It’s a crime known to be under-reported, but this week Beds Police are raising awareness of male rape as part of Men’s Health Week.
In the last year to 31 May, 16.8 per cent of all serious sexual offences reported to Bedfordshire Police involved a male victim – amounting to 117 cases.
Of these, 27 were rapes committed against men.
Detective Inspector Jenni McIntyre-Smith said: “We have come a long way in debunking many of the common myths about rape and serious sexual offences – however, there is still a lot that needs to change.
“There is unfortunately a mindset in which people think men cannot be a victim of rape or serious sexual assault – that they are only the perpetrators.
“We know that these crimes exist between same-sex couples and indeed as male-on-male stranger attacks. Women too can be responsible for serious sexual assaults against men.
“It is important that men understand this and don’t feel ashamed. No victim should ever feel that way, no matter what their age, gender or social background.”
With Men’s Health Week leading to Father’s Day this Sunday (21 June), Bedfordshire Police is raising awareness of male-oriented crimes and encouraging those who have been victims to come forward.
Rape and sexual assault remain under-reported crimes by victims of all profiles.
DI McIntyre-Smith added: “We take all reports of rape and sexual assault extremely seriously and will do all in our power to bring offenders to justice.
“Alongside this work, we also provide individually-tailored support and guidance for male and female victims, through Bedfordshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre and the force-commissioned Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) service.
“In order to give victims this care and advice, and to help get those responsible off the streets, we need them to have faith in us and report what has happened.”
Survivors UK is a support charity for men who have been victims of any type of sexual violence.
Find out more by visiting www.survivorsuk.org, calling 020 3598 3898 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
<If you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault, you can report the incident to Bedfordshire Police on 101 or alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
<Always call 999 if a crime is in progress or you are in immediate danger.