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BBC News reporter Ben Hunte opens up about surviving childhood sexual abuse

"When I looked for help, I could not find any."

2019-05-10

Words: Will Stroude

BBC News's Ben Hunte has opened up about the trauma caused by being sexually abused as a child as part of a new report highlighting the lack of targeted support available for black male abuse survivors.

The 27-year-old broadcaster, who was appointed the channel's first ever LGBT Correspondent last year, says he looked for support after being sexually abused as a teenager by someone known to him, but "could not find any".

After speaking to other black male survivors of abuse as part of a report for The Victoria Derbyshire Programme, Ben revealed: "I was sexually abused as a teenager by someone older who I trusted.

"When I looked for help, I could not find any.

"I even tried to find something to show that I was not the only black man out there who had been abused as a young person, but discovered nothing."

Ben, who fronted a children's TV show on BBC Africa before taking up his groundbreaking position at BBC News earlier this year, continued: "After having a breakdown at university I was made to see a therapist, but many black men never speak up.

"When they do, experts believe this often takes place at crisis point."

Hunte's decision to share his own story comes after a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse urged the government to do more research into the experiences of black and LGBT survivors.

 

The group's chair, Labour MP Sarah Champion, said the government is "clearly not serving the black and LGBT community when it comes to supporting adult survivors of sexual abuse".

A government spokesman said: "We are working across government and with the third sector to ensure that victims of this dreadful crime receive the right emotional, medical and psychological support as they rebuild their lives."

For information and support call the Samaritans 24 hours on 116 123 or contact Survivors UK.