We know how difficult it can be for men to talk about being raped or sexually assaulted.

Rape and sexual assault has no social boundaries and impacts on everyone in society and can happen anywhere and to anyone.

Men can also be victims of rape and sexual assault and the effects on them are just as devastating.

A man who is trying to come to terms with sexual assault can feel like there is nowhere to turn as it is often not openly talked about, it can be helpful to talk to our crisis workers about your concerns, fears or worries you may have.

All Calls are Confidential – Call The Bridgeway on 0808 118 6432

Male sexual assault is when a man has been forced to take part in any sexual act with another man or woman that they did not consent to, even if they did not resist or fight back at the time of the incident.

Males can be victims of rape or sexual assault at any age. It could have happened to a male victim as a child, teenager or as an adult.

It is not unusual for someone to freeze during rape, due to shock or fear for their own life. It is a common response to a traumatic or threatening situation in humans.

3 in 20 men are affected by sexual violence. Sexual Violence can be physical, mental, coercive or manipulative. Sexual violence can involve women as well as men as the perpetrators.

Sexual assault and rape can happen to anyone, of any gender, sexuality, age or background. Being raped or sexually assaulted will not change your sexuality so that you now become gay or become straight.

People who commit sexual assault can be men or women and they can be straight or gay.

Men can be victims of sexual attack regardless of their sexual orientation. And while the attacker is more often male, men can be and are sexually assaulted by women. For many attackers, the most significant thing is that they are taking control of the victim, expressing anger or seeking to hurt someone – albeit through a forced sexual act. If you have been a victim of this kind of crime you may naturally start to think about issues of sexuality. You may wonder if the attacker was gay, straight or bisexual. You may also worry about whether or not it has implications for your own sexuality. Some men are particularly upset because they may have become physically aroused during the attack and worry about what this could mean. But if this has happened to you, you should remember that this is likely to have been a purely physical reaction, like a reflex, over which you may have no control.

At The Bridgeway, we listen, believe and do not judge. No-one has the right to have sexual contact with another person against their will or when they are unable to give consent because they have taken alcohol or drugs.

Call The Bridgeway and we can discuss the risk with you, based on your specific situation. We can arrange a sexual health screening and may give you medication directly.

Injuries to the anus heal very quickly and it is unlikely that the assault will have caused any lasting physical damage. If you are sore it is a good idea to get checked out. This can be done at The Bridgeway, by your GP or at a sexual health clinic.

If you have been sexually assaulted recently and tell the police what has happened to you, they will offer to bring you to The Bridgeway for a forensic medical examination.

However, you can also come and have an examination without telling the police. The Bridgeway will store your samples in case you decide later that you do want to make a report.

When you arrive at The Bridgeway you’ll be met by a member of our specialist team. While you are here, they will make sure that you understand everything that is going on and ensure that the examination only happens if you want it to.

They will listen very carefully to what you say to them and will also notice what influence other people might be having on your decisions. You can change your mind about being examined at any time, including during the examination.

We know how important it is for you to feel in control of what happens to your body and we will do everything possible to support you in that.

When you are comfortable, a nurse or doctor will examine you to check that you are ok and look for DNA to support your case if you decide to report to the police. They will also talk to you about your sexual health.

It is entirely your decision if you want to make a report to the police or not.

You can call The Bridgeway for medical care and emotional support now, then decide about talking to police later.

You can come to The Bridgeway for a forensic medical examination by a specialist nurse or doctor. They will check you are ok and take samples which The Bridgeway can store in case you decide later that you want to speak to the police about what has happened to you.

You can also bring clothes bedding or other items for us to store if you think there may be DNA evidence on them.

If you do not feel able to speak to the police about what has happened to you, it is possible to give them information anonymously. A member of our specialist team will support you to create a statement and we can give that information to the police without providing them with any of your personal details.

Sometimes the police call us after receiving this kind of information and ask us to contact you to see if you would be willing to speak to them informally. We will never pressure you into this, but in the past, people have told us that this has helped them to have confidence that they will be believed and taken seriously. They have then decided to make an official report to the police.

See our section on Anonymous Reporting for more information.

We will offer to arrange support from an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser. If you decide to make a report to the police, they will advocate for you while your case is investigated and make sure that you receive regular updates from the police. They will also make sure that you are well supported if your case goes to court.

An Independent Sexual Violence Adviser can also help with practical things. They might contact an employer on your behalf, help you to arrange meetings to sort out benefits or housing, or simply be someone to call if something related to your experience is worrying you.