3 May 2016

Men who have been victims of sexual assault and abuse are now able to receive practical support and free counselling in Sheffield for the first time.

The new service is part of Sheffield City Council’s new contract with the Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre to provide support to victims.

Police figures show an increase in the number of sexual offences carried out to males with seven assaults and five rapes carried out on men in Sheffield in 2015 – 16, compared to no recorded offences three years ago.

Joe Fowler, Director of Commissioning at Sheffield City Council, said: “It’s vital that victims of sexual assault are able to get the help and support they need, both men and women.

“Traditionally services have focused more on women victims. But more men are coming forward and it’s important that they are supported.

“Counselling is now available locally for both men and women. I’d urge anyone who has experienced sexual assault to get in touch so they can access this.”

Previously, men had to travel to Rotherham to access support and counselling.

Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre provide a free phone Helpline, Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) support and up to 20 free sessions of face to face counselling. It is a city based charity whose funding includes support from Sheffield City Council.

Meera Kulkarni, Manager of the Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre said: “It can be incredibly difficult for people to come forward when they’ve suffered sexual assault or abuse and victims often feel guilt or shame about what’s happened.

“We’re delighted we’re now able to see men as well as women. We know there’s a need for this in Sheffield.”
Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre offers a range of support to women and men who have experienced sexual assault and abuse at any time in their lives. It is funded by the council to offer this support to people aged 16 years or over.

Contact the free phone helpline on 0808 802 0013 for confidential support.

For more information visit www.sheffieldrapecrisis.org.uk.

Please note that the new service does not affect support for children who have been the victims of sexual assault and abuse as this is provided through the city’s paediatric Sexual Assault Referral Centre. This provides access to counselling for both boys and girls and is a specialist service in Sheffield.