Charly is one of the UK’s leading dating industry experts. The Founder and CEO of The Dating Awards, Charly runs annual awards ceremonies in London, Amsterdam and New York. Charly is also eHarmony’s resident Agony Aunt, and runs a Dating Expert Academy. This year she is launching a club to support female entrepreneurs. Charly entered the dating space writing a blog about her dating experience – 30 Dates. The blog went viral, and led to a journalism role at the Guardian. Charly then went on to work as Global Head of Dating at Time Out magazine.
Charly first became award of Survivors Manchester when she interviewed Duncan about the Hollyoaks storyline he was advising on. In the summer of 2016 she raised over £2300 for the charity cycling 1000 miles, from Land’s End to John O’Groats
Why did you decide to take up an Ambassador post in Survivors Manchester?
When I first met Duncan, I was just so impressed by him, and all he had achieved. I have interviewed many people, and studied at Cambridge University, yet I can honestly say Duncan was one of the most interesting, intelligent and inspiring people I have ever met. What was meant to be a 45 minute chat turned into a 4 hour lunch, and we stayed in touch ever since. Last year, when I decided to cycle Land’s End to John O’Groats for charity, Survivors Manchester seemed like to obvious choice, because I know how much ground-breaking work Duncan and his team do. The more I promoted the charity, and the more times friends replied ‘I didn’t realise male rape was a thing’ or ‘I’ve never heard of charities like this’, the more I wanted to do to promote both the charity and cause. I was genuinely honoured to be asked to be SM’s first female ambassador. I think it is so important that women support the charity, because while the direct victims are male, women are also affected by these crimes. The victims are our brothers, fathers, sons and friends, and we need to stand by them to break the silence which surrounds male rape.
What would you like to see Survivors Manchester do in the next 3 years?
I would love for Survivors Manchester, and the other male rape charities to become household names. Abuse and rape need to be spoken about more. As a society we need to tackle the stigma and silence which surrounds the crimes, because it prevents victims from seeking help and in turn helps the perpetrators get away with awful, life-changing crimes. Personally, using my Ambassador role in conjunction with my work in dating, I want to ensure that messages about date rape are properly communicated, both inside and outside of the dating industry.
Do you have a message for the men of Greater Manchester?
If something has happened to you, that you don’t feel you can speak about with your friends and family, please come and talk about it with Survivors Manchester. If you have been a victim of rape or abuse, it is not your fault, and it will not define you. You are not alone.
You can follow Charly on Twitter at @leagueofcharly