Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Major UK charities cite large spike in young people and men seeking support for abuse

New data from UK charities NAPAC and The Survivors Trust confirms a sustained increase in the number of men and young adults who are seeking support in recovering from childhood abuse.

Figures from the National Association of People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) show that the number of 18–24-year-olds accessing its website has more than doubled in just three years.

Between April 2019 and April 2020, 18–24-year-olds accounted for just 10% of NAPAC’s website traffic (approximately 4,400 users). This figure skyrocketed between April 2021 and April 2022 to 21% and almost 10,000 users.

The childhood abuse charity also reports a similar increase in the number of men accessing its website for support. Over the 2019-2020 time period, male users accounted for 28% of all website traffic. By 2021-2022 this had grown to 37% – an additional 5,000 male users.

Commenting on the increase, Gabrielle Shaw, Chief Executive of NAPAC said:

“In the past, we know that many young people and men have felt unable to speak out due to both societal pressures and a lack of appropriate support. This increase is perhaps reflective of the evolving support options for both men and young people and a cultural shift that actively encourages us to disclose our trauma, without shame or embarrassment.

“Our own research suggests that the average time it takes to disclose childhood abuse is 22 years. If more young people are actively reaching out to us, it means they have a chance to start their recovery process earlier and lead happier, more fulfilled lives.”

The Survivors Trust has also seen an increasing number of male and young survivors seeking support in recent years.

Between September 2021 and the present day, 18-24-year-olds accounted for over 24% of website users. An increase of over 14% (almost 7,000 users) when compared to September 2018-September 2019 when this age group accounted for just 10% of website users.

During this same time frame, a similar trend is evident in the number of male users visiting The Survivors Trust website. This has soared from 27% to 37% – an increase of almost 9,000 users.

Fay Maxted, OBE and Chief Executive of the Survivors Trust, added:

“We’ve seen increases across the board, but mainly from young people and male victims and this is really welcome because it means survivors are reaching out for information and help.

“I sincerely hope that this does show that it’s becoming easier for survivors to seek help and that there is more understanding in society. But it also highlights the level of need. It’s crucial that when a survivor reaches out for help, the right kind of support is there for them. Specialist services like The Survivors Trust and NAPAC can offer confidential, non-judgemental information and support for survivors and signpost them to specialist services nearby.”

In addition to the changing demographics it has seen among website users, in the last 3 months, The Survivors Trust Helpline and Live Chat has also reported an increase in the number of male callers in the 25-34 age group.

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