Male Victims of Sexual Assault
Posted on February 10, 2020     |     Sexual Assault
Sexual assault does not only happen to women. While statistically, female survivors of sexual assault outnumber male survivors, the numbers are often skewed due to underreporting by males. Men may not realize they can also be sexual assault victims, or else feel too afraid or ashamed to come forward. If you experienced sexual assault as a male, you are not alone. You have legal rights and options that could lead to justice, closure, peace of mind and financial compensation. Speak with a qualified California sexual abuse lawyer to learn more.
Facts on Male Sexual Assault
Male sexual assault is not as uncommon as most people think. According to researchers, at least one in six men have experienced sexual assault. An estimated 21 million men are survivors of childhood sexual abuse alone. These numbers are probably low, however, due to underreporting and the fact that they do not include noncontact sexual assault or harassment. Sexual assault can refer to unwanted physical touching, child molestation and rape, as well as any sexual contact involving threat, force, intimidation or coercion. Sexual abuse can also refer to sexual contact between a child and an adult with a large age gap.
Extensive research for the past few decades has consistently shown high numbers of men who have experienced sexual assault. National surveys conducted in 1990, 1996, 2003 and 2005 all found the percentage of men who were sexually abused as children to be between 14% and 18%. The number of men willing to disclose this information or classify their experiences as sexual assault, however, places the true percentage likely higher. The same study asking both men and women, for example, found 16% of men but 64% of women had experienced sexual assault. In reality, the gap between the sexes is most likely smaller.
Effects of Sexual Assault on Male Survivors
Male sexual assault can affect minors and adults alike. Sexual assault at any age can have lasting repercussions. Sexual assault as a child could impact a survivor mentally, emotionally and developmentally. As an adult, sexual assault or harassment could lead to problems at work, lost wages, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse. Sexual assault survivors often have to live with feelings of guilt, shame and anger. They may also develop conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. Many sexual assault survivors, male and female, turn to drugs and alcohol to cope.
Children who have lived through sexual abuse or assault may exhibit signs such as anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, temper tantrums, outbursts, underachievement in school, isolation, depression, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Sexual abuse at a young age could diminish a child’s opportunities in the future through lower performance in school, early drug/alcohol involvement, criminal activity, early sexual activity and fatherhood at a young age. Dealing with sexual assault as a child could have long-lasting consequences to the survivor as an adult as well, including problems keeping intimidate relationships and underachievement at work.
Your Rights as a Male Sexual Assault Survivor
If you are of the one in six men who have experienced sexual abuse, speak out. California recently lengthened the statute of limitations on childhood sexual assault cases. You now have until age 40 to report childhood sexual abuse and hold the perpetrator accountable. Coming forward with your story – anonymously, if desired – could help other young men with similar experiences do the same. It could also lead to justice against the party or parties responsible for your sexual assault.
Your story could lead to criminal charges against the perpetrator as well as compensation for your related damages, including pain and suffering, emotional anguish, lost quality of life, lost wages, and legal fees. Get help through national organizations such as 1in6, which offers a 24/7 chat hotline. If you are ready to take your case to the next stage and seek legal restitution, speak to an attorney near you for a free consultation.