What is Male Sexual Abuse?

SurvivorsUK define male sexual abuse as any unwanted or non-consensual sexual act performed against a man or boy at any time in his life.

Who can it happen to?

Quite simply, it can happen to anyone.  It could have happened while you were a child or teenager, or as an adult.

How often does it happen?

Much more often than people think.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (2007) tell us that at any given time 11% of boys under 16 are victims of some form of sexual abuse.

At current population, that’s over 700,000 victims. This indicates that there are in excess of 2 million adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the UK.

The same reports tell us that in adulthood, 3.5% of men have been sexually assaulted, constituting 905,000 assaults and 120,000 rapes.

That’s over a million sexual assaults against adult men.  Over 1,000 men report being raped to the police every year and the police and government admit this is likely to be less than 10% of the real number.

The Office for National Statistics 2013 report “An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales” states that there were 72,000 sexual assaults against men in the preceding 12 months.

Are there female abusers?

Yes.  Recent research (American, Canadian and Australian) all indicate that up to 25% of sexual abusers of all children are female.  The same studies tell us that women are responsible for about 40% of sexual abuse of boys.

Further reading

Survivors deal with many misconceptions about sexual abuse – this page will help to dispel some of the myths.

If you would like to know more about the law and sexual abuse, read our page on the subject.

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