The Code of Silence

Originally posed on May 21, 2013

Over the last week, sexual violence in the military received much media attention. This partly came out of two people in charge of handling sexual assault investigations facing their own charges of sexual assault. It also came from President Obama speaking about the issue during a press conference.

Yet one aspect of this scandal remains unspoken: men make up the majority of the victims. Look at the coverage of this topic, and one sees numerous discussions about protecting women, but little mention of protecting men. One hears from women who survived assaults, but not from men. Yes, occasionally someone will remember that “men can be victims too.” Yet that afterthought does not linger long, and soon the conversation goes back to women.

This is not to say that women do not face legitimate risks. It is absurd to think that servicewomen in the field will refrain from eating and drinking at night so they will not need to use the latrine and risk assault. Yet it is equally absurd to think that the majority of the victims of these assaults would go unmentioned because they are male.

Nevertheless:

More military men than women are sexually abused in the ranks each year, a Pentagon survey shows, highlighting the underreporting of male-on-male assaults.

When the Defense Department released the results of its anonymous sexual abuse survey this month and concluded that 26,000 service members were victims in fiscal 2012, which ended Sept. 30, an automatic assumption was that most were women. But roughly 14,000 of the victims were male and 12,000 female, according to a scientific survey sample produced by the Pentagon.

The statistics show that, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel begins a campaign to stamp out “unwanted sexual contact,” there are two sets of victims that must be addressed.

“It appears that the DOD has serious problems with male-on-male sexual assaults that men are not reporting and the Pentagon doesn’t want to talk about,” Elaine Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness.

Continue reading

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Abuse victim rejects apology — A man kept in solitary confinement in a boy’s home run by the Salvation Army, where he was made to sleep where he defecated, has refused to accept an apology for the abuse he suffered. ‘If I see one of those uniforms come within a metre of me, you’d better be there … okay, just keep them away from me,’ the man said when asked if he would accept an apology from the Salvation Army for the abuse he suffered at the Riverview Training Farm in Queensland in 1971.

Cardinal George Pell tells Royal Commission he never told church lawyers to deny sex abuse of altar boy John Ellis — What is the difference between disputing and denying? Quite a lot, according to Cardinal George Pell today. He said that he had never told the church’s lawyers to deny that former altar boy John Ellis has been sexually abused by a priest when he sued the Sydney Archdiocese. He only accepted legal advice that they make Mr Elllis “prove” it.

Dublin priest gets 15 years for 34 years of child abuse in the UK — “Predatory” Francis Paul Cullen, 85, pleaded guilty to 21 charges of indecent assault and other sexual offences last month after being extradited to the UK last year following 22 years on the run in Tenerife. The offences were committed between 1957 and 1991 on children aged between six and 14. Today Cullen looked down in the dock at Derby Crown Court as sentence was passed.

End the embarrassment: More help for male victims demand domestic violence campaigners — With Greater Manchester Police reporting a chilling increase of more than 1,700 cases of domestic violence in the last year, MM looks at the often forgotten victims – men. Latest figures show that GMP dealt with an overwhelming 60,464 cases of domestic violence in the year from September 2012 to September 2013, an increase of 1,715 cases on the previous year. According to Women’s Aid, one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime, many of these on a number of occasions. Continue reading

Stop the Abuse: Mankind UK

Often times people want to help others but do not know how. This cannot be any truer than when it comes to helping abused men and boys. The resources sometimes are not apparent and are often difficult to find. Sometimes the resources are hidden or even barred by other groups who wish to polarize the issue. The intent here is to provide those who wish to help male victims with the opportunity to do so. Every month I will post a new link to an organization that provides services for male victims. As the list grows, I will create a page where all the links can be found.

Please remember that you do no have to empty your wallets to help. Even a small donation can go a long way. And for those on the other side of the issue, it would go a long way to demonstrating real concern for all victims if you donated as well.

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Mankind

Since 2000, we have been delivering specialist support services to men (18+) who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and/or adult sexual assault at any time in their lives. Mankind developed from the need for an agency in Sussex that could provide appropriate services to men. Funded by the Big Lottery, we are the only service of its kind in the South East.

Please donate and help make a difference.

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Athens event aims to raise awareness of male childhood sexual abuse — To help spread awareness about childhood sexual abuse suffered by men, The Cottage Sexual Assault and Children’s Advocacy Center will host its inaugural 1BlueString event Friday at Nuci’s Space. During the awareness event, guests will here acoustic sets from local musicians and guitarists who have switched out the low E string on their guitars with a blue string as a show of solidarity with the victims.

