As part of RAAP’s Male Survivor Group, male-identified survivors of sexual violence participate in a therapist-led, curriculum-based group in which they meet men who have survived similar experiences, learn new skills to cope with their trauma, and receive support throughout their healing processes.
Breaking the Silence About Male Sex Assault: Male survivors of rape and of childhood sexual abuse are often the silent, invisible victims of sex assault. Consider these statistics:
Approximately one in six boys is sexually abused before age 16 (Finkelhor et al, 1990)
More than 13,500 cases of male rape are reported every year (U. S. Dept of Justice) (Male sex assault, however, is considered to be vastly under-reported)
In 1995, 32130 men were victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault (National Crime Victimization Survey)
Men and Boys are sexually assaulted by strangers or someone he knows and trusts such as family members, friends, neighbors, child care providers, teachers, etc.
Male rape happens in: homes, cars, outdoors, at work, in prisons, in military barracks, on college campuses, and in many other places
Unique Effects of Sex Assault on Men While men experience many of the same effects of sex assault that are common to women, the unique experiences of men who are survivors include:
Difficulties feeling masculine Social norms state that men should be strong and able to protect themselves; they should not acknowledge or express their own pain, vulnerability or feelings of fear and/or helplessness. This unrealistic expectation often contributes to the silence men and boys maintain about being victims of sexual assault, which dramatically reduces their ability to begin the process of healing. Men who have been victimized may then alternate between one of two states of being. One the one hand, they may struggle with feeling inadequate and not "man enough" to manage life successfully. Alternately, they may deny feelings associated with being victimized, and take on hypermasculine attitudes, mannerisms, hobbies, and other forms of self-expression.
Difficulties with sexual identity Some men, especially those assaulted by other men, fear that male sexuality is dangerous or bad and then feel numb to, or guilty and fearful of, sexual enjoyment. Male survivors of childhood sexual abuse may fear their sexuality or they may counter their feelings of badness and shame by becoming "expert" at sex, seeking validation in the one area their abuse offered them practice and expertise. Other male survivors of sexual assault by a man, become confused about their sexual orientation, wondering whether they are bisexual or homosexual, especially if they had an erection or if they ejaculated during the assault. They may become fearful of or hostile toward homosexuals and homosexuality. Men who were sexually abused by a woman may struggle in relationships with other women over issues such as trust, control and power.
Men and boys often believe that the sexual assault is their fault, however, NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.