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Sexual assault

Nearly one in five UK gay and bisexual men reports being sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives*, often by someone they knew. The most common place it happens in is in their home or the attacker’s home, but it could happen anywhere (including within a relationship).

Sexual abuse or assault has profound effects on those who experience it ­ it can deeply affect your mental health and relationships.

There are many support services that can help, including counselling, therapy, and advice on what to do if you have just been assaulted.

The UK has a specialist organisation offering help to men who have been sexually assaulted or abused, as children or as adults:

Survivors UK
Helpline: 0845 122 1201 Monday & Tuesday 7-9.30pm, Thursday 12-2.30pm
[email protected]

*18% report sexual abuse as children or adults. 1999 Gay Men’s Sex Survey, Sigma Research

Preventing sexual assault

Often there’s nothing someone could have done to avoid being assaulted. Advice to help reduce your risk.

Safer dating

Whatever the circumstances, it is never your fault that it happened.

There are some things you can do to help make meeting new people a safe and fun experience. Recon has advice to help reduce your risk.

Set your limits

Before sex with someone, set your limits, talk about what sex acts you want to do and how far you want to take it – a safe word is always a good idea if you’re planning on getting involved with pain.

Even if you’ve previously consented, you have the right to change your mind about sexual contact at any point during it.

Drink and drugs can make you confused, but you always have a right to choose who you have sex with. If you feel unsure or get a bad feeling for any reason, or at any point, stop and take a break.

Read more about some things you can do before a new hook up to stay safe.

Last review: 05/09/2018
Next review: 05/09/2021