Rape RealityLaw Enforcement . News . Self-Defense
Today, I delve into a subject that rarely garners attention in mainstream media: Rape. This word, laden with violence and sometimes associated with death, is a highly uncomfortable topic. Most discussions surrounding rape focus exclusively on men sexually assaulting women, but the reality is broader and more complex.
Rape is an act, not rooted in sexual desire, but in the need to exert dominance over an individual or a group. The victims of such a traumatic event find themselves in their most exposed and vulnerable state, their freedom taken away. The aftermath often leaves them feeling violated, victimized, and, paradoxically, guilty. Society’s shame surrounding each occurrence echoes the shame victims feel.
Support groups, special laws, and shelters for women who are victims of rape are thankfully in place. These resources recognize the serious and widespread nature of the problem and seek to provide help.
But what about men who experience the same horrifying violation? Rape of men is an issue that receives even less exposure, relegated in the minds of many to the confines of prison showers. This notion is misguided, with the occurrence of men being raped more widespread than most imagine, largely due to under-reporting. Men report rape even less frequently than women, with instances of women raping men included in these under reported cases. Contrary to societal stereotypes portraying men as always desiring sex, even as victims, rape is never about pleasure; it’s about power and dominance.
Society’s perception of women raping men is even more shocking, often dismissed or downplayed. Consider recent cases, a business man in NYC raped by three women after being pulled into a construction site, of the increasing number of female teachers molesting adolescent boys. Societies reaction is frequently dismissive, treating the young victims as if they received a ‘gift’ rather than being abused. These women also rarely face the same severe consequences as male perpetrators.
We, as a society, must confront our biases and misconceptions. We must demand equal justice regardless of the gender of the victim or attacker. The fight against such depravity and the culture of objectification requires us to be united, aware, and committed.
Men being raped is not just a distant possibility; it’s a grim reality that we must address with seriousness, empathy and similar attention as we do for women victims. The predators behind these acts often identify, track, and target their chosen prey. We all need to be prepared, be aware, and be safe.
As an example and warning for those who feel it will never happen to them I present a news story from December 2006 that I preserved:
Original URL: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/18/male.rapes.ap/index.html
HOUSTON, Texas (AP) —
A rapist who preys on young men has struck five times in the Houston area since mid-September, and police said Monday there may be even more victims who are too ashamed to come forward.
The rapist typically stalks, robs and sexually assaults his victims at gunpoint, apparently choosing them at random and attacking them near or inside their homes, police said. The most recent attack was November 30, 2006.
“I wish we had a link between the victims, because we might have a better chance of catching him,” said Lt. Richard Whitaker of the police department in Baytown, where two of the attacks took place. “We don’t have any affirmative links at all.” He said some victims may be reluctant to come forward because of their ages and “a pride thing” that makes men more reluctant to acknowledge being the victim of a sex crime.
Investigators believe rape is the motive, even though some victims were robbed. DNA testing is under way in an effort to identify the attacker. In some cases, the attacker approached his victim outside their home. Other times, he broke into the home. “I think he just sees one that he prefers, and then he begins to follow them and gather information, finding out where they live and watching their house,” Whitaker said.
Victims have described the attacker as a clean-shaven black man, 18 to 21 years old, 5-foot-6 to 6 feet tall, with a shaved head. The victims have all been men in their late teens.
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