YOU might be forgiven for assuming the average 19-year-old does not have a professional phone manner.

But Dean Eastmond is not the average 19-year-old. The former Budmouth College student is co-founding editor-in-chief of online magazine HISKIND, which has a staggering readership of 20,000 despite being launched less than six months ago.

Alongside his studies at Birmingham University he is in talks to look at producing a printed version of the publication, and renting office space for the ever-growing number of contributors.

And so the phone is answered politely and professionally. He speaks out against a report published in February, branding Weymouth and Portland a social mobility ‘coldspot’, meaning young people from the area are less likely to be successful at school and in their careers.

Dean has had to overcome more than most.

In December he hit national headlines after writing a harrowing account of being raped aged just 16.

During the summer of 2012 when Weymouth and Portland was in the throes of the Olympic sailing events, Dean was raped by an older boy he said he had previously ‘looked up to’.

Having not yet come out as gay to friends and family, he said the experience left him feeling ‘silenced, shamed and dirty’.

Several years on, and already a contributor to A-Teen Magazine, GNI Magazine, Gay Star News, the National Student and writing content for Facebook, he decided to speak out to shed light on the issue of men being sexually assaulted.

His first-person piece was originally published in the Independent, but also featured in other national newspapers.

He is also set to feature in a BBC documentary on male rape.

Dean said: “We are in a time when we should be pushing this conversation about male rape and sexual assault, before it goes too far.

“I’m not saying that we don’t, as a society, need to tackle issues about rape and sexual assault on women, but it also happens to men and in the LGBT community and so many people do not report it if it happens to them.

“I wish I knew when it happened to me that there were places I could go to get help. Back then, no one was talking about it.”

Dean’s bravery in speaking out is already having an effect on bringing the issue into the public consciousness - not least in Weymouth.

He said: “There was such a huge reaction, I just did not expect it. I’ve had hundreds of emails and Facebook messages. One person told me it happened to them years ago and they had never had the confidence to tell anyone. After reading my story they reported it to the police. I’ve got chills thinking about it. I did not think I had the capacity to help anyone.”

Dean’s former teacher at Budmouth also got in touch to say she would be incorporating his story into her lessons on health and relationships.

The student speaks highly of his former school, which he left with three A-Levels at A,A,B.

“The staff at Budmouth were always amazing. They got me my first scholarship which was a PR job at Bournemouth University, and that taught me a lot.”

He branded the social mobility report ‘completely ridiculous’.

“I don’t keep in touch with that many people from school, but I hear what they are up to, and they are successful. Maybe we have to work harder at it. I’ve heard it said often that people from Weymouth don’t achieve anything but that’s rubbish. It’s driven me to prove people wrong, to do something with my life.”

The success of HISKIND is proof enough of his success - and that before he’s even reached his 20th birthday. But he hasn’t let it go to his head.

“If anyone out there, in Weymouth or wherever, reads my story and takes from it that there is support out there, that other people have been through something similar and are living their lives normally then...that thought just makes me feel so humbled.”

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