DISPATCHES: The UNKNOWN CRIME
DISPATCHES has conducted the first major survey of male rape and has found that more men have been victims than has been believed and exposes false beliefs surrounding the crime. The programme contacted 43 police forces to ask how many cases had been reported since the law was changed in 1994 to an offence of `Sexual Intercourse Without Consent' applicable to males and females. Some forces would not help the programme makers, others said the total was in single figures, while others reported no such cases. The `Survivors' helpline receives over 400 calls a year from male rape victims, more than all the police forces' total together. The full scale of the problem is not known. Few attacks are reported because the victims feel ashamed and humiliated and believe they will be considered homosexual and as guilty as the attacker because of the public perception that only homosexuals are involved in these incidents. Courts are still reluctant to convict cases of male rape. Of all the men interviewed for the programme only one has seen his attacker convicted. In the programme, victims relate, mostly through actors, how they were attacked and raped and the long-lasting affects on them of their ordeal, leading to depression and suicidal tendencies. Also appearing in the programme are Det. Sgt. Ron Kelsey (Essex Police), Commander Tom Williamson (Metropolitan Police), Ernest Woollett (Counsellor), Professor Sue Lees (University of North London), Dr Michael King (Psychiatrist, Royal Free Hospital), Ford Hickson (University of Portsmouth), and Det. Chief Sup. Des Donohoe (Dorset Police).