DJ, 22, bravely reveals how he ‘wanted to jump off a bridge’ after two men spiked his drink raped him in a hotel room after a night out
- Sam Thompson, 22, was sexually assaulted on a night out in Manchester last year
- He reported the attack but police dropped charges due to lack of evidence
- The DJ visited charity Survivors Manchester for support and is fundraising for it
A DJ has said he was pushed to the brink of suicide after he was raped by two men in a hotel room during a night out.
Sam Thompson revealed how he was left feeling ‘dirty’ and ‘ashamed,’ and ‘wanted to jump off a bridge,’ after the terrifying ordeal, which lasted several hours.
Mr Thompson, 22, from Newark, Nottinghamshire, said: ‘Male rape is still a taboo, men are expected to be manly.
Sam Thompson was sexually assaulted by two men on a night out in Manchester and is now urging victims to come forward and speak out
‘But I wanted to end my life afterwards. I felt dirty and ashamed, like it was my fault. I didn’t think rape could happen to me. It was never on my radar.
‘Now I want to make men aware, to break the silence surrounding the crime and to encourage victims to speak out.’
Mr Thompson, who formerly worked as a trainer for care home staff and also supported residents, was attacked in Manchester on September 1, 2016, having recently moved there to be with his then girlfriend.
He was assaulted after joining a group of strangers for a nightcap at a hotel after being separated from his childhood friend, Brady Hutchings, 23, who he had been out drinking vodka shots with in pubs and clubs.
Having lost his phone during the evening and unable to contact Mr Hutchings, he accepted an invitation to join the revellers for another drink, after chatting to them outside a club.
‘It was about 3am and everyone was in the street waiting for taxis, after the club finished, being sociable,’ said Mr Thompson.
‘A man said, “come with us for a drink” and it seemed like a great idea. I’d done it 100 times before back home in Newark. I’ve made most of my friends that way.’
He was assaulted after joining a group of strangers for a nightcap at a hotel after being separated from his friends
Mr Thompson remembers being in a hotel room, where the group dispersed, leaving him with two men.
He said: ‘People left and I was left with two guys. They made me another drink. I don’t know if it was spiked.
‘It’s hazy what happened. I remember them taking my jeans off, but I tried not to focus on what was happening.
‘You can fight, flight or flop. I flopped. Both guys took turns to rape me, moving me about. It lasted a few hours.’
Left with internal cuts and bruises, Mr Thompson remembers staggering home, in a daze.
He recalled: ‘I took some cash out to pay my rent. I must have been in shock. Then I walked further and it hit me. I wanted to jump off a bridge. I didn’t want to live.
‘It was only the thought of my family, that it would have destroyed them, that I thought, I can’t do it to them.’
Back home, he broke down as he told Brady and his then girlfriend-of-18-months, who does not want to be named, what had happened.
His mother, Jan (centre, with his brothers Joe and Jake and father Gary), said: ‘It was horrific to hear what had happened’
‘I couldn’t stop crying,’ said Mr Thompson. ‘I told them. I was in bits. They said go to the police. I wanted to shower but they said no.’
All three of them were interviewed by police, who then drove Mr Thompson to the place where he remembered seeing car park arches, after leaving the hotel – hoping to pinpoint the location of the crime.
‘I didn’t want to be there,’ Mr Thompson said. ‘I wasn’t interested.’
After officers arranged for him to have swabs taken later that evening, to collect evidence, he was told he could not wash.
‘I had the same clothes on and smelt of the blokes. It was awful,’ he shuddered.
Meanwhile, Mr Thompson’s girlfriend had phoned his mother Jan, and care homes manager father Gary, both 49, who drove to the flat in Manchester.
Learning disability nurse Mrs Thompson said: ‘It was horrific to hear what had happened.
‘Sam was traumatised. He was like a shell. He was like that for a few months. It was like it had taken him away. I could see it in his eyes.’
After taking internal swabs, blood tests, and photos of the DJ’s cuts and bruises, the police officers – who he said were ‘brilliant’ – took the clothes he had been wearing when he was attacked.
