Episode 8 In conversation with Alex Feis-Bryce from SurvivorsUK
Alex is the CEO of SurvivorsUk, which supports men and non-binary people who have experienced sexual violence as an adult or a child.
Alex outlines the services that they provide, including individual and group therapy, a national online helpline, support with reporting to the police, including Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, or ISVAs. They also work alongside other organisations, including the London Survivors Gateway.
Alex talks about some of his experiences, his being raped as an 18 year-old and also being a witness in a court trial some years later.
Alex describes the trauma of the adversarial court system and having his phone seized and trawled, something that the Dame Vera Baird QC Victim Commissioner has recently written about. We discuss the need for reform to the adversarial system to make the process less challenging for victims to give evidence. Alex also talks about stereotypes and myths around victims and consent.
Janet asks how SurvivorsUK services have been affected by the pandemic.
Janet asks Alex for his view on how male sexual assault is portrayed in the media and in drama. Alex talks about the recent TV drama, “I may destroy you”, which has been well-received for its portrayal of sex, consent and assault.
Alex asks Janet about her experience of therapy, which has included Gestalt, counselling and EMDR and how it has helped her recovery.
Janet and Alex discuss how male rape and sexual abuse can be brought into the general narrative of sexual abuse. They agree that survivors have more in common than they have differences. Janet and Alex are both members of Angles, which is a charity that supports people with first-hand experience of sexual and/or domestic violence work effectively and safely with the media.
Ultimately, we are all human beings who have been the victims of an abuse of power.
The journey to recovery from child sexual abuse or any other form of abuse, is long and painful. However you choose to find support and help on that journey, it is worth it. There is hope for recovery.
Thank you for listening.