For the first time since starting in 1986, SurvivorsUK has enrolled it’s very own Outreach & Engagement Officer tasked with raising awareness for SurvivorsUK services, as well as educating communities about male rape and sexual violence.

Since October 2018, Sam has been all over London (and outside!), talking to organisations, institutions and all individuals about the topic to create social change around combatting sexual violence for all genders. We are committed to being completely open and transparent about what’s going on at SurvivorsUK, so we thought we would share a little bit about this project, some examples of places Sam has been and what he has been talking about!

 
 
Sam at Brunel University

 
 
 
 
Universities

One of the first places Sam started his outreach & engagement responsibilities was with Universities. Recently graduating himself, he knew how important it is to be educated about sexual violence as well as learning how to help survivors alongside a curriculum. Sam has worked with many different societies, student support teams, student unions and residential advisors ranging from lectures, to workshops, to hosting stalls, to rolling out campaigns! So far, Sam has visited 22 Universities (and counting).
 
 
Arsenal

Kicking off 2019 to a great start, Sam delivered training sessions to the Arsenal Football Club Academy and senior safeguarding team, speaking about the current statistics with male rape and sexual abuse, as well as how this has an impact on mental health. Sam also spoke about how to safely refer to SurvivorsUK and promote our services amongst the entire club. From this, the team has since promoted our services to other premiere league teams and their academies!

 
 
 
 
Sam at Arsenal stadium- London
 
 
Mimi on a mission_poster

 
 
 
 
BBC

Ensuring that male sexual violence is a conversation that is represented in the media is also important. Earlier this year, Sam attended a launch of a BBC documentary that covered sexual education and incorporated ideas around consent. This gave us the chance to speak to producers and other media influencers about how they can safely raise the topic of male survivors and sexual violence in the media, as well as how they can promote the services of SurvivorsUK. 
 
 
Social events

We are always keen and looking to make the topic of male sexual violence accessible for people – for so long it has been a topic that people are worried to talk about (or don’t know how to talk about!) We teamed up with the London Lads, a gay and bisexual men’s social group, to host a social event in three Soho bars in support of our charity. Every single person who attended met with at least one of our staff to have the opportunity to ask questions as well as hear more about our services. We wanted to show people that it’s OK to speak about sexual violence where they feel comfortable, and that it should never be a topic that people have to button up about.
 
London lads event

 
 
 
Facebook

Most recently, SurvivorsUK were invited to all three of Facebook’s London headquarters. While we were there, we spoke to sites with over 2000 members of staff letting them know about what they could do (organisationally and individually) to support survivors of all genders. Alongside providing information, we encouraged people to donate in exchange for some of our #WeSeeYou pins which show that they are not “buttoning up” about the topic of male sexual abuse and assault anymore. Awareness is key for our services, and awareness should not just be limited to one-to-one conversations. If we are to further a movement, we need people to feel empowered to start a conversation with other people as well.

 
 
 
Facebook stall
 
 
Facebook stall

 
 
 
Toolkit

Last but not least, developing material that we can send/give out to events that provide more information on male sexual violence is part of Sam’s role.

We know that we need to build supportive communities where those closest to survivors know how to give their best forms of support, so we developed a “supporting a survivor toolkit” based on a blog that Sam wrote!

Often, we all already have the tools that can help survivors with speaking about sexual assault and abuse, but sometimes we need to be reminded of how to use them.

 

The SurvivorsUK team are always looking to build and support communities that allow survivors of all genders come forward and have access to the support they may need. We think that the first step for this is having awareness and being educated about the topic of male sexual violence, and what we can all do to help combat it. We are doing everything we can to do to promote this, and we are always keen to develop more partnerships to have greater presence in more places!

If you have any events that you would like SurvivorsUK to attend (or have material sent out to), please do get in touch at [email protected]

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