Worcester News – Wednesday 7th October 2015
MEN are being encouraged to speak out about their experience with rape and sexual abuse in Worcestershire.
On Monday, West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WMRSASC) launched its counselling service for men and children aged 11 and above.
The service formed in 1986 to offer support to female survivors of rape and sexual violence, but since 2013 the service started supporting men and children as well as women through the criminal justice process with their Independent Sexual Violence Advisors.
But following successful fundraising and securing funds from the Home Office and Lloyds Bank, WMRSASC can now offer free counselling to men and children.
The charity’s chief executive officer, Jocelyn Anderson, said it had been a dream of the charity for a number of years.
“It hasn’t been that we don’t want to offer the service to men and children, it’s purely that we haven’t had the money to do it. We believe that all survivors regardless of gender, age, race, religion or anything else deserve support.”
The launch took place at the Bank House hotel in Bransford, and around 100 people gathered to hear about the service and from speakers.
Supporters heard how one in 20 children in the UK are sexually abused, and one in eight men around the country will experience a sexual assault in their lifetime.
Geese Theatre Company portrayed the true story of one service user, who had been abused by his step-father for many years, before counselling helped him start to move on.
Duncan Craig, the chief executive of Survivors Manchester, gave a talk on his work with male survivors and about his own experience of sexual abuse and rape.
The conference also heard from Dianne Whitfield, co-chairman of Rape Crisis England and Wales.
She said: “I am so pleased to hear about the launch of the new service. To keep a service like this going at all in the current economic climate is not easy and needs support.”
To enquire about counselling, call 01905 724514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.