Left is Mr Thompson before he was attacked. Right he is pictured with childhood friend Brady, who he had been out drinking with before being separated from him
Too scared to stay in Manchester, fearing it might happen again, he moved back in with his parents in Newark.
‘For the next month, I wanted to die,’ he said. ‘I lost control, chucking tables and chairs around, and screaming “I want to die”.
‘My youngest brother Jacob was 15. I can’t imagine how it was for him.
‘I was anxious. I couldn’t leave the house. I couldn’t even go to the bottom of the garden. I’d go outside and panic. I’d curl up in a ball. I couldn’t bear being left alone.’
Comfort eating sweets and chocolate, he would sit in the shower for hours, in a daze.
Finally, last October, he was invited to DJ at an 18th birthday party at a local function room and, after his brother Joe, then 19, offered to stay with him throughout, he accepted.
Interested in DJ-ing since he was 13, when he took lessons at his local youth club – soon after Mr Thompson had started mixing in his bedroom and did his first paid gig at just 14.
‘I didn’t want what happened to beat me,’ he said. ‘And while I was a bit nervous, the party wasn’t in a bar and everyone was in a good mood.
‘DJ-ing did me the power of good and helped put me on the road to recovery.’
After the party, Mr Thompson returned to Manchester, but his relationship became a casualty of what had happened.
‘I experienced night terrors and would grab my girlfriend in my sleep,’ he said.
‘I tried having sex with her, but only because I was trying to be normal.
‘I’m not interested in sex now. I don’t know why. I’m told this is fairly normal after being raped.
‘All of this took a toll on her. She couldn’t understand how it had happened.
‘I didn’t want it to be a burden on her, so I moved out last October and we split up in January.’
Sadly, earlier this year, Mr Thompson had a nervous breakdown.
Mr Thompson, who has been DJing since he was 13, was invited out to perform at an 18th birthday party. He said: ‘DJ-ing did me the power of good and helped put me on the road to recovery’
‘I was burning myself out, working every day as a recruitment consultant, and DJing at weekends, so I didn’t have to think about the rape,’ he confessed.
‘I wasn’t talking to anyone. I wasn’t crying. It was all about being manly, pretending it didn’t happen.
‘Then, one day, I started to cry at work and had to accept what had happened to me.
‘I started having therapy and talking.
‘Now, looking back, it’s hard to imagine how I felt – wanting to end my life. I feel angry that I could have taken my life because of it.’
In the spring, Mr Thompson started working with the charity, Survivors Manchester – which supports male survivors of rape and sexual abuse – to help deliver specialist training to Greater Manchester Police.
And on 21 July, he will attempt to break the world record for the longest DJ marathon on internet radio, playing for 48 hours, hoping to raise £4,800 for the charity.
He is now sharing his story to ‘break the silence’ surrounding the subject of male rape, and to encourage other victims to speak out.
He said: ‘Male rape is a taboo.
‘Men are told they shouldn’t get upset or talk about it because they’re men. They should be manly.’
Now happy to socialise, he is also keen to stress that men must be mindful that rape does not only affect women.
He said: ‘My biggest worry on a night out before this was always losing my wallet or phone . I never thought I could be raped. Women are told you could get raped. But it can happen to men too.’
But then he began burning himself out by working every day as a recruitment consultant, and DJing at weekends, so he didn’t have to think about the rape. He is pictured with brother Jake and friend Kirsty
Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that arrests were made in connection with Mr Thompson’s rape, but that no further action was taken.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Mossop from Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘We welcome the work carried out by Mr Thompson to raise awareness of male rape and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for it. He has shown immense bravery in coming forward and telling his story.
‘Greater Manchester Police are always looking at ways of improving our service. We work very closely with organisations such as Survivors Manchester to support victims of rape and sexual assault, and ensure our officers are appropriately trained to be able to effectively respond to this type of crime.
‘Help and support will always be available for people who want to come forward and report sexual offences, or speak to someone about concerns they may have.’
If you are a victim of rape or know someone who is please call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Always dial 999 where there is a threat to life or a crime in progress.
To donate towards Mr Thompson’s fundraiser, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/48hourmix