We know how difficult it can be for men to talk about being raped or sexually assaulted. We understand that for a variety of reasons you may have chosen not to talk about it to anyone. You may have been living with it, keeping it a secret.
12,000 men are estimated to be raped or sexually assaulted each year in England and Wales.
This page looks to offer information and address concerns you may have about contacting police or an independent support organisation.
If you have any further questions at any time, you can contact police or The Bridge to talk about your options, 24/7. There are also a number of advice lines you can call. You will always be believed, and never judged.
Remember, whatever the situation – whatever your relationship with the person, wherever you were or whatever you were drinking or taking – you did not ask to be raped or sexually assaulted and it wasn’t your fault.
Making a report to police
No-one can decide what’s right for you, but if you do decide to make a report, police will do everything they can to make sure you receive the best possible care and support. Your welfare is always top priority, with specially trained officers working around the clock to offer advice and support.
Police have experienced officers who are trained to put you at ease, be open and honest, and minimise trauma. They will offer support for as long as you would like, even if you eventually decide not to support the police prosecution.
You do not have to make a decision to report what’s happened straight away. You have the option to call The Bridge for medical care and psychological support now, and decide about talking to the police later.
When you call The Bridge, anonymously if you prefer, a member of their specialist team will listen carefully to your experience and explain what choices you have. This includes saving evidence so you can report to the police now, or in the future – they can store samples for up to 7 years.
The Bridge also offer a free counselling service for you, and your friends or family.
For more information about the advice and support available from The Bridge, visit www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk/men
Questions about male rape and reporting
We want to talk openly about the concerns which may be holding people back from reporting rape and sexual assault, so that more men and women feel able to seek help and support.
If you have any further questions or worries, please get in touch with a support organisation or the police. They will listen carefully and offer advice to help you to get the support you choose. Everything you tell them will stay completely confidential.
I feel as if it’s my fault. I should have been able to stop it or fight them off
Forcing someone to take part in sexual activity against their will is about power, control and violence. It has nothing to do with sexual desire, love or passion. All sex without consent is rape and the victim is never to blame.
Rape and sexual assault only happens to gay men
Any man or boy can be sexually assaulted or raped, regardless of size, strength, appearance or sexual orientation. Being raped or sexually assaulted will not change your sexuality so that you now become gay or become straight.
People who commit sexual assault can be men or women and they can be straight or gay.
People will blame me because I was drinking or took drugs
Whatever the situation – whatever your relationship with the person, wherever you were or whatever you were drinking or taking – you did not ask to be raped or sexually assaulted and it wasn’t your fault.
What will happen if I call the police – will I be taken seriously?
Police take all reports of rape and sexual assault very seriously. You will be treated with respect and not judged. Above all, you will be believed.
Your welfare is top priority, with specially trained officers and staff working around the clock to offer advice and support.
Police also work alongside teams of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs). ISVAs work 1-2-1 with people who have experienced rape or sexual assault to provide advice and practical support throughout any police investigation, including if your case goes to court.
Will my report be kept confidential – who will know?
Police treat all reports in the strictest of confidence. Information will not be disclosed to family members or your employer, and will officers will be discreet and sensitive when contacting you with any updates about an investigation.
If the case is heard in court, the law protects you and gives you anonymity for the rest of your life. This means that no information, such as your name, address, where you work, who your family and friends are, can be published by the media or on social media.
All the support seems to be women who are raped by men. What services are available for me?
There are organisations that provide help and support specifically for men, as well as services which are available to both men and women. Visit our help and support page for more information.