Barbara Kay: ‘Rape culture’ fanatics don’t know what a culture is — In today’s edition of the Post, there is a very thoughtful and serious discussion of whether the phenomena of “rape culture” even exists. It will no doubt receive the usual stream of invective — accusations of trivializing rape, denying that sexual assaults occur, implying that women who drank too much deserved to be raped. Hardly real criticisms in any intellectual sense, but they will come.

College Men Aren’t Closet Rapists — I don’t know which talking point from this administration is more insulting: the myth that discrimination keeps women from achieving parity with men, or the claim that male rapists lurk on every campus corner waiting to pounce on innocent, unsuspecting young women. The latter assertion is particularly dangerous. Not only does it lack substance, it serves to broaden the chasm that already exists between women and men. Continue reading

Stop The Abuse: The Men’s Project

Often times people want to help others but do not know how. This cannot be any truer than when it comes to helping abused men and boys. The resources sometimes are not apparent and are often difficult to find. Sometimes the resources are hidden or even barred by other groups who wish to polarize the issue. The intent here is to provide those who wish to help male victims with the opportunity to do so. Every month I will post a new link to an organization that provides services for male victims. As the list grows, I will create a page where all the links can be found.

Please remember that you do no have to empty your wallets to help. Even a small donation can go a long way. And for those on the other side of the issue, it would go a long way to demonstrating real concern for all victims if you donated as well.

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The Men’s Project

The Men’s Project is a non-profit charitable men’s counselling agency that has been providing services to men and their families since 1997.

We provide individual and couple counselling, as well as a specialized healing program for men who have experienced sexual or physical abuse as children, anger management, emotional intelligence and fathering.

Our services are specifically designed for men and professionally facilitated by accredited psychotherapists. We tailor our individual programs to specifically meet men’s needs in a way that speaks to men.

All of our programs are open to straight, gay and bisexual men.

For more information click on a link on the right, call us at (613) 230-6179, toll free in Ontario at 1-877-677-6532, or email us at counsellingservices@themensproject.ca.

Please donate and help make a difference.

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29 Boys Killed as Boko Haram Attacks Boarding School in Nigeria — Gunmen from Islamist group Boko Haram stormed a boarding school in Nigeria overnight and killed 29 pupils, police and the military said on Tuesday. Many of the victims died as the school was burned to the ground. “Some of the students’ bodies were burned to ashes,” Police Commissioner Sanusi Rufai said of the attack on the Federal Government college of Buni Yadi, a secondary school in Yobe state in the country’s northeast.

Abuse investigation: LA bishop kept altar boy list from police — When Los Angeles police were investigating allegations of child abuse by a Roman Catholic priest in 1988, they asked for a list of altar boys at the last parish where the priest worked. Archbishop Roger Mahony told a subordinate not to give the list, saying he didn’t want the boys to be scarred by the investigation and that he felt the altar boys were too old to be potential victims, according to a February 2013 deposition made public Wednesday.

The Children of Conflict — When Mohammad Qataa, a 14-year-old boy, was brutally murdered in front of his mother last year in Syria, his story went viral. Forced out of school to sell coffee on the streets of Aleppo, he refused to serve armed members of the opposition group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), for free and jokingly insulted the Prophet Mohammad. He was subsequently tortured and shot three times in public for blasphemy. Continue reading

‘Denial over male rape fills victims with shame’

Dan Farr began a campaign in Bristol to address sexual violence against men and boys:

In a statement on his website, Mr Farr said he was concerned there was a “huge denial that male rape exists”, rooted in mistaken beliefs that men could fight off attackers, women could not rape men, and male rape only happened in prison.

His new campaign comes after three high-profile incidents of male rape in the Bristol area over the past year. In that time, Avon and Somerset police investigated a total of 34 cases of rape reported by men – up from 18 in the previous 12-month period. According to charity Mankind, one in 29 men has reported being sexually assaulted and one in 20 has been affected by sexual violence.

Mr Farr said: “These mistaken beliefs make it hard for male survivors to come forward because they are left with feelings of shame, confusion and self-blame for what happened. That’s why we need the council and police to publicly recognise male rape to make it easier for male rape survivors to get the help they need and to report the crime.”

This follows the UK government creating a £500,000 fund to help male survivors. Continue reading