Can A Man Be Raped?
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the question “Can a man be raped?”. A common misconception is that rape is unique to women and that men cannot be raped. This damaging notion is tied to societal/gender norms and toxic stereotypes of masculinity.
Whilst statistics have shown that women experience sexual assault more than men, the Crime Survey for England and Wales has highlighted that men are also at risk of experiencing rape. According to further research, 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse at some point in their lives, including childhood.
How To Support Male Rape Victims
Due to societal expectations of men of masculinity, it can be extremely difficult for men and teens to reach out and disclose rape. The trauma of rape will stay with survivors for the rest of their lives; it helps to have a non-judgmental person to talk to about what they have gone through. If male rape victims disclose what happened to them, it can be difficult to know what to say or do. Here are a few suggestions of how you can offer your support:
It is difficult for many survivors of rape to disclose what has happened to them. As a result, having someone there to listen is crucial; give your full undivided attention.
- Validate their feelings and express concern.
If someone reaches out to you for support, you should avoid making insensitive comments such as telling them to “just forget about it”. Instead, reassure them with statements such as “I believe you” or “you have made the right decision by speaking out.” You can also tell them that you care about them by letting them know you are there for them.
- Provide appropriate resources.
Other aspects of men’s lives could affect how they navigate resources and services after experiencing sexual assault or rape. For example, trans men and black men may face barriers that cis men will not experience (especially concerning health care and law enforcement). When supporting survivors, try your best to give resources you feel will be most helpful.
- Suggest help organisations.
If you are a male rape victim and want to talk to somebody about your experience, there are various charities including RAINN and safeline that support men and boys following sexual assault. Survivors can also receive professional support following rape through sexual assault referral centres (SARCs). SARCs offer medical, practical, and emotional support. They have specially trained doctors, nurses, and support workers to care for you.
How We Can Help
If you have experienced rape, you may be eligible for rape compensation. Although this money can never reverse the physical and mental damage caused by this heinous crime, rape compensation can provide significant financial help if you wish to
enrol in counselling or therapy. Anyone who has experienced non-consensual penetrative sexual activity can claim rape compensation. Please call 0151 242 5111 for free, confidential advice from an experienced solicitor.