Sexual violence is devastating to all victims, regardless of gender, and male and female victims share many of the same reactions. Certain issues are unique to male victims, however.
As a male, perhaps you never thought you would experience sexual violence. As with any survivor of such trauma, you may feel rage, shame, guilt, powerlessness, helplessness, concern for your safety, and physical symptoms or illness. Also, you may have doubts about your sexuality or masculinity and may be reluctant 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. You may hesitate to tell other people and to find resources and support.
You have done nothing that justifies violence against you. Sexual violence is a physical expression of violence and power, not one of lust or passion.
When seeking support, you have control and options. You may:
As a man, many factors or fears may influence your decision whether to report your experience to law enforcement. The advantages of reporting include:
If you are gay or bisexual, you may feel that somehow you encouraged an assault. You may fear disclosure of your sexual orientation. You may fear for your safety or feel "survivor's guilt" if you survived a hate crime. And you may know your assailant - he could be an acquaintance, a friend, a colleague, a date, or a partner.
Feeling responsible is a normal reaction to sexual violence, but sexual violence never is the survivor's responsibility. You did nothing to deserve it, and should seek the support that you need and deserve.
Campus police undergo special training to help them better understand and respond to male victims and victims who may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Officers are here to support you and to help protect you and your safety.