Newsletter – December 2018

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Firstly, welcome to our first newsletter for all the members of the Male Survivors Partnership.

As you will know, the Male Survivors Partnership (MSP) is a consortium of male survivor organisations across the UK who have joined together to create better support for male survivors of unwanted sexual experiences.

The MSP and LimeCulture Community Interest Company launched the Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Survivors of Sexual Violence to improve the consistency of service provision across the UK and provide a framework and benchmark that can be used to develop and improve the quality of services to male survivors by recognising their specific needs.

Since launching the standards back in January, we have all been really busy building up the partnership and supporting LimeCulture with its brilliant work with the first cohort of service providers going through the accreditation process.

There’s been a lot going on, so please take the time to read this update.

The board

We wanted to formally introduce you to the board. It’s made up of a team of eight – sector leaders, academics, and survivors. Below is a brief introduction to each of them.

Neil Henderson – co-founder and chair

Neil is Chief Executive of Safeline, a specialist sexual abuse charity that helps prevent abuse and supports anyone affected by it.  He spent most of his career working for Royal Mail in various executive roles and he is now using his commercial and corporate governance experience to enable Safeline to effectively protect and support more people affected by sexual abuse. In 2014, Safeline supported 1,000 individuals, in 2017, that increased to 15,000.

Safeline operates the National Male Helpline and Online service which has transformed support for thousands of boys and men affected by sexual abuse.

Fiona Ellis – vice chair

Fiona founded Survivors in Transition(SiT) in 2009 to provide support to female survivors of childhood sexual abuse. SiT became a charity in 2011 and now supports men and women who have experienced Sexual Abuse, Violence and Exploitation in childhood.

SiT has grown from providing support to a handful of women once a week to working with hundreds of male and female survivors annually offering a range of services designed to meet individual need.

She is passionately committed to survivors’ rights and improving their access to specialist services. Fiona is also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Suffolk, and has worked with the University of Suffolk on a number of ground breaking research projects including, most recently, ‘I’ll be a survivor for the rest of my life’ in July 2018 which followed the publication of ‘Focus on Survivors: See Me, Hear Me, Believe Me’ by the University and the charity in 2015.

Martyn Sullivan – co-founder and treasurer

Martyn Sullivan has worked in the field of men and sexual abuse for over 20 years as a helpline worker, counsellor, trainer, and service manager.  Originally with Survivors UK in London and now with Mankind in Brighton & Hove, he has striven to ensure that the distinct therapeutic needs of male survivors are attended to.

In 2010/11 he was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to investigate male survivor service provision in Australia and Canada.  The findings of this were presented at the 2012 international Male Survivor conference in New York and brought about an international network of service providers.

With an earlier career as a Unit Trust Account in various large banks within the City of London, Martyn is well placed to take on the treasurer role of the newly formed MSP management board.

Duncan Craig – co-founder

Duncan is the founder and Chief Executive of Survivors Manchester, a third sector organisation offering therapeutic and advocacy support to boys and men affected by sexual abuse, rape, and sexual exploitation.

He began designing and developing Survivors Manchester’s services in 2009, when he identified a gap in support provision for boys and men, and continues to develop new services today, most recently across the male prison estate.

As a qualified and BACP Accredited trauma-informed psychotherapist, Duncan’s personal and professional experience of sexual violation has presented him with the opportunity to be involved in a number of national inquiries, projects and forums, including The Stern Review; the National Rape Working Group; and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner on the Child Sexual Exploitation in Groups and Gangs.

He has also consulted on a number of projects, including work with male sex workers; and provided input into various media outlets including BBC Crimewatch, Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff, C4 Hollyoaks – where he was storyline consultant on the John Paul rape story. More recently, Duncan was script advisor for Coronation Street on the ground-breaking David Platt rape story; and has re-joined Hollyoaks to support the development of sexual abuse in football story.

In 2015, Duncan was awarded The Guardian Charity Trailblazer of the Year and in 2017 was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society Arts.

Siobhan Weare

Dr Siobhan Weare is a Lecturer in Law at Lancaster University Law School. She researches and lectures in the area of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. She is conducting the first study in the UK on ‘forced-to-penetrate’ cases (where a man is forced to penetrate, with his penis and without his consent, a woman’s vagina, anus, or mouth). These cases are so labelled because under current UK laws they are not recognised as rape. Her research has involved speaking to survivors about their experiences of this form of sexual violence. She has been awarded funding from the British Academy to support this work.

Her research has been published in leading international journals, including the International Journal of Law in Context and Archives of Sexual Behaviour. There has been extensive media coverage of her work, including by Channel 4 News, You Magazine, BBC Radio FiveLive, LBC Radio, and The Sun. Siobhan has also presented her research at events attended by the police, third sector support services, and policy makers, and has influenced policy and practice related to supporting male survivors of sexual violence.

Sam Thompson

Sam, a survivor himself, has engaged with media worldwide to share his story in a bid to encourage other men to break their silence and seek support. He has focused on challenging some of the myths surrounding male rape using his own experience to channel more progressive and forward-thinking conversations.

He been an advisor and facilitator to a number of panels and projects in the UK, including Coronation Street on the David Platt storyline, which featured elements of his own story. Sam also participated in BAFTA nominated documentary “Raped: My Story” and last year he became an Ambassador for Survivors Manchester. Sam also contributed to and featured in the Victim Strategy which was launched earlier this year.

Stephanie Reardon

Stephanie Reardon is the joint Chief Executive (and co-founder) of LimeCulture Community Interest Company, a leading national sexual violence training and development organisation. Stephanie is responsible for overseeing all LimeCulture’s programmes of work and services, including their Independent Accreditation Programme, which provides the independent validation for services achieving specific Quality Standards, including the MSP’s Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violence.

