Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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MALE SURVIVORS

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IT HAPPENS TO MEN TOO

It has been said and believed by most that men cannot be raped. Like Lady Gaga said, “you won’t know how it feels TILL IT HAPPENS TO YOU.” As a survivor of rape, I know how it feels, and men’s health is at risk. Society created the idea that men can’t be a victim. Double standards hurt everyone. 

Would you believe that one in six boys have been sexually abused or assaulted before their 18th birthday? Most people won’t think so, but according to Psychiatric Times, this number has risen to one in four men. We often hear about the opposite gender as a victim, but rarely we see men speaking up. On Channel 5, Sam shared his story about being raped: “I Didn’t Think a Man Could be Raped”. Sam was raped by two men in Manchester, which caused him to have suicidal thoughts so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the pain of being raped. Anyone can be a victim of rape. 

According to the Central MN Sexual Assault Center, 1 in 33 American men in their lifetime, 3% of boys grades 5-8, and 5% of boys in grades 9-12, 30% of men with intellectual disabilities have experienced sexual assault or abuse. Regardless of the disheartening statistics, 15 out of 16 predators walk free, and according to Rainn, “out of every 1000 sexual assaults 995 perpetrators will walk free”. 

When I started college, I began to learn about sexual assault, which made me question my history. I went to the school clinic, talked to the psychiatrist about my past, and to my surprise, she said that I was a victim.  That changed my world because, like so many men, I never thought there was a possibility. The truth is, BBC Future reported, “One meta-analysis found that 60% of victims didn’t acknowledge that they had been raped.” 

The Telegraph on YouTube has a video title” #metoo: Six reasons why men do not report sexual harassment:

  • Fewer men are victims. 
  • They fear they won’t be believed. 
  • Hypermasculinity makes the idea of a man being a victim taboo. 
  • Male rape survivors who seek help question their sexuality. For example, if a man abused them, the victim wonder, “does this make me gay?” 
  • They lack social support. 
  • They lack institutional support. For example, men are often viewed as the predator, which doesn’t help us in social or institutional support. 

Yes, fewer men are victims of sexual assault or abuse, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be a victim. Don’t be quick to judge a man’s masculinity because he identifies as a victim or survivor; you won’t know until it happens to you. Society created the idea that men can’t be a victim. Double standards hurt everyone.