IMPORTANT: I am self-funding this trip including all my kit so every penny raised will go directly to Survivors Manchester
My name is Tom Leavesley and I'm raising money for Survivors Manchester who support men and boys who have survived sexual abuse, sexual violence and exploitation in the Greater Manchester area.
I was abused as a child and it took me nearly 20 years to find the courage to speak to my family and friends about what happened. In time and with the help of a psychotherapist I also decided to report what happened to the police in December 2013.
After a stressful and upsetting trial the man who abused me was sentenced to 5 years in prison on 19th December 2014.
Now the trial is over I'm focusing my energies into something far more positive and rewarding. I'm supporting Survivors Manchester who work with men and boys who have survived sexual abuse, sexual violence and exploitation.
During the court case the team at Survivors Manchester really took care of me. From practical advice such as what to expect during the trial to helping me understand the implications of waiving my right to anonymity and ongoing emotional support. They have been with me throughout this process, despite me not living full time in Manchester when I first spoke to the police.
I've seen first hand the fantastic support they provide to a growing number of males in the Greater Manchester area as well as their national media campaigns such as #BreakTheSilence and advising the writers and actors who were involved in the recent Hollyoaks male rape storyline.
This August I'm climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and I'm aiming to raise £5,000 so the team at Survivors Manchester can continue to expand their services which are so desperately needed. I know this is a massive target but I'm confident I can achieve it. So many kind people have already come forward with offers of donations as well as providing hiking kit, logistics and PR support to help spread the message.
Please visit my blog - www.tomsurvivors.uk for more information
I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Please share, donate and help me make a small difference to the #BreakTheSilence campaign as well as real support for male survivors in Greater Manchester.
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