At We Are Survivors our aim is clear. It’s encapsulated perfectly in our mission statement: to break the silence of the sexual abuse, rape and sexual exploitation of boys and men and support them and their loved ones to engage in positive healing, free from the impact of abuse.

Our work is focused on developing ways for men and boys to empower themselves to work through personal and sometimes painful issues, guided and supported by our trauma-informed team. We work hard to ensure that each person’s healing journey is driven by them and know (many of us from first-hand experience) that being in contact with other survivors is the key to being able to break the silence and take back the power and control that was felt to be lost during the trauma, and move towards a positive and healthy future.

We Are Survivors was founded in 2009 – known then as Survivors Manchester – by Duncan Craig. At that time, there was a real lack of support for male survivors of sexual abuse. As a survivor himself, Duncan spent hours driving a 300-mile round trip to a support group in Wiltshire, just so he could share his experiences with those who understood. There was no charity in Manchester dedicated to men who had been raped or sexually abused – so he decided to set one up from his flat in the city centre. Almost 16 years later, We Are Survivors thrives from its city centre office and community space as a charity that has supported thousands of male survivors.

At We Are Survivors we offer men a range of support activities and services. We have a thriving community development programme offering community activities – from art groups, to drop-ins, to physical activities like gardening and yoga. Our 1:1 therapy services offers a safe space for male survivors to start talking about their experiences and begin the healing process. All of our therapists are fully qualified and members of BACP (British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy). We also work within the criminal justice process through our ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) programme. Totally independent from the police and Criminal Justice System, our team of ISVA’s work closely with male survivors to offer a tailored support service. Our work in prisons through the OUTSpoken services sees us offer a variety of support mechanisms within the prison estate – from a prison client Safe Room facilitated monthly and weekly, to art therapy groups and 1:1 trauma-informed therapy.

It can be very difficult for many male survivors to access support, for a variety of very individual and personal reasons. It can often take years to make that initial contact. We believe that being in contact with people who understand the issues can really help an individual move forward. Many of the staff at We Are Survivors are survivors themselves.

Recent weeks have seen a remarkable increase in referrals to We Are Survivors – perhaps the largest upswing in male survivors reaching out to us that we’ve ever seen. The reason? Baby Reindeer. This groundbreaking Netflix drama series – which has been number one globally and has started a long overdue public discussion about male victimhood and sexual violence – was written and created by our ambassador Richard Gadd.

To give an idea of just how Baby Reindeer and Richard have redefined the landscape, in the first two weeks after its launch on Netflix, 53% of all referrals to We Are Survivors told us Baby Reindeer was the primary reason they reached out to us. We saw an 80% increase in first time callers. And, crucially, 40% of referrals since the launch of Baby Reindeer were from young people aged 26-35. We know that it can take many, many years for a male survivor to reach out after abuse and trauma, so to see first-hand young men feeling empowered to start their healing journey is hugely significant.

Thank you Richard for all you have done in showing your vulnerability and giving so many men and boys the opportunity to make that first important step in healing.

What of the future? 2025 will be a landmark year for We Are Survivors. We’ll be 16 years old. The significance of that age isn’t lost on us. As we reach the ‘age of consent’, we’re going to start challenging thinking more, asking more difficult questions, and telling you what we think. We’re also working on a documentary film, which we can’t wait to share with you.

Male survivors deserve the opportunity to heal and we 100% commit to doing everything we can to make it a reality every single day. We pledge to do everything possible to ensure that the vision of a society where NO male survivor is left behind is in the DNA of every single action we take.

We are absolutely delighted to become a member of Manchester Publicity Association. The heart of everything we do is about communicating to those who might need our help, and sharing important, often challenging messages. As an organisation we have always embraced new and emerging digital communication platforms, and we work hard to ensure our creative output stands out in crowded digital landscape. We’re looking forward to a fruitful future as part of MPA.

Find out more about our work – and how you can support us – at our website:

Follow us on Instagram and X – @thisissurvivors – and on Facebook (search: We Are Survivors)

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