Sexual violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, social class or sexuality.
IDAS recognises that many men and boys have experienced sexual assault, rape or sexual abuse. Our ISVAs are trained professionals who can offer you support with recovering from what has happened to you. We can support you to move on with better emotional and physical wellbeing and can advocate for you and help you to take control back of your life.
Men we support tell us that they felt unable to come forward to speak about what happened to them. They feel that they “shouldn’t” have been raped and that they should have been “man enough” to fight the attacker. Some men think that, if they were abused as a child, they too will become an abuser.
Men frequently question if it was rape or sexual assault if they got an erection during the assault. Erection and orgasm are a biological reaction to a physical stimulus, a little like sneezing if you sniff pepper even if you didn’t want to sneeze, so yes, it is still rape if you did not give explicit consent.
ISVAs have been trained to work with boys and men who have experienced sexual violence. They can provide independent support to help you make an informed decision whether to report what happened to the Police or whether to report anonymously if you prefer.
If you have reported to the Police or if you go on to report, an ISVA will support you through the process. They can also offer practical support, such as liaising with your GP, or Housing and sign post you to additional support services such as counselling.
If you are going through the Criminal Justice Process, an ISVA will support you with this. They will liaise with the Police and CPS on your behalf to get updates and help you to understand the process. They will support you through the trial, including arranging a visit to the court before the trial so you have a clearer idea of what will happen through the day.
An ISVA will make sure you are aware of your options when giving your evidence. There are special measures that can be put in place to support you whilst giving evidence. Your ISVA will liaise with the Witness Services, who will also support you at court. Following the trial, regardless of the outcome, you will be able to continue with support from the ISVA to help you understand what happened and help you to move on from the trauma.
If you are not going through the Criminal Justice Process your ISVA can offer a structured support plan where they will look at self-care techniques, such as mindfulness and journaling They will help you to understand the impact of trauma, and fear responses and how these can affect all your relationships.
Your ISVA will:
- tailor support to your individual needs
- provide accurate and impartial information to anyone who has experienced sexual violence
- provide emotional and practical support to meet your needs
- provide support before, during and after court
- act as a single point of contact for you
- work with you to ensure your safety and that of your dependants