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Safeline's Dedicated Male Helpline Report

Safeline’s recent report on our dedicated Male Helpline indicates that more male survivors are coming forward to access support.

Male sexual abuse and rape is prevalent in all of our communities. It is estimated that approximately 5 million men in the UK have been sexually abused or raped as children and its effects are devastating and long lasting.

Several studies have identified that there are significant barriers that prevent male survivors of sexual abuse and rape from disclosing their abuse and seeking support. Under-reporting of abuse, additional delay to seeking help and a lack of specialist services are issues for male survivors.

The Ministry of Justice have recognized these barriers and as part of its plan to provide more specialist services specifically tailored to male survivors, they decided to pilot the first ever dedicated National Male Helpline service in England.

Safeline, were selected to operate the pilot which was launched 13th October 2015. The primary objectives of the helpline were to encourage greater reporting of male sexual abuse and provide easy and effective access to support for male survivors and their partners, families and friends.

The helpline has now been operating for 8 months and the data captured so far clearly indicates that a significant amount of male survivors are now reporting their abuse and accessing the support they need to help them recover. Key developments from the last 8 months include:

  • Significant numbers of male survivors are now contacting the helpline to disclose their abuse and seek help. There have been 2,030 contacts, 83% of all contacts are male and 95% of those are survivors
  • Our helpline advisors are having a positive impact on callers; male survivors feel cared for, understood and listened to. 50% of all contacts are from repeat callers because they trust us
  • Male survivors prefer disclosing their abuse by phone, they can be listened to and the anonymity and invisibility makes them feel safe. 80% of all contacts now use phone rather than email, instant messaging or text
  • The helpline has dramatically improved access to support. It can be accessed anywhere in the country, in anyway and at any time. Individuals from every PCC area have used it, many of which told us they had previously no access to local services; 40% of contacts are from people who have a disability, many of which were housebound
  • All age groups are seeking help concerning abuse that might go back decades, 86% of clients are people aged 31 years and above, many have told us that they now have access to support that was previously not there
  • Awareness of the helpline is growing, 50% of all referrals now come from other professional organizations and 30% from internet searches. Safeline is orchestrating effective support between survivors and other professional organisations.
  • Over 80% of people are accessing the helpline for immediate emotional support which is keeping them safe. 13% are receiving information and advice and 7% are being referred to counselling to help them recover from their abuse
  • 398 survivors have told us about historic abuse and 23 cases have spoken about recent abuse
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