Many people think of sexual assault as a “woman’s problem.” Although sexual assault does affect many women, it affects many men. Men can be sexually assaulted as well. Sexual assault and abuse effects men and women in similar and different ways, but is equally harmful.
Research has shown that 1 in 6 men will experience unwanted or abusive sexual contact before the age of 16.
However, much statistical research on male sexual assault is likely an underestimate due to lack of reporting. Males who have had these experiences are less likely to disclose this information than females, and only 16% of males with documented histories of sexual abuse considered themselves to have been sexually abused.
Men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences are at a greater risk for serious mental health problem than men without these experiences. These include but are not limited to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, drug abuse, difficulty in intimate relationships, and trouble in school/work.
Unwanted or abusive sexual contact is just as severe an issue for men as it is for women. Certain stigmas prevent men from disclosing their experiences despite the prevalence of these issues. These types of experiences often lead to future mental health and personal problems.
For more information specifically regarding male sexual assault, visit 1in6.org or malesurvivor.org.
No one deserves to be abused! SARP and BDVSC are offering support groups for Male Victims of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, if you are interested in joining please contact: Stacey Stackhouse at 608-365-1244 or Stephanie Hormig at 608-364-1083.