A charity raising awareness for male victims of rape and intimate abuse set off on a ten mile walk across London on Saturday morning.
The walk started at Canary Wharf at 11am and ended at Hammersmith after five gruelling hours, passing some of London’s major landmarks including St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.
Stay Brave aims to break stigma and barriers by bringing a voice to those who have suffered from domestic, sexual and intimate abuse.
Alexander Morgan, chief executive of Stay Brave, said: “A walk sounds easy, just as asking for help but until you get down to it it’s harder than you think.
“Our main goal is that we want to erase the barriers that survivors can face when asking for help.”
Mr Morgan founded the charity to help prevent the stigma that men face as victims, and to support them in receiving help without discrimination.
Mr Morgan said: “The one thing that is unique about Stay Brave is that we are not going to be a frontline services charity, we are going to be a campaigns charity that focuses on improving access to services.”
He said that there are already more than 600 organisations in the country that supply services and they do not want to be competition for them as funding is already short.
Stay Brave focuses on campaigning for new bills, speaking to decision makers and MP’s and helping charities especially smaller services to have a voice.
Walking brave is the charity’s largest annual event and a chance to campaign for better services and policies.
Mr Morgan said: “I feel like the government in the last five years is going in the right direction but is in jeopardy, we’ve spent the last three years campaigning for a domestic violence bill but now with the threat of the proroguing of parliament, all bills will be dropped, so three years’ worth of work is about to be wasted.”
Stay Brave is currently working on getting relationship education packs in schools to try and stop abuse at the source.
He said: “If you change the mindset of young people, that consent is definitely a good thing and abuse is definitely not a good thing, then it will hope to reduce figures in the future.”
Sophie Mills, digital engagement manager, said: “We are looking at what we are going to achieve in the next two years and how we can help those who need it.”
She said: “I know today there will be some questions about what people want to see us do, our charity is owned by something called moral owners so that is anyone who has been subject to abuse. So we ask what you want us to do and we try and work it into our strategy.”
If you’d like to take part in next year’s walking brave then all you’ll need is enthusiasm, comfortable shoes and a smile.
For more information on volunteering or to contact a Stay Brave team member then visit https://www.staybrave.org.uk/