Reported sex offences against males in England and Wales leaps 200% in just 10 years

Former Spurs and Liverpool footballer Paul Stewart who said he was a victim of sexual abuse (Rex)

Reports of sexual offences against men and boys have risen by more than 200% in the past decade, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The number of offences reported in England and Wales rose from 3,819 to 12,130 between 2007 and 2017, reported the ONS.

The huge rise comes after experts said many offences against men go unreported.

But in the wake of a number high-profile sexual abuse cases, more men are willing to report what has happened.

Andy Connolly, from Survivors UK, said male victims were finally beginning to feel they would be believed but there was still a ‘massive wall of silence’.

‘We do know of men who come forward and they just meet comments like ‘men can’t get raped, they can’t be sexually abused’ and are treated with disbelief that it is even a thing that happens to men,’ said Mr Connolly, chief executive of male rape and sexual abuse charity Survivors UK, said.

Mr Connolly said that research by Survivors UK had found the average time it takes for a victim to come forward is 26 years.

Figures show that reports of sexual assaults against males increased 183% to 7,610 and rape reports rose almost 300% to 4,520 in the time period.

Harvey Weinsten scandal may have prompted more people to come forward to report abuse (Rex)

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In West Yorkshire, the Blast Project said more than 80 boys and young men had been referred to their service in the past 12 months because they were either being sexually exploited or at risk of being abused, reported the BBC.

Det Supt Darren Minton, of the West Yorkshire Police Safeguarding Central Governance Unit, said the force had invested ‘heavily’ in training around the issue.

‘Historically, perhaps, we did not recognise the signs, certainly of male victims,’ he said.

‘[But] we have come a long way…and anyone wanting to come forward will be listened to and dealt with in a non-judgemental way and, most importantly, will be believed.’

He added that he believed factors including the Jimmy Savile and football abuse scandals in the UK – where players including former Spurs star Paul Stewart said he was a victim – and even the allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had led to an increase in reports.

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