Sexual abuse against men more common than smoking - study

face of upset man getty
Not enough men report the abuse, says a Mosaic spokesman (Getty)

A new study suggests Kiwi men are experiencing higher rates of sexual abuse than previously reported. 

Mosaic, a New Zealand-based charity which works with men to help them recover from abuse, says research shows at least 15 percent have been abused - around 300,000, more than the number who smoke.

"The research we launched today validates the anecdotes that are common in this field that New Zealand's rate is far higher than commonly reported", said Richard Jeffrey, spokesperson for Mosaic Wellington. 

"The Government quotes a figure of 3 percent, but this does not reveal the true extent of the issue."

Mr Jeffrey says many don't report their experience.

"People tend to not recognise it in their children [and] sometimes they don't believe their children - not for malicious reasons, but because it's such an unknown issue" he told Newshub. 

Mr Jeffrey says the study also shows only 10 percent of people consider men to be at risk of sexual abuse. 

'This research confirms we are only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. 

"Male survivor groups have been working in New Zealand for over 25 years now, and we have supported thousands of men. If you are a guy who has experienced this you can get support and help, and it does make a difference". 

The study, by Research New Zealand, surveyed men over the course of several months in 2015. 



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