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For Boys and Men
Sexualized assault happens to people of all genders, including men.
Although the majority of survivors of sexualized violence are women, people of all genders, including men, can be victims of sexualized violence. People who assault boys and men do it for the same reason that they assault people of all genders: power and control.
Dangerous and damaging misconceptions exist about men who have survived sexualized violence because of unrealistic gender expectations and scripts
Gender expectations and gender scripts act as powerful forces that often shape men’s responses to sexualized violence. Because of expectations of what it means to “act like a man” – expectations that men are tough, unemotional, able to defend themselves, always wanting sex, and more – men who survive sexualized violence feel pressured to not recognize, acknowledge, or treat their experience.
Homophobia also works to keep men silent because of the fear of being identified as gay. Being assaulted does not determine someone’s sexual orientation. In addition, being gay does not mean a person is asking or deserves to be assaulted.
Believing these and other myths is dangerous and discourages survivors from acknowledging what has happened to them and seeking the support that they need.
If you were assaulted, it is not your fault, no matter how your body responded.
Physiological responses such as erection or ejaculation are often used to silence and shame men who have survived sexualized violence. Our bodies all naturally respond to touch and stimulation even if the sexual contact was forced or unwanted. A physical response does not mean that we wanted or consented to the contact.
People of all genders, including boys and men, have the right to support and healing.
If you are a man and have been assaulted, it is important to reach out for help. When traumatic experiences are not acknowledged and treated, survivors of trauma may experience overwhelming feelings and lose control of their lives. Seeking help is a sign of strength and courage. In Victoria, the Men’s Trauma Centre can offer support and services.
102 – 1022 Pandora Ave., Victoria, BC
Phone: (250) 381-MENS (6367) Toll Free: 1-866-793-6367
Crisis line: (250) 383-3232
Just because you are a man, doesn’t mean yes. Only yes means yes.