Facts About Male Victimization

 

Men can be sexually assaulted.

Any man can be sexually assaulted by a friend, a stranger, a group of strangers, or a significant other, regardless of his size, strength, or appearance.  Rape is not about sex or desire, but about power and control.  Sexual assaults toward men are often violent and frequently involve weapons or physical force.  Alcohol or drugs may be used to prevent the victim from fighting back.  Submission may also be forced through entrapment, intimidation, threats, or coercion.

 

Men can be sexually assaulted by women.

Although the majority of perpetrators are male, men can be sexually assaulted by women.  This can include boys under sixteen who have their first sexual experience or "initiation" with an older woman.

 

Sexual orientation does not affect the risk of victimization.

Sexual orientation is not a factor in sexual assault.  Heterosexual, gay, and bisexual men are equally at risk.  Sexual assault is about anger and control, not sexual attraction. Rape is not the result of a man's sexual orientation nor will it change his orientation afterwards.

 

Most male victims do not become rapists.

Although many perpetrators have a history of being sexually abused, the majority of male victims do not become perpetrators.

 

Sexual arousal or orgasm during a sexual assault does not indicate a "willing" participant.

Erection and ejaculation are physiological responses that can occur even in traumatic or stressful situations. These responses do not mean the victim wanted or enjoyed the assault. Perpetrators often use the victim's feelings of confusion and shame to maintain control and discourage reporting of the crime.

 

Common Reactions to Sexual Assault:

Flashbacks

Humiliation

Disbelief/Denial

Depression

Rage/Anger

Guilt

 

Concern about sexuality and orientation

Many men experience doubts about their masculinity or have feelings of inadequacy, believing they failed to defend themselves or stop the attack. Some men develop self-destructive behaviors such as increased alcohol or drug use. Others may engage in aggressive, high-risk behaviors leading to fights or physical injury.

 

Many survivors find it difficult to resume sexual relationships or to begin new ones. Gay men may experience feelings of self-blame, for example: "paying the price" for their sexual orientation.

 

These feelings are normal, but remember, rape is never the victim's fault. Only the rapist is to blame.

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