Service Director Blog: June 2013

18.06.13 | Blog

Duncan Craig - Survivors ManchesterCan I ask you why do you think all these people are coming forward now after all these years? Don’t you think some people might just be looking for compensation? Don’t you think these celebrities that have been questioned should get anonymity? Why didn’t they speak about before now?
These are just some of the questions that I’ve been asked over the last couple of months, along with a few more that made my blood boil. I understand that it’s an emotive subject (maybe more so for people like me who are professionally involved in the field of sexual abuse or, like me too, those that have personal experience of being abused) and i’m all for engaging in conversations and debating issues, but the way that many of the questions seem to have a leaning towards some kind of victim blame makes me very uncomfortable.
Why can’t the media focus on rallying support for the victims and the small charities and voluntary groups that are often the main providers of support services? Why doesn’t someone want to write an article on how hard it is for organisations like Survivors Manchester to be heard by commissioners? Why doesn’t someone want to make a documentary that centres on the support offered to male victims of sexual abuse and rape? Why don’t many politician’s want to know about this subject?
However, maybe there is a small sea change? In the past few days, sentencing seems to have become the story – in fact as I write this blog, the Attorney General has agreed to undertake a review of the 15 months issued to paedophile Stuart Hall. Although I must admit, I am yet to see some healthy debate (rather than sensational knee-jerk reactions), but we can all hope.
I’ve recently done a few different press pieces, promoting our wonderful organisation and to try and keep the issue of boys and men as victims/survivors on the agenda and not to be lost in the VAWAG (Violence Against Women And Girls) work. It means I end up talking about my past and what happened to me during the abuse and rape I suffered, which as well as being tough sometimes, is quite cathartic and empowering… it’s breaking the silence!
And this is something we’re continuing to do as an organisation.
Helping the current team of myself, John, and Tom, to aid the silence being broken is Daniel, our Project Support Worker and newest member of the team. Welcome to Daniel from me and the board. I’m also looking at how we can become a better Volunteer Involving Organisation (VIO) which has been partly inspired by listening to a number of different speakers at a recent meeting with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and hearing about volunteering through Volunteer Centre Manchester and Community and Voluntary Action Tameside. We’ve a few fantastic volunteers already who will be helping us shape the delivery of services, including our new telephone helpline.
The team have a tonne of work to do over the next few months to input all our data in our new outcomes measure, CORS, to help us evidence our activity and worth. Then I have the task of writing bids and trying to get money to sustain this level or service, let alone develop it further.
Up to now we’ve had 21 more referrals to date since January 2013 than the same time period in 2012, and its getting busier and busier. That’s great as it means more people coming forward for support, but also means that we are needed more than ever and need funds more than ever. If anyone happens to know any millionaires that fancy putting a few quid our way to support the delivery of services, then please do get in touch on email
I think that’s two chances… FAT and NO
So we’ll just have to carry on evidencing how much we’re saving the NHS, local councils, the Police, etc (along with how much we’re helping boys and men) and i’ll just have to carry on looking for the next funding avenue.
So until August, have a wonderful Summer folks and stay safe.
Duncan Craig
Service Director


supporting male survivors of sexual abuse and rape

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