Norwich charity welcomes fund to help male victims of rape and sexual abuse

Mike Souter at Norwich Crown Court.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY Mike Souter at Norwich Crown Court. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Thursday, February 13, 2014
10:59 PM

A Norwich charity which supports men who have experienced sexual abuse or violence has welcomed an announcement that male victims of rape and sexual violence are to benefit from a £500,000 fund to help offer support.

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The government has today committed the amount to provide services, like advice and counselling, to help male victims who previously have not been able to receive such support and encourage them to come forward after experiencing such a crime.

It is the first dedicated fund designed to specifically meet the needs of male victims and has been seen as a positive move by the Norwich-based Sue Lambert Trust which helps both male and female victims of rape and sexual assault across Norfolk.

Men account for 25% of the 133 people currently being offered support in the county by the charity which made the conscious decision to support men as well as women when it was formed in 2007.

Mette Ohrvik, chief executive, said: “We very much welcome this news which goes some way to recognising the needs of men who are living with the impact of childhood sexual abuse and/or sexual violence.

“We also hope that growing awareness and understanding will lead to not only more men feeling able to come forward, but also to there being more resources available to deliver more services for male survivors nationally.”

She said high-profile court cases, like disgraced former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Mike Souter, pictured, who was jailed after being found guilty of a string of historic sexual offences against young boys, had led to an increasing awareness that men can be equally affected by this and need support.

Souter, 60, of Low Bungay Road, Loddon, was sentenced to 22 years in prison last October after he was found guilty of 19 counts of historic child sex abuse against seven different boys aged between 11 and 16, between 1979 and 1999.

Norfolk police said media reports of high- profile cases might have helped contribute to a 33.3% increase in reporting, year to date, right across all categories of sexual offending.

Figures released today by police show that since April they have received 33 reports of male rape compared to 18 over the same period the year before.

Have you got a crime story? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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