This archived article was written by: Kira Tadehara
Crush the notion that men can’t be raped, the idea that men aren’t victims or survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault or abuse. According to the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, one in six boys will be abused before 18 in Utah. Unfortunately, that statistic is horribly wrong due to the atmosphere in which we raise boys: show no emotion, show no weakness and always be indestructible.
It makes it even harder for men to come forward and report. Thus, the cycle of abuse and silence continues and the amount of people actually abused are much higher, but significantly more silent than their women counterparts. We hold men to a standard of strength that not only isn’t realistic, but is also damaging. It creates an atmosphere where male survivors of rape or domestic violence can’t come forward because they “can’t be hurt.” This atmosphere makes it nearly impossible for men to find safety or solace.
Some teach men that no, it’s not rape, it’s just a fun game, no, it’s not sexual assault. Because men are sexual beings, they must have wanted it. Whether it be man on man, woman on man, woman on woman, nonbinary on man, etc., rape isn’t acceptable. Again, crush the notion that men can’t be raped. I believe that men are capable of holding feelings other than aroused and that men are capable beings with intelligence and consciousness above the stereotyped amorous and hungry creatures that the patriarch often depicts them as. Keep in mind that rape doesn’t equate to sex.
Destroy the idea that rape has no long-term effects. The National Women’s Study found that victims of rape and sexual assault have been found to be three times more likely to suffer from a major depressive disorder. They are four times more likely than a “non-victim” to contemplate suicide and thirteen times more likely to attempt suicide. They are six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and thirteen times more likely to abuse alcohol. They are twenty-six times more likely to abuse drugs to numb the emotional pain. We cannot stay silent about these facts any longer.
I’m addressing all men: stand up for your pals against rape and violence in any form towards any gender. We live in a male-dominated society, so you men have so much power to help those in need. Don’t perpetuate the idea that men are weak for showing emotion or speaking up against abuse. Advocate for those who are silenced by our restrictions placed on men enforced by men and accepted by all.
I’m addressing all men who have been assaulted or abused, you’re not weak. I sincerely hope you find hope and that, if needed, you seek help. The plus side that if you do decide to take action (formal, legal, civil, ect.) then that right is yours. If you choose to not report, that’s your right, too. You’re always in control. If something happened to you, know that you’re not alone and that there is support. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4763).