Sexual Assault Against Men
Men and Sexual Assault
Although many people assume that females are the main victims of sexual assault, males can also be subjected to sexual assault.
Sexual abuse doesn’t discriminate based on gender, age, or ethnicity. A sexual assault can only be determined by the behavior of the perpetrator towards the victim.
Many men who are sexually assaulted suffer the same long-term mental health effects as women as a result of the assault.
The problem is that, while women are encouraged to share their stories and often find a sense of validation in support groups, men may be more reluctant to speak out. Society has an unfortunate social stigma that suggests that men should be capable of stopping abuse if it occurs.
When a man is assaulted, he may also experience physiological reactions such as an erection or ejaculation. This may make them uncomfortable and cause them to wonder if this means they encouraged the sexual assault.
Sexual assault is never acceptable, no matter how it occurs. Melissa Hague is an experienced sexual assault attorney who can help if you have been victimized by sexual assault. With her guidance and support you can overcome trauma and find your voice again.
What is Sexual Assault?
The term sexual assault refers to any unwanted sexual contact, including contact carried out against your will. It may also refer to certain behaviors. Examples of sexual assault include:
- Rape or attempted rape
- Date rape
- Inappropriate touching or fondling
- Sexual abuse of children
- Sexual voyeurism
- Inappropriate text messages or social media posts
- Inappropriate phone calls
You have the right to refuse sexual contact whenever you feel uncomfortable. If someone forces you to participate in sexual activity, it is sexual assault.
Who Initiates Sexual Assault Against Men or Boys?
A man or boy can be sexually assaulted by anyone—a woman, another male, or an individual who identifies as non-binary. Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault, regardless of their age or sexual orientation, and they may or may not have a relationship with the victim.
Male Victims of Sexual Assault Common Reactions
In a sexual assault, male victims experience many of the same effects that female victims do. The victim may feel ashamed or self-conscious and suffer from low self-esteem. It is widely believed in society that men should be able to control the situation and avoid unwanted sexual activity.
Machoism, the idea that the man is “in charge,” is also quite common. Consequently, a victim may not report a sexual assault when it happens.
Males may have a tendency to try to solve their issues on their own. This can be problematic, since long-term mental health issues are often difficult to overcome without therapy.
Males who have been injured by sexual assault may exhibit any of the following reactions:
- Flashbacks, anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Avoiding people or places that remind you of the abuse or assault
- Feeling like “less of a man”
- Eating disorders
- Anxiety or inability to relax
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Loss of relationships and increased isolation
- Concern about telling people for fear of judgment
- Excessive anger or exasperation
Male victims of sexual assault may have a difficult time forming relationships in the long run.
How Can I Help a Male Who Has Experienced Sexual Assault?
Males who have been sexually assaulted are often reluctant to report the incident or even tell a trusted friend what happened. They may act as if nothing happened. It can lead to problems, especially if the assault was severe or resulted in significant mental trauma.
When a male reveals he was sexually assaulted, it is important to trust him and listen to him. It is very significant that he shared this with you. He has allowed you into his circle of trust. Help him to discuss the incident by following these steps.
Give Him Your Full Attention
Don’t interrupt him and let him lead the conversation. If he pauses and you feel comfortable asking a question, feel free to do so.
Survivors find it difficult to talk about assault or abuse, so if they are doing so with you, it means they value and trust your opinion.
Embrace His Feelings
If a man is trying to open up to you about sexual assault, do not make blanket or generic statements. It’s better to say nothing than blow him off by ignoring his comments or being overly optimistic. Let him know you are concerned about what happened and ask him to explain.
Encourage Him to Seek Support
Though men may be less inclined to seek out therapy, doing so can be very helpful. You can also suggest that he contact a mental health provider, law enforcement, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline by calling 800.656.HOPE. To find out if he has legal options, you can also encourage him to contact a sexual assault attorney.
How Can a Sexual Assault Lawyer Help?
A sexual assault attorney can provide legal advice to men who have been assaulted. Lawyers who specialize in sexual assault provide clients with confidentiality and support. You can also ask them about local laws pertaining to sexual assault and how to navigate them.
Through filing a criminal or civil complaint against an offender, you can gain justice against the person who has harmed you. A criminal case of sexual assault must have sufficient evidence and be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Victims of sexual assault can receive monetary compensation following a civil case. Those who have been sexually assaulted may be entitled to damages for the medical expenses they have incurred, as well as expected future expenses.
You may be able to ask for reimbursement for lost wages if you have missed time at work or accepted a reduced income level. Emotional pain and suffering can also be compensated in a lawsuit.
Those who decide to pursue legal consequences after an assault should consider the impact of time on their decision. Each state has its own statute of limitations, and those who wish to file a lawsuit must do so within the allowed timeframe.
Our Compassionate Sexual Assault Lawyers Can Help
Melissa Hague is a qualified sexual assault lawyer who believes in helping victims get justice for their abuse. She specializes in all types of sexual assault, including male sexual abuse. Contact her today for a free and completely confidential consultation.