Nowadays anyone can be a victim of sexual assault. It doesn’t have any criteria, you can be any age and gender. Males have been sexually assaulted and abused too. It’s quite surprising that men also stumble upon the sexual attacks. The attack could be sexual apart from being just physical and verbal. Many cases have gone unreported because the men face challenges of social attitudes and gender stereotypes.
A research was found that more than 670,000 male sexual assaults were committed over a four year period. That figure may seem upsetting, but to those of us who work with these survivors, it is no surprise. We don’t even bother to feel that men around us are the survivors.
Many of the cases go unreported because men are encountered with unique challenges. From infancy, society tells them to behave as men not as a normal human. They are told that men are powerful and they don’t cry. They should strive to be masculine, they are dominant in every sexual interaction, and they protect others. These are all gender stereotypes faced by men. Society makes it hard for the victim to complain because of these stereotypes.
Men have many of the same reactions to sexual assault that people of other gender identities do. For all gender identities survivors’ anger, anxiety, fear, confusion, self-blame, shame, depression, and even suicidal thoughts are all common reactions for someone who has experienced sexual assault. Men, however, are more likely than women to primarily respond with anger, or to try to minimize the importance or severity of the assault. Male survivors are also more likely to use or abuse alcohol or other drugs as a means to try and cope with the experience and its after effects. Male physiological reactions during a sexual assault may also make it more difficult for a male survivor to recognize that he was sexually assaulted.
As a society, we must recognize the barriers that men face when choosing whether to speak out about a sexual assault. When these men do choose to come forward, it is important that male survivors like all survivors, be believed and supported by those around them, and allowed to make their own decisions about what courses of action to take.
If you are a male sexual assault survivor, it’s okay if you don’t want to report your case. You can have your counseling or therapy by a very good psychologist instead. It will help you come out of depression and will make your life easier. Here are two good clinical psychologists who are providing free online sessions for people to help them with every sort of problem. You can check their website out here.