Resources for Men
Men and boys are often the victims of the crimes of sexual assault, sexual abuse and rape. In fact, in the U.S., about 10 percent of all victims are male with one in six men being sexually abused or assaulted in their lifetime (the term sexual assault refers to a number of different crimes, ranging from unwanted sexual touching to forced penetration).
We are socialized to see sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking as crimes against women, not against men. Most men don't seem themselves as ever being a victim of such violence until it happens to them or someone they know.
Sexual violence knows no gender, and many times male and female victims react to this violence in the same way. You may feel rage, shame, guilt, powerlessness, helplessness, concern regarding your safety and/or symptoms of physical illness.
There are some issues that may be different for you, such as doubts about your sexuality or masculinity, or reluctance to be examined for medical procedures. You may hesitate to report the sexual assault or act of sexual violence to law enforcement for fear of ridicule or fear that they won't believe you. The same feelings apply to telling other people you know and to finding appropriate resources and support. This is true even if you experienced the incident when you were very young and only now are realizing you need help.
Here at U of I, we want to make sure male survivors understand that there is support here for you.
Don't Hesitate to Ask for Help
You need to know that strong or weak; outgoing or withdrawn; gay, straight or bisexual; old or young; whatever your physical appearance, you have done nothing to justify this violence against you. At no point and under no circumstance does anyone have the right to violate or control another. Sexually violent crimes are often embedded in issues of violence and power, not of lust or passion.
You may call a crisis line anonymously and request a male counselor, request an older or male nurse to assist in treatment at the hospital and you can find a support group of male survivors to help you in your healing process.
If you or a friend has been sexually assaulted, there is help available.
Advantages of Reporting the Crime
- The assailant may be caught and brought to trial
- Your report may help protect others
- You can get the support you need to move forward as quickly as possible
University of Idaho Student Code of Conduct
“Sexual violence” refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. This includes impaired ability due to alcohol or drug use, age and disability. A number of different acts fall within the definition of sexual violence, including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.
State of Idaho Criminal Code
18-6101. RAPE DEFINED.
Rape is defined as the penetration, however slight, of the oral, anal or vaginal opening with the perpetrator's penis accomplished with a female under any one (1) of the following circumstances:
- Where the female is under the age of eighteen (18) years.
- Where she is incapable, through any unsoundness of mind, due to any cause including, but not limited to, mental illness, mental deficiency or developmental disability, whether temporary or permanent, of giving legal consent.
- Where she resists but her resistance is overcome by force or violence.
- Where she is prevented from resistance by the infliction, attempted infliction, or threatened infliction of bodily harm, accompanied by apparent power of execution; or is unable to resist due to any intoxicating, narcotic, or anesthetic substance.
- Where she is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act. As used in this section, "unconscious of the nature of the act" means incapable of resisting because the victim meets one (1) of the following conditions:
- Was unconscious or asleep;
- Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act occurred.
The essential guilt of rape consists in the outrage to the person and feelings of the female. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime.
18-6608. FORCIBLE SEXUAL PENETRATION BY USE OF FOREIGN OBJECT.
Every person who, for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse, causes the penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of another person, by any object, instrument or device, against the victim's will by use of force or violence or by duress, or by threats of immediate and great bodily harm, accompanied by apparent power of execution, or where the victim is incapable, through any unsoundness of mind, whether temporary or permanent, of giving legal consent, or where the victim is prevented from resistance by any intoxicating, narcotic or anesthetic substance, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than life.
18-6104. PUNISHMENT FOR RAPE.
Rape is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not less than one (1) year, and the imprisonment may be extended to life in the discretion of the District Judge, who shall pass sentence.
18-6108. MALE RAPE.
Male rape is defined as the penetration, however slight, of the oral or anal opening of another male, with the perpetrator's penis, for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse, under any of the following circumstances:
- Where the victim is incapable, through any unsoundness of mind, whether temporary or permanent, of giving consent.
- Where the victim resists but his resistance is overcome by force or violence.
- Where the victim is prevented from resistance by threats of immediate and great bodily harm, accompanied by apparent power of execution.
- Where the victim is prevented from resistance by the use of any intoxicating, narcotic or anesthetic substance administered by or with the privity of the accused.
- Where the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, and this is known to the accused.
18-6109. PUNISHMENT FOR MALE RAPE.
Male rape is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than one (1) year, and the imprisonment may be extended to life.
18-909. ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO COMMIT A SERIOUS FELONY DEFINED.
An assault upon another with intent to commit murder, rape, the infamous crime against nature, mayhem, robbery, or lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor child is an assault with the intent to commit a serious felony.
An assault with the intent to commit a serious felony is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not to exceed ten (10) years.
