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MYTH: Boys and men can’t become victims of sexual abuse.
Boys and men of all sexual orientation can, and do become victims of sexual abuse, rape and violence. Male sexual abuse is a serious crime that affects many men all over the world; it is incorrect to say that the male is always the perpetrator and the female always the victim.
MYTH: All sexual abusers are male.
This is Wrong! Although the vast majority of sexual abusers are male, females can also be sexually abusive and violent, causing as much, if not more harm than a male sexual perpetrator.
MYTH: You will become gay or bisexual after being sexually abused.
In no way is an act of sexual abuse related to your sexual orientation and your choices. This is not magic, sexual abuse is a criminal offence and in no way can it make you gay or bisexual. You may feel confused due to the traumatic nature of the event, but it cannot change your beliefs.
MYTH: Men can deal with sexual abuse better than women.
Wrong! Males may be even more damaged by society's rejection and reluctance to accept their victimization. The belief that men are strong and emotionless has created a trend for men to put up with their abuse alone and in silence. The long term effects of male sexual abuse are detrimental to both men and women and causes serious suffering and trauma for any victim.
MYTH: It was your fault if you were sexually abused.
Being sexually abused is never your fault! For no reason should you ever blame yourself for what happened. The only way for a rape or sexual violation to occur is if there is a sexual criminal or rapist present. They are responsible for everything and are the ones to blame!
QUESTION: Is male sexual abuse an act of homosexuality?
Answer: No, this is not the case; Rape and sexual abuse is an act of violence, control and aggression, and not one of sexual gratification. “If you hit someone over the head with a frying pan, you don’t call it cooking.” The confusion is that in most cases, convicted rapists and male sexual abusers describe themselves as being heterosexual, not gay, these criminals also state that it never mattered whether their victims were male or female. Therefore male sexual abuse is not always an act of homosexuality.
QUESTION: Who do I speak to when I am ready to share my story?
Answer: Disclosing your sexual abuse encounter can be an extremely difficult thing to do. Choosing the right person to share your story about what happened to you can really make things easier, allowing you to feel a lot better about yourself and your situation. ick someone that you can trust, someone you know will respect you and stand by your side during your disclosure. This individual should be able to listen and care about what you are feeling. Consider a close friend, teacher or family member to share your story with and you should be on your way to recovery.
QUESTION: I was sexually abused, why do I feel so numb and emotionless?
Answer: Feelings of numbness and a lack of emotion are common experiences many sexual abuse survivors face and this does not mean that the abuse never had an effect on you. Following a sexual abuse, this lack of emotion and numb exterior presents itself as a survival coping mechanism to deal with the trauma you have recently or previously faced. It is used to protect you from hurting until you are ready to allow yourself to open up and feel again. Becoming numb has its purpose but it is an incorrect way in dealing with your pain in the long run.
QUESTION: My husband is acting strangely, are there signs to tel if he was sexually abused?
Answer: There are indeed common signs to look out for when you suspect a loved one may have fallen victim to sexual abuse. The following symptoms below are common to sexual abuse but do not always lead to the discovery of a loved one being sexually harmed and may be linked to something else they are facing. oting changes in your loved one or friend becoming constantly aware and alert, anxious and worried in normal, safe situations may well be a sign of previous sexual abuse. Another cause for concern is their lack of sexual interest or desire. Understanding these signs can help bring to the surface the traumatic event of your loved one, enabling them to handle future problems and aid their recovery process.
“Sexual assault is an act of violence where sex is used as the weapon”
Both adult males and boysare victims of sexual assault and rape
48% of males were raped by strangers, compared to 28% of females raped by strangers(Criminal Victimisation, 1999. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000)
A rapists primary motive is to hurt, humiliate, destroy ,cause pain, insecurity and hopelessness in the victim
Sexual abusers can be acquaintances, friends, partners and even parents
Adolescents are more often targets for male sexual abuse
The biggest reason for not reporting a male sexual assault – The fear of being seen as a homosexual
Men are the large majority of abusers in male sexual abuse
Being sexually assaulted is NEVER your fault
People from all walks of life can be a victim of sexual abuse. It doesn’t matter your age, race or cultural background, everyone is at risk of becoming a victim.
It must be known that you did not choose for this to happen to you, there is nothing specific about you that makes you more vulnerable to this abuse.
Sexual abuse, like any form of abuse is a criminal offence and is never the fault of the person it happens to.
You are, Under No Circumstances responsible for being assaulted or sexually abused.
The person who did this to you is the only person responsible for your sexual assault; they are the ones to blame.