Today’s topic is possibly harder to read and a lot more intense than my other posts but it’s a topic that I feel strongly about.
Before I go on, I just want to make it very clear that I am not in any way downplaying female sexual assault. They are both as horrible as each other, I simply want to raise awareness about the stigma that surrounds males being sexually assaulted.
Approximately 12,000 men are sexually assaulted a year in England and Wales, which of course doesn’t include those who don’t report it to the police. This number is representative also of attempts and/or penetrations.
I think a lot of the stigma comes from the good old-fashioned “man up” act. Being sexually assaulted doesn’t make you any less of a man, and it isn’t any less real for men just because they’re men and aren’t “allowed” to show their emotions.
Like I’ve said in posts prior to this one, me writing this isn’t going to change the world or end the stigma, I am well aware that, but if it can encourage at least one person to get on side and make a difference by speaking out or helping then that’s good enough for me.
I am sick of male victims of sexual assault being treated (from what I myself have seen) differently to female victims. Again, I’m not downplaying female victims of sexual assault but saying that both should be treated as sensitively and equally as each other. In some female victims’ cases, they also aren’t treated with sensitivity or respect and this also needs to change.
Perpetrators of male sexual assault can be of any gender, ethnicity, age and so on and so-forth. To be expected of course, men can share the same experiences after being assaulted such as mental health issues, isolation and many more.
Victims of sexual assaults’ lives can be very much affected after the horrifying event, both men and women. Both men and women who have fallen victim to sexual assault deserve to be supported as equally as each other and as much as possible. They deserve to be treated with respect and for them to realise that no matter what happened prior, it was NOT their fault or because of who they are as people.
The likes of Terry Crews and Anthony Rapp have bravely spoken out recently about their experiences of sexual assault, and that is incredible, the more we speak out and support the more we help one another.
One of the most common assumptions for men is that they have to bottle it up, remain silent and stay ‘strong’, but whoever makes up these assumptions clearly doesn’t know the definition of strong. To be strong is to actually be open and vulnerable to your emotions and may I add that there is nothing wrong with that.
Men never should have had to man up, or put up a front and they certainly don’t now, especially with something as sensitive and horrible as being sexually assaulted.
I find that people are quick to blame the victims rather than the perpetrators and that also needs to stop.
If you yourself have been a victim of sexual assault or know someone that has, please reach out. Below I’ve listed ways of seeking help if you don’t feel comfortable telling someone you know.
Rape Crisis –
Helpline: 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30)
Victim Support –
Supportline: 0808 168 9111
RASAC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre) –
National Helpline: 0808 802 9999 (12-2.30 & 7-9.30)
The Survivors Trust –
Helpline: 0808 801 0818
Survivors UK – Male Rape and Sexual Abuse Support –
Your experiences don’t define you as a person, and whatever is going on right now you CAN and WILL get through this. Stay strong.
Ciao for now x