Society does not often think of a man being a victim of sexual assault … "aren’t men 'supposed' to be ready for sex and always want it?"
Gender does not affect a male or female’s sexual rights.
Gender does not decrease the impact of a sexual violation.
Gender does not influence the criminal code.
The difference for men is that sexual assault:
Men are often the victims of inappropriate workplace harassment, and are pressured into having sex when they do not want to – often through coercion, manipulation or overpowering. They survive sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. In Canada, the statistics from the 2004 General Social Survey on victimization revealed that 664 in 100,000 males were sexually victimized.
And in 2008, men accounted for 8% of sexual assault victims in Canada.
However, this number is likely not an accurate reflection of reality as even though the survey reports that for every 5 assaults against females there is 1 assault on a male, the statistics also reveal that less than 1 in 8 incidents of sexual assault are ever reported to police.
Sexual assault is vastly under reported to police as compared to other types of violent offences, as sexual assault is perceived by many to be a personal matter. The most commonly stated reasons why victims do not report is because they feel it is not important enough, the incident was dealt with in another way, or they did not want to get involved with the police for personal reasons.
Other reasons specific to males:
As sexual assault is a very personal crime, many survivors do not wish to share what happened to them publicly and fear that disclosing or reporting the attack may require them to talk widely and openly about their assault to strangers.
Male survivors may blame themselves for the assault, believing they were not ‘strong enough’ to fight off the perpetrator. Many are confused by the fact that they became physically aroused during the attack, despite the assault or abuse they endured, and may question their sexual orientation.
There is little acceptance that the normal physiological responses do not in any way imply that the victim wanted or liked the assault.
When the perpetrator is a woman, the male victim may not even consider the event to be a criminal sexual assault. [i]
Psychological outcomes can be severe for men because of socialization and myths which suggest men are always ready for sex and are therefore immune to sexual assault.
While not every male survivor of sexual assault reacts in the same way, many reactions are quite common. If left untreated, these effects can have a long-term impact on a survivor’s well-being.
It can be difficult for male survivors to seek help for fear of how others will react - sometimes it easier to first tell an anonymous crisis line advocate who is impartial and trained to listen rather than a loved one. Many male survivors find that talking to a crisis line person first makes it easier to tell friends and family later.
If you have been assaulted, and would like to speak to a trained crisis counselor/advocate, Click the orange, 24 HOUR SEXUAL ASSUALT PHONE LINES, tab at the top of the web page.
Because of the stigma surrounding the subject of sexual assault against men many people feel uncomfortable and unwilling to talk about it. Other men who have experienced the same trauma may also feel the stigma This may make it difficult to find someone with whom you can openly talk to and share your experiences. This may cause you to feel lonely and isolated, like no one understands what you are going through. Remember you are not alone, and it may help to read about other men's experiences and how they survived their struggles. Click here to read thier stories
Make sure to seek medical attention after a sexual assault.
This information is not intended to and should not replace the advice of your doctor or health professional.
Medically for sexually transmitted infections, Hepatitis B, HIV or possibility of tetanus infection, there will be swabs taken of body areas and/or blood samples. Depending on test results and your medical history, medications may be given.
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) symptoms to look for:
*** If you see any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
You may have burning, itching, or soreness in the urethra and/or anus (from the assault or an STI test).
Anal spotting should disappear within a few days. Soaking in warm water or placing a warm, clean cloth on the sore area will help soothe the burning, itching, or pain.
If the area gets worse or does not heal or stop bleeding after a few days, see a doctor immediately.
You may have difficulties with bowel movements and rectal pain for up to 10 days or more.
Cuts and any soreness inside your mouth should heal within 2 weeks.
Bruising, stiffness and pain in other parts of your body may get worse 2-3 days after the assault, but will slowly start to improve. Apply cold compresses to bruises for the first 24 hours, and warm bath soaks may help.
Any cuts to other parts of your body should be kept clean and dry, apply antibiotic ointment and cover with a bandage as needed.
Be kind and patient to yourself with the knowledge that it takes time to heal - you will get through this one day at a time.
There are many myths surrounding men and sex that most everyone in society has encountered and absorbed to some extent. Myths are damaging and slow to dispel, and when it comes to sexual assault/abuse the myths are big obstacles to understanding and healing.
It is important to identify and address the myths about boys and men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences and to reveal the facts that bust the myths.
Myth - Boys can’t be sexually used or abused, and if one is, he can never be a "real man."
Reality - Boys and men can be sexually used or abused, and it has nothing to do with how masculine they are.
Myth - If a boy experienced sexual arousal during abuse, or if he partly wanted/enjoyed it, the abuse was his fault.
Reality - If a boy liked the attention he was getting, or got sexually aroused during abuse, or even sometimes wanted the attention or sexual contact, this does not mean he wanted or liked being manipulated or abused, or that any part of what happened, in any way, was his responsibility or fault.
Myth - Sexual abuse is less harmful to boys than girls.
Reality - Sexual abuse harms boys and girls in ways that are similar and different, but equally harmful.
Myth - Most men who sexually abuse boys are gay.
Reality - Boys can be sexually abused by both straight men and gay men. Sexual abuse is the result of abusive behavior that takes advantage of a child’s vulnerability and is in no way related to the sexual orientation of the abusive person.
Myth - Boys abused by males must have attracted the abuse because they are gay or they become gay as a result.
Reality - Whether gay, straight or bisexual, a boy’s sexual orientation is neither the cause nor the result of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse has nothing to do with a boy’s sexual orientation.
Myth - If a female used or abused a boy, he was "lucky," and if he doesn’t feel that way there’s something wrong with him.
Reality - Girls and women can sexually abuse boys. The boys are not "lucky," but exploited and harmed.
Myth - Boys who are sexually abused will go on to abuse others.
Reality - Most boys who are sexually abused will not go on to sexually abuse others.
[i] Lev-Wiesel, R., & Besser, A. (2006). Male Definitions of Sexual Assault: The Role of the Perpetrator's Gender. Individual Differences Research, 4(1), 46-50.
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