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  • Writer's pictureAlanna Grayce

Ep #51: MALE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

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Okay y'all- for sexual assault awareness month, I decided that we had to go a little bit of a different direction to bring light to something that's not talked about nearly enough: MALE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. this episode hits ya with stats, facts, opinions and, most importantly, insights from a male survivor of sexual assault. PS; he wanted to remain anonymous because of all the hate he's gotten for saying he was sexually assaulted. Because people in 2021 still think that men can't be victims. LET THAT SINK IN.


It’s a common myth that men “can’t” be sexually assaulted- which truly is the deepest roots of toxic masculinity and misogyny blending together. Men ARE sexually assaulted, though, regardless of their size, strength, looks, sexual orientation… it doesn’t matter. In fact- About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Keep in mind, though, that this is based on reporting. I would wager that the actual percentage is higher, because so many men don’t report. 11.7% of men have reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact.


It is further a myth that only gay men are sexually assaulted- but in reality the likelihood is the same, because your orientation has nothing to do with what another person decides to do to you. Orientation has nothing to do with it at all, really- which is proven by debunking the myth that only gay men sexually assault other men. In fact, most of the men who sexually assault OTHER men identify as hetero, which highlights the reality that sexual assault is not really about lust or attraction, but about violence and control. Which is exactly how more than one-quarter of male victims of completed rape (27.8%) experienced their first rape when they were 10 years of age or younger. Because it doesn't matter if they’re sexy, or if they’re gay, or any of those things- what matters is that the victim is being CONTROLLED by a vile abuser.


Physiological responses do not negate the fact that this was an attack, by the way. Erection and ejaculation do not in ANY WAY imply that you wanted or enjoyed it, and mean nothing regarding your sexual orientation either. They are responses of the body, that can physically be manifest by EXTREME STRESS, which is what your body is going through when it’s being assaulted. A lot of perpetrators use these kinds of reactions to manipulate their victims- discouraging them from reporting the crime and giving the perpetrator more control.


The majority of preparators of sexual violence are male- but men can be sexually assaulted by women. Perhaps the reason that most perpetrators are men is because it goes underreported when it’s committed by a woman- I don’t know, that’s just my supposition.


It’s disgusting, though, that female sexual assault towards men isn’t always considered assault by outsiders- and in many ways ithink that’s made worse because in ways it is CELEBRATED by the media with like movies and tv shows where teen boys are being assaulted by older women, and that kind of relationship is fetishized and glorified so that when it happens in real life the victims are kind of told they should be grateful for that sort of attention. They’re better than others, because they received that attention. But that is toxic, manipulative behavior and it’s gotta go. We don’t tell 16 year old girls that they’re special because a creepy old man told them they’re pretty. So why do we do that for teenaged boys? It’s still a creepy older lady. Not a fantasy.


Now, I personally know a male victim of sexual assault by a woman- unfortunately, truly, because I would never wish any of this on anyone i know. I didn’t know that about him, though- he’s asked to stay anonymous, by the way. It’s kind of funny that, because so many women i know have been sexually assaulted- technically even i have- and I KNEW THAT ABOUT THEM. It’s not even that they’re super outspoken advocates- it’s just something that women are a bit more allowed to be public about. But there is SUCH a stigma around men being the victims that i didn’t know this about this guy.


Anyway, i asked him a few questions for us so i could give y’all something a little more from his perspective. He couldn’t answer them all, it was really emotionally taxing just bringing up the event at all. But he said he was grateful that i was using my platform to raise awareness, and he was pleased to be able to do his part.



So, to begin:


Did you feel like you could talk to anyone?

Short answer, No. The first person I told was a friend I'd reconnected with in the aftermath of the split with my ex which was at least 5-6 months after the event. She walked out of the room she was so angry, I guess on my behalf. Her reaction to my story was so strong that it really made me examine it really for the first time. I knew men could theoretically be assaulted but it couldn't have been what happened to me, but it was. So no, I didn't tell anyone for a long time, partly out of shame and partly because I had really locked down mentally how bad it was in retrospect. Very few people in my circles know at all.


Did you feel that your feelings were made invalid because you’re a male?

Yes, there have been some people I've told that gave me such a poor reaction I was affected for days. I've had more than one professional tell me I shouldn't think about it like that, and that they other party was just frustrated with me. I didn't see them further of course. I still dread looking for new therapists years later knowing they may not be good providers in that regard, and the story never gets easier to tell. It's a tough cycle. I'm very fortunate to have a strong and caring partner who is 100% supportive and understanding.


Would you say that what you’re wearing had anything to do with it? (asking because that is so often the accusation with women)

I don't know. Maybe. My place in it, it's not easy to detatch shame and guilt from the whole thing. We were in our place, I was undressed. My head says no of course not, but it's hard to not feel at fault.


A lot of people think that men can’t be sexually assaulted because they’re strong and should be able to avoid being overpowered. What kind of situation were you in/can you give a response to that?

Not doing more to stop it is something I carry with me for life. Emotional abuse can do a lot to wear down the spirit, at a certain point any resistance is just more pain. Could I have fought her off, probably, but there's nothing good down that thought path either. I cant bring myself to play fight my friends, the idea of putting my hands on my partner is just not in me. At that point I was so beaten down the fight was over before it begin. I think that why it took me so long to realize how much bad I'd just blocked out or explained away. I don't think I can say much more on this. I will try more again soon.



Friend, i want to genuinely thank you for sharing your experience with us. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me with this. And i’m speaking to the listener now- i speak for both of us when i say if you have experienced this, it’s not okay. Go to someone you trust. Come to me, if you want. Call an anonymous line. There are people out there who want to help you- and you deserve that.

I’m including some resources in the show notes and the post about today’s episode, as well as my sources for this episode. I hope none of y’all have had this happen.

Finally- if you’ve been sexually assaulted, get to a safe place immediately. Call someone who can help you- a friend, 911.

Don’t shower, change your clothes, or drink or eat anything- it could destroy that physical evidence that is needed to deal with this legally. Further, any injuries you may have accrued need to be treated, and you’ll need to be tested for any diseases that could have been transmitted to you through the assault. Lastly, write down everything that you can possibly remember, because you may need that for legal action. It might also be a really useful coping mechanism.

I’m so sorry if you’ve ever had to deal with this. I hope none of you need this advice.

Sexual Assault hotline: 1-800-656-4673

Resources:





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