Men and rape

Author: South Eastern CASA

Tags: For Male Survivors

This article is written for men and assumes a male offender, however SECASA acknowledges that both men and women can be survivors of sexual abuse and that offenders can be male and female.

This section is written for men. Most other material is female focused because most victims of rape are women, but rape can and does happen to men too.

Society appears to condone many forms of sexually inappropriate behaviour. From an early age, social sanctions encourage people to put up with a range of unwanted and derogatory sexual behaviours from other people. These behaviours against men can include whistles, touching, and sexually explicit comments or jokes about a man's masculinity or perceived sexual orientation. All are designed to disempower, humiliate and hurt. Rape is the most extreme of all these forms of behaviour. It is an attack of a sexual nature on a man's body, mind, emotions and sense of control.

Society perpetuates many false and misleading myths about rape. These myths add to the confusion and distress of the man sexually assaulted.

Men who have been, or may be raped, come from all cultures and age groups, and include very young children - and ourselves. Few men have a fear of rape, they do not think it happens to men. Most men don't want to think about rape, or think "It can't happen to me, or any one I care about". It does happen to men. If it does happen, they think about it a lot. Men can blame themselves in some way, thus feeling they cannot talk about the assault to anyone, and do not know where to turn to for help.

Men who have been raped deserve support, consideration and respect, as do victims of any violent crime.

This material has been prepared by South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault based upon the "Information for Women about Rape", designed by Healthsharing Women's Health Resource Service 1994.

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