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RCASA’s Saturday Prevention: Rape Victims Can Also Be Male…

In Advocacy, Education, Outreach, Prevention, Sexual Assault Awareness on June 26, 2010 at 8:00 am

Some Rape Victims have to deal with more than being a victim. For some, it’s the fact that they’re a man. People who know very little about male rape believe most victims are prisoners, homosexuals, or little kids. They’re wrong. Experts believe that 10% of all rape victims are men. And men who are raped face a natural aftermath of anger, self-doubt and fear. Just like women. Because they’re men, and because people believe men “don’t get raped, ” victims are especially hesitant to report the crime.

Adult male victims face a greater degree of violence with rape, and the amount of force used increases with the victim’s age. Lives are often threatened. Homosexuality has nothing to do with male rape. The majority of victims are heterosexual; likewise for offenders. And, there is no reason for a victim’s sexual identity to change. What is important to remember is sexual arousal is a physiological reaction that can be triggered by fear as well as desire. It in no way means a victim enjoyed being attacked. Regardless of whether you intend to prosecute, you should have medical evidence collected with 48 hours.

Sadly, there is no easy answer. Assault victims have different ways of coping and recover at different rates. However, most say that in the months following their attack, they feel up one day, down the next. At first, some feel dirty or guilty. Most feel fearful. Angry. Depressed. Out of control. Unable to cope. Reactions may continue to appear from six weeks to a year or more. Symptoms may come and go, which is a sign of adjustment.

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