My name’s Trevor, and I’m the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) at Survivors Manchester. My work involves supporting men and boys who have experienced sexual violence, both in childhood and as adults, who are weighting up their options regarding reporting to the police.
As a survivor of sexual abuse myself, I recognise that considering reporting to the police can be an incredibly difficult process, often involving tough questions and demanding a period of personal reflection that can be as painful as it is cathartic.
There are many reasons men and boys come forward to report: from a sense of personal justice, to a desire to safeguard future victims. Equally, there are as many reasons for men and boys not to report, whether it be the impact on family and loved ones, or trepidation around working with the police. The reasons and potential consequences for an individual considering reporting to the police are extremely varied, and more importantly, they are all valid.
There is often an expectation that those who have experienced sexual violence should report to the police as soon as possible. The feelings of frustration from people around us should we delay or choose not to report can often be palpable and extremely damaging to those who are dealing with the aftermath of trauma.
As a man, and as someone who chose not to report to the police, I am here today to tell you that NO ONE has the right to tell you what to do with the knowledge of what you have experienced.
It takes an astounding amount of bravery and strength to break the silence of abuse, irrespective of who you confide in. The very essence of processing what you have experienced and regaining power and control is what matters here – ABOVE AND BEYOND the opinions of others. Whatever decision you make, your main focus and priority has to be whatever will assist you to heal and help you continue on YOUR personal journey to RECOVERY.
What is paramount here is that you are supported in whatever way best meets your needs…that you are given the correct information, advice and guidance about the options available to you so that you can make the RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU. For some men, this involves telling the police. For others, this just isn’t what’s right for them – and that’s okay.
Reporting to the police isn’t your only option. Survivors Manchester have a range of counselling, psychotherapy and emotional support services available to meet your specific needs. You can choose to opt into both clinical and ISVA support; focus on one service only; or choose not to access support at all. All are totally valid choices. Me and the team at are here to help you identify what route is best for you.
An emphasis on recognising and supporting an individual, no matter what their choice, is at the very core of the what I do with the amazing men and boys that I work with. I am incredibly proud of the lads that have come forward to speak their truth and break their silence. I am also incredibly proud of the dedicated team that I work with. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I wish Survivors Manchester had been around when I was first dealing with what happened to me. I tried to handle it on my own and it took me to breaking point. Dealing with it all on my own ended with me trying to take my own life. I’m still recovering to this day. I’m definitely a work in progress, put it that way! I feel my working life is contributing to my continuing recovery by allowing me to take a negative experience and use it to help others.
So my message for any lads out there is simple – you don’t have to go through this alone. We’re here to listen. We’re here to support, and we’re here to help. We may not have walked in your shoes, but we’ve all walked a similar path, be it directly or indirectly. Being a victim of sexual violence does not define you as person; being a SURVIVOR does.
If you feel you need any advice and support, or are considering reporting to the police, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you and help in any way I can. You can reach me on the support line on 0161 236 2182 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading this and remember UK Says No More!