A male sexual abuse victim says it was difficult for him to admit to his suffering, due to challenging stereotypes that he had to be tough.

Tobi Adeyemo, 25, from Edgware and Kenton, grew up with a hazy recollection of his childhood memories which were blocked or unclear.

For many years he had this extreme level of what seemed as unwarranted anger – except with context it wasn’t unwarranted; slowly he realised there was this repressed memory of being sexually abused several times between the age of six to thirteen.

Considering his appearance, a 6ft 3 black male, Mr Adeyemo felt negative stereotypes of masculinity masked his ability to open up of his trauma.

He admitted it took him a long while to come to terms with his past and he became more aware of it after his last incident at the age of thirteen.

Speaking out on his revelation, he said: “Emotionally I was distant and was kind of numb to a lot of things. Now I’m improving, it’s a challenge to know it wasn’t my fault.”

Mr Adeyemo says these incidents happened from some people who were close in his life and were figures who he trusted.

Later as a teenager, his parents sent him to Nigeria as a learning experience outside of western culture. For the most part, this was a beneficial period which he found to shape his persona.

However, at thirteen he was horrified to wake up to someone who he considered as a friend, touching and taking advantage of him.

It was then when the anger had truly taken over him, and after returning to London he spent many years hanging around what he called a “bad crowd”.

At 21, Mr Adeyemo came clean to his family and friends of what had happened but was shocked to find that many people simply did not believe him.

Ealing Times:

Tobi Adeyemo now feels reborn after a difficult time as a child.

He said: “Many people didn’t believe me, and many people stayed away as they didn’t know how to handle it, so I had to overcome the lonely process.

“But I wouldn’t say I was truly alone, a couple of people stuck with me, but the loss was far greater, and I lost a lot family and friends from speaking out about my experiences.”

“As a black male coming from an African background, it was unique to me and others.

“I grew up, and there was plenty of women with stories of assault, but I didn’t have anyone who looked like me.

“I don’t know a black man who comes out with a story like that, by speaking out I’m saving a child like me.”

While he was upset that some of his family distanced himself, he admits that it’s not entirely their fault due to their cultural upbringing and generational differences.

He said: “Normally something like that is swept under the carpet and barely is ever mentioned.

“I felt crushed for along time, but I know I’m doing the right thing.

“I was taught to keep things close to my chest. But that doesn’t work and as the next generation we should become more open to talk about it and let people know these things do go on.”

The first person he opened up to was in university, after he felt a series of flashbacks and emotional moments while talking to some of his friends who went through similar experiences.

Mr Adeyemo admits he felt he couldn’t trust his own thoughts as he began to remember what had happened.

“My friend told me to speak and not to shy away from anything, and it was then when I said I was raped. I felt a weight had been lifted.”

Since speaking out publicly of his experiences in another interview, Mr Adeyemo was contacted by various people in similar circumstances asking for advice.

Now he feels a sense of empowerment and says he is “in love” with himself as he’s openly combatting his childhood demons and helping transform the lives of others.

If you have been in a similar situation, you can contact Survivor’s UK, a male rape and sexual abuse support line, at survivorsuk.org.