18-6105. EVIDENCE OF PREVIOUS SEXUAL CONDUCT OF PROSECUTING WITNESS.
In prosecutions for the crime of rape, evidence of the prosecuting witness' previous sexual conduct shall not be admitted nor reference made thereto in the presence of the jury, except as provided hereinafter. The defendant may make application to the court before or during the trial for the admission of evidence concerning the previous sexual conduct of the prosecuting witness. Upon such application the court shall conduct a hearing out of the presence of the jury as to the relevancy of such evidence of previous sexual conduct and shall limit the questioning and control the admission and exclusion of evidence upon trial. Nothing in this section shall limit the right of either the state or the accused to impeach credibility by the showing of prior felony convictions.
There is no way to reduce your risk of sexual assault to zero, and even if you do not recognize these as warning signs, sexual assault is not your fault.
Rapists are responsible for their actions, you are not. Anyone can be a rapist, and anyone can be a victim, regardless of gender, sexual preference, age, disability, etc. Statistics show 87 percent of victims are assaulted by someone they know — an acquaintance, family member, friend, dating partner or spouse.
Remember rapists and abusers are manipulative and deceitful. They are adept at creating situations where they can take advantage of a person's trust and good will. Studies have shown there are some people who are more likely to be sexually aggressive than others.
Watch out for people who:
- Do not listen to you, ignore what you say, talk over you or pretend not to hear you. Such perpetrators generally have little respect for their victims and would be more likely to hear "no" as meaning "convince me."
- Ignore your personal space boundaries, standing or walking too close or touching you without permission. This is a testing strategy many predators use.
- Express anger or aggression frequently. Hostile feelings can easily be translated into hostile acts. Such people can become aggressive when someone tells them "no."
- Use hostile or possessive language about their victims. They use words like bitch, whore, stupid or other derogatory language. They may refer to their partner as their possession. This shows the perpetrator believes he or she can treat others however they wish.
- Do what they want regardless of what you want. A person may do this in little ways. They may feel the decision is theirs as to when you are ready for sex.
- Make you feel guilty, or accuse you of being uptight if you resist their sexual overtures.
- Get safe – If the assault has happened within the last few hours, safety is your priority. Get to a safe place, and ask a friend to stay with you. If you have any concerns for your immediate safety, call 911 or go to the Moscow Police Department, 118 E. Fourth Street in downtown Moscow.
- Call For Help – Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse offers a 24-hour helpline at 208-883-HELP (4357) and emergency response to the hospital, police station, dorm room or other living space, no matter what time it is.
You can speak with an advocate for confidential and anonymous support. This advocate can help walk you through the process of seeking medical help, preserving evidence and reporting the crime, based on what you a comfortable with.
- Preserve Evidence – Try to preserve all evidence of the assault. Avoid drinking, bathing, showering, douching, brushing your teeth or changing your clothes. Evidence can be collected at an emergency room, and you can decide later whether or not you want to press criminal charges. Collecting physical evidence must occur within 96 hours (4 days).
- Write Down Details – Try to write down, or have a friend write down, everything you can remember about the incident including a physical description of the perpetrator, their identity if you know it, and the use of threats or force.
- Get Medical Attention – At our local hospital, Gritman Medical Center, a trained medical professional can assess for injuries, STDs and pregnancy. The staff can answer your medical questions and gather evidence if you chose to report the assault. Adults who go to a hospital in Idaho are not required to report the assault.
A trained sexual assault advocate from Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse can accompany you to the hospital and/or police station, if you wish. The advocate is there to offer support, answer questions and help you through the process. An advocate can talk with you about your options, including decisions around reporting. The information you share with a sexual assault advocate is confidential. Services are available regardless of whether or not you decide to report the incident to the police. It is suggested that you bring a change of clothing with you, if possible. Any clothes worn at the time of the assault may be collected as evidence.
- There is no one "right" response a victim should provide to sexual violence.
- Sexual assault can be a life-threatening situation and whatever you did to survive was the right thing to do.
- Sexual assault can happen to anyone.
Feeling "crazy" is normal
Sexual assault is a violent or coercive invasion of personal privacy and space, and can be a humiliating and terrifying experience. Sometimes victims fear for their lives. In other cases, sexual activity without consent may not have violent overtones, but it can still radically affect the survivor in all aspects of life. The experience of sexual assault has different meanings for different people. Survivors typically experience a variety of behavioral and emotional reactions, based on their experiences, their support systems, and the characteristics of the assault itself.
Feelings after an assault vary widely and are dependent on the emotional makeup of the individual survivor and past traumatic experiences. But the range of reactions has a name: Rape Trauma Syndrome, which is often referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. It means that a survivor has experienced a trauma or a significant, terrifying event.
