Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Male rape - a hidden crime

Male rape is unquestionably one of the hidden crimes of our time. While services such as the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and, indeed, similar services around the world, are increasingly hearing about male rape, remarkable few cases ever come to trial - I cannot recall a single one in Ireland, though I expect some such trials have happened. Given the phenomenon of sexual abuse of boys by men, it would be absurd to suggest that sexual abuse of men by men doesn't happen.

Sam de Brito addressed this topic recently in his All Men Are Liars blog on the Sydney Morning Herald website and made the very good point that:

"The impact of rape on blokes shares many similarities with that of female victims but there are some significant differences: though women feel incredible shame and humiliation, this is often amplified in male victims because of the gender expectation that they should have been able to defend themselves, that they 'couldn't even fight off a fag'." (Most male rapists,he points out, actually see themselves as heterosexual).

Referring to research on sexual assault in prison, he adds that:

"The authors cited a 1990 study that found that victims of male rape 'are particularly distressed and confused if they become aroused during the assault. They may believe that their reaction gave the perpetrator consent or that they became an active participant in the assault'.

'Indeed, Groth and Burgess (1980) found that getting the victim to ejaculate was a major strategy of some perpetrators in that it further symbolised the extent of their control over their victim. This also has the additional advantage to the perpetrator in that it further reduces the likelihood of the victim reporting the assault.'"

If you've been affected by the issue, or you know someone who has been, de Brito's post is worth reading.....

(This is the complete post. Ignore "Continue reading" link below.)


The Knitter said...

Being believed is the first hurdle a person subjected to sexual violence has to overcome and that's a big hurdle for all victims.

Padraig O'Morain said...

I can only imagine the emotional pain of not being believed and I think that for many men as well as women this is a major barrier to getting the help they need.