Male Sexual Violence: Misunderstood and Under Reported

Aaron Eckhardt - Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, gender identity, sex, age, class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical characteristics.

In their lifetime, one in three women and one in six men will experience sexual violence.

The rape of adult men and male identified people is an issue that has been largely neglected and widely misunderstood. When anyone is raped it is usually by someone they know, family members, sexual/romantic partners, acquaintances, or someone they are dating. This fact is also true when men and male identified people are raped. It is also true that most rapists of men are men that identify as heterosexual.

Sexual assault has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the rapist or the person experiencing the violence. Rapists may choose victims simply because they are available, without concern for sexual orientation, gender, or age. Rapists oftentimes target those who are vulnerable, accessible, and less credible and thus less likely to report their perpetration to friends, family members, law enforcement, and service providers.

Gay, bisexual, transgender, gender-non-conforming men who have been raped may attempt to make sense of their rape by rationalizing the assault and blaming themselves. Self blame, fear of authority or moral judgment from law enforcement, medical providers, and counselors may impede survivors of sexual violence ability to seek assistance from support systems.

Silence feeds the misunderstanding of sexual violence and can have a direct impact that both impedes the healing of survivors of sexual violence and sadly serves as a vial of protection for the perpetrators of sexual violence.

If you are a survivor you may feel angry, anxious, scared, or depressed. You may have trouble sleeping or eating, or may want to sleep and eat all the time. You might have flashbacks of the assault or have a hard time concentrating or you may have none of these feelings. These are all natural reactions to experiencing sexual violence… you are not alone!

BRAVO is here to help! If you or anyone you know experienced sexual violence in any form please contact BRAVO immediately. We are here to serve our community and work with all survivors of hate/bias violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking throughout Ohio. BRAVO can be reached at 614-294-7867 or 866-86-BRAVO. All reports to BRAVO are confidential and may be made anonymously.

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