When Men Are Victims

Men and boys can be victims of sexual violence as children, teens or as adults. Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual contact. Perpetrators of sexual violence against men act out of power and control. Sexual violence includes such crimes as rape, incest, statutory sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation of children or any sexual contact without consent.

Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault needs compassion, sensitivity and caring, and male victims may also have special needs to consider.

In the United States, about 10 percent of reported rapes involve male victims, and many more go unreported. Men and boys are often reluctant to report the crime of sexual assault, or to seek services, because they feel humiliated, shamed or confused by the crime or because they feel that seeking help will make them feel vulnerable or weak. Most perpetrators of male assault are men, and they rape both gay and straight men because rape is an act of violence, not of sex or sexual desire.

Help is available. Most rape crisis centers provide free and confidential services for all people who have been hurt by sexual assault, including men. They also will provide help for the friends and family members of victims who want to help their loved one or who need support for their own feelings.

Studies show that one out of seven boys will be the victim of some type of sexual assault before age 18.