A MAN who was sexually abused as a child is urging more male victims to come forward and report the crimes.

Daniel Wolstencroft, aged 37, from Great Lever, was abused between the ages of five and 10, leading him on a two-decade path of destruction involving drugs and crime.

The torment he endured from his perpetrator, who died before Mr Wolstencroft found the courage to go to the police, has affected many aspects of his life, including jobs and his ability to hold down relationships.

Six years ago Mr Wolstencroft , who has waived his right to anonymity, finally had the courage to talk about his horrific ordeal after meeting a member of Survivors Manchester — a charity that supports male survivors of sexual abuse and rape.

Mr Wolstencroft, who has worked tirelessly at the charity to help other men, said: "There are not many support groups out there for men – I think there are about five organisations in the UK, but there are many more for women.

"The fact is, men don't like to talk about their feelings or come across as soft.

"But at Survivors it is men talking to and encouraging other men, with many of us former victims ourselves, so they know that we understand what they are going through."

Mr Wolstencroft had a difficult start in life after his mum walked out on him when he was a baby.

He said: "My mum left me when I was 18 months old and my dad worked away so I was passed around various people who looked after me.

"From my recollection the abuse started when I was five and lasted until I was 10.

"It came to the point where I thought it was normal even though I knew it wasn't right. I didn't know whether this happened in other houses and it became normalised over a period of time.

"I was also groomed and given various presents to keep silent.

"It was never spoken about and I never had the opportunity to confide in friends or relatives about it. I didn't dare speak to anyone at school either because I was too scared."

Mr Wolstencroft soon turned to drugs to take the pain of his childhood away. Six years ago, he finally had the courage to go to face his demons and get help.

In the past six years, the Survivors Manchester group has directly supported over 600 males, including 20 from the Bolton area.

Despite his dark past, Mr Wolstencroft's future is looking bright since qualifying as a project worker at the charity where he now hosts his own support groups.

He said: "I have been clean for about five years now. It's sustainable now. The difference is that now I have different coping mechanisms and I can deal with things in a better way.

"There is a really supportive team at Survivors, and many of them are survivors themselves."

Duncan Craig, chief executive officer and psychotherapist at Survivors Manchester, said: "Over the years, seeing Daniel face the impact of the abuse he suffered and move on to become one of only a handful of males in the UK working in the survivors field is still really inspiring to me and I've heard from so many of the men that access our service just how much he's inspired them to face their issues."