Herts police launch campaign for male rape victims to come forward

PUBLISHED: 17:40 19 August 2013

Rape victims are being asked to come forward. Credit: Sukran Sahin

Rape victims are being asked to come forward. Credit: Sukran Sahin

Archant

MALE rape victims are being asked not to suffer in silence, as part of a police operation which launched today (Monday).

Herts Constabulary launched a campaign this week encouraging victims to access the specialist support that exists for them.

The campaign, called Operation Fortitude, is being run by the county’s community safety unit – which brings together professionals from the police and county council – and will see posters put up across the county and business cards available to take away.

They will be distributed in venues such as doctors’ surgeries, sexual health clinics, sports clubs and other public areas.

The force wants to get the message out there that sexual assault can happen to anyone, whether they are gay, straight, transgender, sober or intoxicated.

It said that men often find it very difficult to report sex crimes, but one in nine will be a victim at some point in their lives.

“Acknowledging that it is often very difficult and always very personal for male victims to report serious sexual offences to police,” said Detective Inspector Tom Leeks, from Hertfordshire’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team.

“I want to do all I can to encourage male victims to speak with us and offer them a choice of options.

“Our officers are specially trained to offer support towards male victims. We take this sort of offence extremely seriously and will do everything in our power to assist victims and bring offenders to justice.”

Any victim of sexual assault can call police either via 999 or 101 if the perpetrator has gone, or if it is an offence which happened a day or more ago.

Those who would prefer not to make direct contact with police can call Hertfordshire’s Sunflower Centre on 0808 1784448, or visit www.hertssunflower.org.uk

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