SMS service for male abuse victims goes live

A National Helpline for victims of rape and sexual abuse has just opened a new SMS counselling service, to reach men who don’t yet feel ready to talk.

Safeline’s ‘5 Million Men’ helpline has been rolled out to try and help the UK’s five million male survivors of rape and sexual abuse. It’s hoped the scheme could be adopted by other support groups to help engage with victims – especially those who don’t yet want to speak to a person over the phone about their ordeal.

The new campaign, which has been funded by the Ministry of Justice, will provide a team of specifically trained advisers to help victims who get in touch. The counsellors won’t just speak to people on the phone and via SMS, but also on email and instant message chat. They will help deal with the feelings that typically follow abuse cases, such as anger, shame, guilt, numbness, flashbacks and physical or mental ill health.

Commenting at the opening of the new service, Safeline CEO, Neil Henderson, wrote on “One in six men have experienced rape or sexual abuse, that’s five million men in the UK.

“It’s a shocking statistic and at Safeline we are working hard to support male survivors, their families, partners and friends to prevent sexual abuse from happening.”