Ben's Place - launches West Yorkshire wide free online counselling for male survivors of child sexual abuse and adult rape roadside billboard awareness campaign.

Survivors West Yorkshire (www.survivorswestyorkshire.org.uk) West Yorkshire's only online specialist support service for male survivors of child sexual abuse and adult rape - Ben's Place - launches a West Yorkshire wide free counselling roadside billboard awareness campaign during August and September 2018.

A billboard on Marsh Way in Wakefield is part of the campaign, promoting the public awareness message "Sexual abuse is something I experienced IT'S NOT WHO I AM". Researchers have found that 1 in 6 men have experienced abusive sexual experiences before the age of 18. This is probably a low estimate, since it doesn't include non-contact experiences, which can also have lasting negative effects. West Yorkshire has some of the highest rates of sexual crime in the UK.

Survivors West Yorkshire is grateful for the public donations which are allowing it to raise public awareness of Ben's Place. Ben's Place is named after a West Yorkshire male survivor who experienced childhood sexual abuse between the ages 10 and 13. Ben took his own life shortly after his 23rd birthday. Ben's mother said: "I am moved that the life and memory of my son will not be forgotten in Ben's Place. I am also overwhelmed that Ben's Place will be a free service to help, support and counsel male survivors of sexual abuse."

Ben's Place currently only offers online services. However, as its virtual service develops and becomes sustainable its objective is to combine its virtual offerings with a range of off-line workshops and outreach to support male survivors to live a thriving and healthy life beyond their individual experiences of sexual violence-abuse. One of the first clients using the video platform commented: "This is so easy to use, I'm going to buy a better camera and set of head phones - thank you."

Click on the link to download a poster promoting the free online specialist counselling service.