involved in movements against the rape and violence of women like “Men Can Stop Rape”.
  • Stop blaming the victim of sexual offences

Getting Help With Sexual Violence

If you’ve been affected by anything discussed within this article whether as an adult or a young person, it’s important for you to remember that you’re not alone and you aren’t to blame. Sexual violence is a crime regardless of who commits it or where and how it happened. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional, friend or family in order to seek help.

“Only around 15% of those who experience sexual violence report it to the police. Of those people that told someone that wasn’t the police, 40% stated embarrassment as a reason, 38% did not think the police could help and 34% thought it would be humiliating.”

If you don’t want to get the police involved, you don’t have to report the assault to the police. Don’t be afraid to take some time to think about what has happened to you and how you wish to proceed. However, we would strongly recommend considering medical help as soon as possible in order to check against sexual transmitted infections and potential unwanted pregnancy. 

If you do decide that you wish for the assault to be investigated, the sooner you have a forensic medical examination, the better. As traumatising as it can be, if you do wish to contact police, try not to wash or change clothes immediately after a sexual assault as this can destroy forensic evidence that could be vital if you decide to report the crime.

Some Other Reason

15.7%

Didn’t Tell Anyone

30.8%

Below you can find links to a number of websites, helplines and professional services that will be able to provide treatment and/or support and can likely refer you to another service if you require further help.

Your Local GP – Doctors or practice nurses from your local GP surgery will be able to provide treatment, support and access to further resources. Find your local GP here.

NHS 111NHS 111 is a 24/7 service available if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do.

Rape Crisis CentreRape Crisis England & Wales (RCEW) is the umbrella body for a network of independent Rape Crisis Centres providing specialist support and services for victims and survivors of sexual assault. RCEW is a feminist organisation that supports the work of Rape Crisis Centres across England and Wales | Find your nearest Rape Crisis Centre here.

The Survivor TrustThe Survivors Trust is the largest umbrella agency for specialist rape and sexual assault services in the UK and has been providing infrastructure support to members for over 15 years. Find one of 120 member organisations based in the UK & Ireland here.

NAPAC – The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) offers support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect. | Get in touch with someone at NAPAC.

Victim SupportVictim Support is an independent charity dedicated to supporting people affected by crime and traumatic incidents in England and Wales. They provide specialist services to help people cope and recover and to empower them to ensure their voices are heard individually and collectively at a local and national level. They also offer a range of free online tools and self-support resources.

Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) – Sexual Assault Referral Centres offer free and non-judgemental medical, practical and emotional care and advice provided by specially trained doctors, nurses and support workers. Services can include forensic examinations, sexual health services and counselling. Find a SARC in your area here.

Women Against RapeWomen Against Rape (WAR) is a grassroots multi-racial women’s group founded in 1976. Campaigning for justice, protection and compensation for all women and girls who have suffered sexual, domestic and/or racist violence and have won changes in the law such as making rape in marriage a crime.

SurvivorsUKSurvivorsUK was established as a service for male survivors, to cater for people not provided for by another service. Welcoming anyone who identifies as male, trans, non-binary, has identified as male in the past, or anyone who feels that they’re a fit for them.

KidscapeKidscape provides practical support, training, and advice to challenge bullying and protect young lives.

NSPCCNSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity and has been looking out for children for over 130 years, doing everything to protect children and prevent abuse.

YoungMindsYoungMinds is one of the UK’s leading charities fighting for children and young people’s mental health.

HourglassHourglass is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to ending the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people in the UK.

MencapMencap is a leading voice of learning disability, working to improve the lives of people with a learning disability, offering services from round-the-clock care to helping report a crime to police.

RespondRespond is a national charity providing therapy and specialist support services to people with learning disabilities, autism or both who have experienced abuse, violence or trauma.

The HavensThe Havens was created to see anyone in London who has been raped, or sexually assaulted within the past 12 months; men, women, young people and children of all ages. Providing initial assessments, forensic medical examinations (where required) as well as follow-up care such as counselling, tests and treatments. If you were assaulted more than 12 months ago, The Havens will provide information on other organisations that can help you.

Men’s Advice LineMen’s Advice Line aims to increase the safety of men experiencing domestic abuse (and the safety of any children) by providing confidential support.

Women’s AidWomen’s Aid aims to ensure women are believed, know abuse isn’t their fault and that their experiences have been understood. Along with their supporters, Women’s Aid calls on the government to tackle the causes and consequences of domestic abuse until women and children are safe.

There are plenty of services and support networks out there, many of which are run by specialists and other survivors who know what it’s like to deal with sexual assault. While it’s not easy, reach out to a friend, family member or specialist for help if you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse or assault.

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