Male Survivors

In the United States, about 10% of sexual assault survivors are male. Many myths surround male rape, such as the ideas that men can’t be raped, men should be able to fight off their attackers, and men must enjoy rape because men enjoy all sex. These ideas and the assumptions that underlie them are not true, but their prevalence can provoke certain reactions in male survivors, such as a feeling of intense isolation, believing they are unable to protect themselves or important people in their lives, and questioning their sexuality.

Men also face unique challenges when it comes to sexual assault and relationship violence. Societal attitudes about male survivors can make men who have been assaulted very unlikely to seek legal, medical, or emotional help. It may be harder for them to find support from friends and family members, as others may not believe they were actually assaulted or may not believe it was a problem. In addition, hate crimes against men who experience a form of marginalization (such as racism, ableism, heterosexism, or cissexism) can also take the form of sexual assault.