Before establishing LimeCulture in 2011, Stephanie held various challenging posts in central government. Between 2009 and 2011, she was the Delivery Manager for the Department of Health’s National Support Team for Response to Sexual Violence, where she supported all 39 Police Force Areas and their partners as part of a national programme to increase the network of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) across England and improve the provision of specialist services for victims of sexual violence.

Prior to this, Stephanie was the National Delivery Manager for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme at the Department of Health (2007-2009), where she co-ordinated the delivery of new psychological therapies services across the NHS as part of £173million national programme. Between 2004-2007, Stephanie was the National Programme Manager for the Department of Health and Home Office’s Violence and Abuse Prevention Programme ‐ a complex policy and research programme focusing on the effects of domestic and sexual violence and abuse. Stephanie was seconded to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre between 2007-2008.

Stephanie has a legal background and is a qualified project manager.

Mike Hartill

Dr Mike Hartill is Reader in the Sociology of Sport within the Department of Social Sciences at Edge Hill University. He is a graduate of the University of Birmingham and the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC).

Mike has conducted research into child abuse in sport for over fifteen years. He has been particularly influential in highlighting the sexual abuse of boys within sports contexts, as well as conducting some of the earliest research into child protection and safeguarding policy within sport. Mike also developed several undergraduate modules on child protection in sport, from 2002 onwards, the first of their kind globally.

Mike has worked with a wide range of organisations in the UK such as the Rugby Football League, Street Games, Sport England, the NWG Network, the NSPCC, the Child Protection in Sport Unit and Survivors Manchester. Mike has also collaborated with many international organisations, such as the Council of Europe, the European Union, EPAS, ENGSO Youth, the national sports councils from Germany, Spain and Austria, and many universities. He has worked on a number of pan-European projects aimed at preventing abuse and sexual exploitation of children in sport. For example, within the project ‘Sport Respects Your Rights’ Mike helped to educate young people in sport, from across Europe, about the issue of sexual exploitation. This project provided a platform for young people to devise and deliver their own campaign on sexual violence in sport.

His current research – ‘Voices for Truth & Dignity’ – is a collaboration between eight European countries focused on the perspectives of those with lived experience (‘survivors’) of sexual abuse in sport and funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme. This project recently staged an international conference in Cologne where many men and women chose to speak out about their experiences and contribute to a ground-breaking research study that has also generated educational resourcesfor the European sports community.

Mike has also been instrumental in establishing Sport England’s newly formed Advisory Panel, served by a group of men and women with lived experience of sexual abuse in sport. He serves as an academic expert for the Council of Europe programme Pro Safe Sport and the UK Men and Boys Coalitionand has recently founded the research network ChiPS (Child Protection and Safeguarding), comprised of Edge Hill colleagues with experience and expertise in delivering and researching child protection.

From January 2019 Mike will be leading the EU-funded project CASES (Child Abuse in Sport: European Statistics) which will investigate the prevalence of sexual abuse in sport in six European countries.

The Quality Standards and Accreditation Process

January saw the launch of the Male Quality Standards at the House of Lords supported by officials from NHS England, the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.

The response to Male Quality Standards was overwhelmingly positive and they have been downloaded by more than 150 organisations since the launch.

Also, in January we opened the application process for the Independent Accreditation, Monitoring & Support Programme.  This is a pilot of an accreditation process and was our key activity for the second year of funding.

Not surprising but by the end of February 2018 we had received applications from more than thirty services; this was three times the number we could fund. The criteria used to select wave 1 services included geography, number of clients supported, services offered as well as the service’s self-assessment against the standards.

The first cohort of services have all submitted documentary evidence against the Quality Standards.  The evidence has been reviewed in detail by the independent accreditor, and individual action plans were created for each service which highlighted where there were gaps against standards and provided suggestions on how those gaps might be closed. This process has already stimulated significant change within the services which is improving the support provided to male survivors.  The first site visits have now taken place and the plan is that all pilot services will complete the process in the first half of 2019. Based on the actions being taken by the initial cohort of services to try and comply with the standards, we anticipate that that the quality kite mark for meeting the quality standards could be awarded in the new year which would represent a significant landmark in the provision of high-quality support for male survivors of sexual abuse.

Next wave of Accreditation

As a result of securing further funding to independently accredit even more services, we are pleased to announce that a second wave of organisations will  be selected to go through the Independent Accreditation, Monitoring and Support Programme as part of the Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of Sexual Violence.

As a result, LimeCulture CIC is asking for providers of support for male survivors of unwanted sexual experiences to nominate themselves to be part of the second wave.

Further information about the programme and application process is available via our website

National Male Survivors helpline and Online service

Just a reminder that we support the National Male Survivors helpline. The number is 0808 800 5005.

The opening hours are as follow:

Monday 9am-5pm

Tuesday 8am-8pm

Wednesday 9am-5pm

Thursday 8am-8pm

Friday 9am-5pm

Saturday 10am-2pm

For those services that don’t offer a helpline function, please feel free to add these details to your website.

Social media

We now have an established presence across social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Please make sure you follow our accounts and do send through any information about events/initiatives you are working on so that we can share the details and show our support.

Send information for social media to

Our social media accounts are:

Twitter @MaleSurvivor

Facebook @MaleSurvivor

Instagram @MaleSurvivor

Members and Communications Lead

We now have a Communications and Members Lead, Becky Roberts.

She will be able to help answer any questions you have regarding the Male Survivors Partnership, so please contact her via call her on 07878 771615

Final note …

I’m sure you will agree it’s been a really busy and formative 12 months for everyone involved with the Male Survivors Partnership. We are really proud of how much has been achieved and are even more excited for 2019 to see what we can achieve collectively.

Thank you for your support so far and we look forward to working together in 2019.

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