Male rape figures 'are only tip of iceberg': Reports of attacks double in London

THE number of cases of male rape reported to Scotland Yard has almost doubled from 27 in 1992 to 50 last year. Yet, despite the increase, police and counselling agencies agree this far from the true picture. One agency reported that of the 70 victims who came for help, only three had gone to police.

Most believe male rape - which does not exist in law - goes largely unreported, as did child sex abuse 20 years ago. Official statistics do not record it, including attacks listed under figures for buggery.

Ernest Woollett, co-ordinator of the male rape helpline, Survivors, said: 'I personally dealt with 70 victims last year of whom only three reported their attacks to the police.' Superintendent Maria Wallace, of the Association of Chief Police Officers' crime committee, said the ACPO was entirely dependent on Home Office figures: 'We don't have any national statistics but I would suggest any we do have are the tip of the iceberg.'

The increase in the number of men who did come forward in London could be a result, Ms Wallace said, of improved public confidence in the way police treat victims of sex crime: 'From a personal point of view there are still grave questions about the way the victims may be treated throughout the prosecution service. Where I think there is sympathy for a woman rape victim, there is a lack of understanding for male victims. The question behind closed doors will not be 'is he all right?' but 'is he gay?'.'

The misconception that male rape is a homosexual crime is common. Studies of the few victims who have identified themselves revealed that often both the attacker and the victim were heterosexual. Conquering armies in Roman times did it to their vanquished enemies and there are reports of similar abuses going on in the former Yugoslavia.

'This is a crime of power,' one police officer said last week. 'If you derive power from dominating and defiling a woman, how much more do you get from doing it to a man?'

A pilot scheme was launched two years ago by Scotland Yard to train male police 'chaperones' to take statements from victims of serious sex assault. One chaperone said last week that it was vital that men disclosed the attack to a police officer first: 'Even though it is hard for them, they must report the attack immediately and give us a chance to collect the forensic material. This could happen to anyone. Heterosexual men who regard themselves as straight, completely normal in their view, have been attacked. Our problem is that we don't have any idea who the average victim is or how many there are because they don't come forward.'

One such victim, Jeremy Williams, 21, was raped last February in a car park in central London. Fitzroy Hemans, 45, from Islington, north London, offered him some drugs and then produced a knife before attacking him. Hemans was sentenced to 10 years in the Old Bailey last December for attacks on Mr Williams and another young man.

Yesterday Mr Williams, now married with a baby son, said anyone who is attacked should call the police: 'Maybe you can stop somebody else being attacked. As long as people like this are free they will keep attacking people.'

He said he still feels sick about being raped: 'I get down sometimes. I can drink and get depressed. I get angry. If I had him in front of me and I had a baseball bat I could still club him. I think I could still kill him. But if I let him get to me then it would be like he's still got some power over me and he hasn't because he's in prison.'

The maximum sentence for forced buggery is 10 years. The Labour MP Harry Cohen is trying to get it increased to life.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Sport
Harry Kane
premier leagueLive minute-by-minute coverage
News
The letter, purported to be from the 1970s, offered a message of gender equality to parents

When it comes to promoting equality of the sexes, we tend to think that we’ve come a long way in the past 40 years.

News
video
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin