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Survivors West Yorkshire launches campaign for male victims of sexual violence

Survivors West Yorkshire (SWY) has launched a month-long advertising campaign aimed at male survivors of sexual violence and those who support them, both personally and professionally.

The multi-channel campaign is running Yorkshire-wide across TV, radio, bus and billboard advertising, making it the largest-ever UK campaign launched for male victims of sexual violence.

The campaign coincides with the 20th anniversary of SWY’s first public awareness campaign, which ran for three days in September 2003. This year, the focus will continue to be on the often-ignored or diminished needs of male victims of sexual crime.

Key messaging will revolve around reassuring victims that they are not alone. The adverts, targeted at men aged 16 and over, will also point towards the resources and support that are available online via the ‘Ben’s Place Project’, and the national sexual violence survivors support 24/7 freephone support line.

The campaign will aim to challenge the stigma and stereotypes associated with male victims of sexual violence. It will also encourage survivors to seek help. By bringing male survivors into the wider community focus, the adverts will provide much-needed reinforcement that resources and support services are available.

SWY also welcomes the recent publication of a scoping report, commissioned by Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, which will commence the process of co-designing, with male survivors, a new and progressive strategy to actively support their needs. This strategy will run in parallel with the current national and local VAWG strategies (Violence Against Women and Girls).

Robert Balfour, founder/CEO at Survivors West Yorkshire said: “We know that male survivors of sexual violence are often reluctant to come forward, but this can have a devastating impact on their lives and recovery. Therefore, this campaign is about breaking down the barriers that might prevent men from getting the help they need.

Our wider ambition is to send a clear and hopeful message to survivors that they are not alone. We hope to reinforce that they are far more than their sexual violence experience. Recovery growth is very possible.”

The campaign is supported by a collaboration of funders and is being delivered with the help of leading media agencies, Emporia Marketing and Bauer Media. The ads will run across Yorkshire for a month and are targeted at males aged 16 +.

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