The United Kingdom has a sordid history of failing to acknowledge and address sexual violence against men and boys. Many cases of sexual violence against males are not prosecuted under the rape statutes, including offenses against boys. Women cannot face rape charges under UK law. The National Rape Crisis Network excludes organizations at assist male victims. All those things works against efforts to help abused men and boys.
Lynne MacDonell spoke to a college audience about sexual violence against men and boys. Her lecture provides an insight to some of the issues that males face when they come forward.
MacDonell makes special note of the currently accepted statistics on sexual violence against men and boys. She mentions that college-age men report nearly the same rate of sexual violence against their female counterparts. She also mentions that more men and boys are coming forward than ever before. That revelation leads her to suspect that more boys are sexually abused than girls.
I am inclined to agree with MacDonell. Males face a host of stigmas that females do not. The desire to blame males for their abuse is much higher. It even exists in the abuse support community. Concepts like “rape culture” engage in victim-blaming men and boys by implying they are complicit in and benefit from the social structures that led to their abuse. Likewise, the support community, particularly organizations run by feminists, treat males not as victims but as potential abusers. Continue reading →
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.”
CNN ran a piece about James Landrith’s story of rape at the hands of a woman. It is a somewhat balanced treatment of the issue of sexual violence against men. While the article does not discuss all the barriers preventing abused men and boys from coming forward, it does do a decent job of highlighting how social attitudes towards abused men and boys add to the problems they face.