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Thursday March 15, 2018

Mosaic chief executive Richard Jeffrey, right, and board member Justin Meade at the organisation’s AGM last week. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

Mosaic chief executive Richard Jeffrey, right, and board member Justin Meade at the organisation’s AGM last week. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

Charity puts spotlight on ‘staggering’ rate of sexual abuse on men By Jamie Adams

The issue of sexual abuse is one that gets reported frequently in media due to the many campaigns held in New Zealand and overseas. Yet the prevalence of sexual abuse of men is something that tends to get overlooked, especially with the #metoo movement’s focus being on female victims. Wellington-based charity Mosaic aims to create awareness of a statistic that may come as a shock to many – that one in six men in New Zealand have been sexually abused at some point in their lives. Mosaic launched its website at its AGM at the Southern Cross bar last Wednesday. It was presented by board member Justin Meade, who joined last year soon after being asked to develop the site. “That statistic staggered me,” says Justin, director of website creator Cheeky Upstart. It was estimated about 10 percent of those who were abused had

been severely traumatised. “If we extrapolated that down based on how many people live in greater Wellington, that means we have at least 3000 males walking around Wellington who have experienced severe traumatic abuse. “That to me is a siren call,” the Melrose resident says. The statistic is based on a survey of 1076 randomly-sampled adults conducted by Research New Zealand on behalf of Mosaic in February and April 2015. It asked respondents if they knew a man who had been sexually abused, rather than directly asking men themselves. Mosaic chief executive Richard Jeffrey, of Island Bay, says the survey’s findings were made credible after a peer review by Victoria University Research and Evaluation Consultant Dr Venezia Kingi. In her report, Venezia states that “perceptions that males are the least vulnerable group in terms of unwanted sexual behaviour

are damaging as they potentially feed into myths and stereotypes relating to male sexual abuse”. “Sixty percent of male inmates had been sexually abused before they entered prison,” Richard says. Mosaic began as a peer support service but with “exponential growth” in partner organisations and government funding, it will expand to offer clinical services to those who seek immediate help. “We find that only 30 percent of guys who come to see us don’t phone or email beforehand. It’s hugely important to keep the office open all the times.” Richard believes having such a service will also benefit women and children as male victims are far less likely to disclose their abuse and instead “externalise” through anger, which could lead them committing abuse and other crime.  To find out more go to mosaic-wgtn.org.nz.

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Cook Strait News 15-03-18  

Cook Strait News 15-03-18

Cook Strait News 15-03-18  

Cook Strait News 15-03-18