April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In an effort to raise awareness, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) released seven videos of survivors sharing their stories. In a rare move, RAINN included two men’s stories. According a CNN article:
Men account for 8% of RAINN’s online hotline users under 18 and 18% of callers older than 18, according to data provided to the organization. Men and boys often discuss sexual abuse that occurred in the past, with 70% of men and boys discussing an event that occurred more than five years ago and 58% of them discussing a repeated event in the past that is no longer occurring.
This is likely because RAINN rarely does any outreach to help male victims, and provides little information and support for male victims on their website. To this point, much of the information on their site redirects men to 1in6.org, an organization specifically designed to assist male victims.
That said, at least RAINN included the men’s stories, and thankfully CNN chose to feature them in the article. It is important for people to hear what men and boys experience. It would have been better if RAINN had included someone who was assaulted by a woman so that people could see women commit sexual violence as well, but again, it is surprising they included male victims at all.