Many survivors of sexual assault find support and understanding in talking with other survivors to see how they have reacted to their own experiences of assault. Healing is facilitated by developing a support network. Not everyone has understanding friends or family, yet there are ways to find the support you need. Research shows that the sooner a survivor can speak of her/his experience in a supportive environment, including with family, friends, and professional counselors, the more rapid and thorough the healing process. Professional counselors with experience in this area understand Rape Trauma Syndrome. They can help you sort out your options and refer you to support groups for survivors or individual counseling.
Survivors of sexual assault may experience a spectrum of fears, and have a legitimate concern for their safety. These fears are normal, and each person will need her/his own time to heal and to feel safe again. Some people are afraid at home (whether or not the assault occurred there), and some may be afraid when they go out. They may fear being alone while at the same time have a need to isolate themselves. Others feel mistrustful of others; this is especially true if you know your assailant. These feelings will go away, but it will take time for them to subside. Staying with a close friend or supportive relative for a while may be helpful. Talking with a sexual assault counselor can be a vital connection that can help you through this difficult time.
An effective method for calming these fears without the help of a therapist is called systematic desensitization. With the help of a partner or close friend, make a list of the things you are afraid of doing. Put the things you fear least at the top of the list and end with activities you fear most. Take a few deep, relaxing breaths, and then imagine yourself doing the first thing on the list. Try to keep your body relaxed as you visualize successfully completing the activity. Proceed to the next item on the list only if you feel relaxed and able to do so. Take as much time as you need to work through each listing. The next step is to try the activity, first with a friend and later alone, if you feel it is safe to do so. Confronting each fearful situation at your own pace will help empower you to live without the fears and constraints that naturally occur following an assault.
The most important concept to keep in mind is that everyone reacts differently and it is not unusual for feelings to change from day to day. In particular there can be a long gap between the assault and the emotional reaction. It can be difficult to talk about the experience to friends or family yet it is important to have understanding and support.
It can be helpful to reach out to resources for emotional support and healing:
- Talk to a trained person in confidence a counselor from the Counseling and Mental Health Center
- Talk to an advocate from Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse or a counselor of your choice
- Instant message an advocate confidentially through the National Sexual Assault Hotline 24-hours a day.
Fear and mistrust are very normal, natural and common reactions to a sexual assault. Many survivors look for quick solutions, which can create a sense of guilt. You may think you could have prevented the assault. But the responsibility for sexual assault lies with the offender, even if you knew the person. Or you just want the experience to go away, which, unfortunately does not happen.
Women and men who have suffered sexual assault describe feeling:
- Loss of self-confidence
Sometimes survivors have difficulty with eating or sleeping. They may lack concentration and find this makes academic work difficult. The Dean of Students Office can help survivors work with faculty for academic success through the stressful weeks following a sexual assault.
Listen, believe and suggest help.
How well a survivor heals from sexual assault and rape is greatly affected by the response of those they tell. Know that sexual violence can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, disability or other factors. Take a look at these guidelines so that you can be prepared in the event someone close to you is assaulted.
Be aware of your own feelings about sexual abuse.
If you are uncomfortable talking about this issue, it is OK. Helping the survivor identify who might be able to talk with them about the issue can also be supportive.
Try to respond calmly and openly.
Regardless of your comfort level, point the survivor to the resources on campus and in the community who are here to provide help and options at this critical time. Hearing about sexual abuse can be difficult. It can be very helpful to a survivor if you remain calm and non-judgmental.
Refrain from negative comments about the perpetrator.
Keep in mind that about 85 percent of the time individuals who are sexually assaulted/abused are assaulted by someone they know. As a result they may have mixed feelings about the person.
Do not interrogate.
Let the individual tell you about the abuse on his/her terms. Do not pressure the person but let him/her talk when they are comfortable. Never ask questions such as, “Why did you go there,” or “Why did you trust that person?”, etc.
Let the individual know that you believe him/her.
Fear of not being believed is a concern expressed by many survivors. Being believed is important for people of all ages.
Commend the survivor for talking and reaching out for help.
Talking about the abuse is often a big step. Acknowledge this.
Encourage the survivor to seek medical services
If the assault happened recently, urge the survivor to reach out for medical services to prevent STDs, and gather evidence should the survivor choose to report the assault. Survivors often have deep feelings of guilt or shame about the abuse. Only sexual offenders are at fault for the abuse.
Assure the survivors that they are not to blame for the assault.
Survivors often have deep feelings of guilt or shame about the abuse. Only sexual offenders are at fault for the abuse.
Respect the privacy of the survivor.
Provide additional confidential and campus resources about supportive services.
Idaho 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline