Male rape victims in Uganda speak out

Originally posted on May 17, 2013

I have written before about rape against men in war-torn African countries. Despite the seriousness of the issue, few human rights organizations pay any attention to male rape survivors. Few countries have support services for them, the cultural attitude towards male survivors is highly negative, and the international opinion is that war-time rape is something only men do to only women.

However, there is an effort to change that perception in Uganda:

There remains no reliable statistics indicating how widespread the crime of rape is in Africa’s conflict areas. A non-government organization providing legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees in Uganda is spearheading a project to reach out to men who have been raped.

Chris Dolan, director of the Refugee Law Project, explained the numbers of men experiencing rape are much higher than anticipated.

“We started talking to a handful of male survivors from one of the settlements and they started to meet up and now they have close to 60 members – all within the space of just three months,” Dolan told DW.

Those 60 men are not the only male survivors. They are simply the ones willing to attend the support group. Many more men do not want to go to the group, likely because of situations like this: Continue reading

Lawmakers award boy for raising awareness about child abuse

This is a positive sign:

Often it’s sports teams or students who exhibit academic excellence. Sometimes it’s someone who has shown leadership in improving their community.

Such was the case Thursday when Sen. Page Cortez, D-Lafayette, and Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, got the Senate and House to pause long enough to recognize 16-year-old Elijah Evans, of Youngsville, a sophomore at Ovey Comeaux High School. Members of each body listened to resolutions honoring him as one of two Louisiana high school and middle school students to be selected to receive awards in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program.

Continue reading

Tamen gets FBI to clarify its position on “envelopment” rape

The FBI implemented a new definition of rape in 2012. The previous definition defined rape as:

The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.

The current definition now reads:

The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

The new definition recognizes forced anal and oral sex as rape, which incidentally allows male victims to also be recognized as rape victims on a federal level.

However, the new definition fails to clearly state whether being forced to penetrate counts as rape. This is important because a 2010 CDC study showed that the majority of male victims of sexual violence reported being forced penetrate their rapists rather than being penetrated by their rapists. While the CDC researchers did not define that act as rape (an issue I discussed elsewhere), being forced to penetrate is often counted as rape in various states.

So it is curious that the FBI chose language that at best makes it unclear whether those acts would count under the new definition. This has been a complaint from many male survivors, their advocates, and various men’s rights activists since the FBI announced the new definition.

To my knowledge, no one who wrote to the FBI about the definition received a response. Except now. Tamen, a blogger at Feminist Critics and Tamen’s Writings and a frequent commenter here, managed to get a response. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v224

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.

Study finds 43% of boys coerced into sex

A study published in the APA journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity found that 43% of boys and young reported being coerced into sex:

“Sexual victimization continues to be a pervasive problem in the United States, but the victimization of men is rarely explored,” said lead author Bryana H. French, PhD, of the University of Missouri. “Our findings can help lead to better prevention by identifying the various types of coercion that men face and by acknowledging women as perpetrators against men.”

Of 284 U.S. high school and college students who responded to a survey about unwanted sexual encounters, 18 percent reported sexual coercion by physical force; 31 percent said they were verbally coerced; 26 percent described unwanted seduction by sexual behaviors; and 7 percent said they were compelled after being given alcohol or drugs, according to the study. Half of the students said they ended up having intercourse, 10 percent reported an attempt to have intercourse and 40 percent said the result was kissing or fondling.

The article does not report the amount of statistical overlapping that may have occurred. It is possible that the students who responded to the survey reported multiple incidents or that the incidents they reported included multiple coercive methods.

What is clear, however, is that the study sheds light on something male survivors, their advocates, therapists, psychologists, and men’s rights activists stated for years: women commit sexual violence at a far higher rate than expected. Continue reading