This piece features an interview with a survivor of sexual abuse and may be upsetting for some to read. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this interview, please see the Victim Support website here or call 679950.
Gef is working with Victim Support Isle of Man for Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week. Victim Support is an independent Isle of Man charity, which offers free and confidential help to victims and witnesses of crime, their family and friends.
Last year Victim Support saw a rise of 23% in sexual assault referals and a 33% rise in domestic violence referals between April and September 2020, compared to 2019. Between June and December 2020, they saw a 21% increase in sexual assault referalls, and a 35% increase in domestic violence referals compared to the same period in 2019.
The following interview is with a person aged between 15 and 20 years old who has been supported by Victim Support for a year. The charity has provided face to face contact where convenient to this person around their work and continues to support them.
Briefly describe the situation
It was at my house with my boyfriend in my bedroom and he forced himself on me.
How did you know the offender?
He was my partner and we had been dating for just over a month.
What were your thoughts at the time of the incident?
Didn’t have any, my mind went blank and I was really confused.
What were your feelings at the time of the incident?
How did friends and family react?
All very angry at him and really upset about what had happened. I told my mum the day after it happened she went straight to the police station and was really angry.
What was the reaction on social media to what happened?
I had not told anyone only close friends who I know wouldn’t put anything on social media. Nothing else was on reported on Social Media
Barriers to reporting
I doubted that what had happened, actually happened and that I might be overreacting. It was only when I told my mum, her reaction made me realise how bad it was.
I still haven’t fully recovered from this and still struggle with my reactions to certain things.
If you have suffered from any form of sexual abuse, historic or current, and need to talk to someone contact the Welfare Team on 679950.
You can show your support for Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week by wearing yellow and donating to Victim Support.
This year, we’ve worked with the charity on an official T-Shirt which is available to purchase here with 10% of profits going to the charity.