A local charity are taking things into their own hands after two years of uncertainty through Brexit. Mankind support men who have suffered any form of sexual violation including rape and childhood sexual abuse.
“It is interesting that we work with people who were powerless to stop what was happening.” said their CEO, Martyn Sullivan, “And yet, for the past two years, we as an organisation have felt the same way.”
The funding situation for many small charities is unsure as cuts in public funding continue. Alongside this, a 2017 report by the Directory of Social Change revealed that UK charities risk losing at least £258.4m in EU funds in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
“With such uncertainty, it is very difficult to plan ahead.” continued Martyn Sullivan. “However, extreme circumstances call for extreme measures and rather than be in a powerless position we want to take back control of our future and ensure that our vital service survives, regardless of what happens with Brexit.”
In order to do this, Mankind have been rethinking about how sexual abuse affects us all. Research tells us that 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused or assaulted. That means that approximately 130,000 men across Sussex are living with the legacy of abuse. “With those sorts of numbers.” continued Martyn Sullivan, “There is a good chance that we all know a man who has been affected by sexual violation, though, of course he may not have told us.”
Mankind consider that this fact makes sexual abuse a community level issue and as a community, if we work together, we can take back control over our future and ensure we can continue to help these men to regain their lives.
In order to achieve this, Mankind have launched a new campaign called Support Our Service. “What we want to do,” explained Martyn Sullivan, “Is create a Community Owned Organisation where the general public are the major stakeholder. This will give us the freedom to really understand what will help and provide it.
To support this, Mankind is looking for new trustees to steer the agency into this bold new venture. “A ship is only as good as its crew and we need fresh eyes and enthusiasm to make this idea a reality.” said Martyn Sullivan. “The trustee board of a charity not only governs its activities but also represents the cause through a mixture of people with a range of skills that can contribute to our aims and objectives. We are particularly keen to hear from people with experience in organisational leadership and management, marketing, fundraising and clinical skills.
Men find it particularly difficult to come forward and disclose what has happened to them. This is mainly due to the myths and taboo that still surround the sexual abuse of men and boys. Mankind is just one of a handful of agencies in the UK that specialise in working with male survivors.
Mankind consider that this has a huge effect on our society as sexual abuse does not only affect an individual but can have serious consequences for the wider community through
broader social issues such as relationship breakdown, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse and antisocial behaviour.
The Support Our Service campaign is based on the premise that if only 3,000 people gave just £3 a month, Mankind would be able to cover 50% of its operating costs. “We realise that everybody is feeling the pinch.” said Martyn Sullivan, “This is a big ask of the public.” He continued, “However, as an incentive, when we reach our 3,000 people target we will hold an annual draw with three prizes of £1,000 each.” To find out more about Mankind, go to their website at www.mkcharity.org