For additional information about Male Sexual Victimization, visit the Male Survivor Web site
Fact: It is estimated that 111,298 rapes of adult American men occur each year. Men are not immune to sexual assaults and the challenges they must face as a survivor are common reactions and issues as noted by both male and female sexual assault survivors.
Fact: Experts believe that current male rape statistics vastly under-represent the actual number of men who are raped each year both because crime statistics often do not actually include men as potential victims of rape and because men are less likely to report rape. Research suggests that the rates of under-reporting among men are even higher than those of women.
Fact: “Anxiety, sadness, confusion, fear, lack of trust, detachment, self-blame, helplessness, hopelessness, suicidal feelings and shame are commonly shared reactions by all sexual assault victims.
Fact: Male rape has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of either the victim or the offender. Rape is not an expression of sexuality; it is a crime that is motivated by a need to control, humiliate, and harm whatever gender is victimized. Rapists who rape men are heterosexual in 98% of the cases.
Fact: Men sexually assaulted by other men often question their sexual identity, and have fears about becoming a rapist. False assumptions, popular stereotypes, and the belief that men are immune from sexual assault help us ignore the fact of male rape. This ignorance adds to the shame and isolation of male victims.
Fact: There are many reasons that male victims do not come forward. One main reason for many males is the fear of being perceived as homosexual. Male sexual assault has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the attacker or the victim.
Fact: Being sexually assaulted can often lead gay men to believe that they are somehow responsible due to their sexual orientation. This belief is reinforced by our culture's social norms surrounding masculinity and intolerance of the GLBTIQA community. These realities can frequently make it difficult for gay men to personally seek medical and legal assistance.
Fact: Some assailants may try to get their victim to ejaculate because for the rapist, it symbolizes their complete sexual control over their victim's body. Males may respond to stimulation even when it is abusive or violent. A man or boy who experiences sexual arousal may feel shame and guilt, but the arousal does not mean that he was willing or enjoyed it. In misidentifying ejaculation with orgasm, the victim may be bewildered by his physiological response during the sexual assault and, therefore, may be discouraged from reporting the assault for fear his sexuality may become suspect.
Fact: Society's belief that men should be able to protect themselves and, therefore, it is somehow their fault that they were raped.
Fact: Adult men can be assaulted by friends, significant others, strangers, and gangs. Sexual assaults of men are frequently violent and involve weapons. Often, men reporting muggings or robberies have also been sexually assaulted. Emergency room doctors and police, however, do not typically look for behavioral signs of sexual assault in men.
Fact: Young and adolescent boys are often also frequent targets of sexual predators. In typical cases were boys are raped, the offender is most often someone the boy knows and trusts. Sexual abusers can be fathers, mothers, stepparents, uncles, neighbors, peers, spiritual leaders, and camp counselors.
Fact: Some offenders are sexually attracted to children; some were victims of abuse as children themselves, and some abuse children so they can feel the power and control they do not feel in relationships with adults.
Fact: It is important to remember that no one deserves to be sexually assaulted, survivors are never responsible for their assault, and that all survivors of sexual assault are worthy of receiving the medial and legal assistance needed. Whatever the reason for abuse, IT IS NEVER THE VICTIM’S FAULT.
Fact: Male sexual assault victims should seek medical attention. Rectal and anal tearing and abrasions can occur which may place the victim at risk for bacterial infections; potential HIV exposure; and exposure to other sexually transmitted diseases.
Fact: Counseling can help a victim cope with the physical and emotional reactions that often occur as a response to being sexual assaulted or raped, as well as providing necessary information about medical and criminal justice system procedures.
Fact: Seeking counseling is an important way to regain a sense of control over one’s life after surviving a sexual assault.