NBC News is reporting on a little covered story and that is the long time epidemic of sexual assaults on men. Estimates are that near 14,000 men have been sexually assaulted which comes to 38 men per day. However, because of the stigma, humiliation and disbelief by superiors, very few of them are reported by the victims.
There is still the belief by many that men can't be sexually assaulted or victims of domestic violence. It is a huge myth. Often gay soldiers are the victims of sexual assault by straights looking for a quick 'outlet'. The same horrendous excuses directed to females victims are also applied to male victims. Such as, 'he really wanted it'.
Journalist Bill Briggs reports:
“As a culture, we’ve somewhat moved past the idea that a female wanted this trauma to occur, but we haven’t moved past that for male survivors,” said Brian Lewis, a rape survivor who served in the Navy. “In a lot of areas of the military, men are still viewed as having wanted it or of being homosexual. That’s not correct at all. It’s a crime of power and control.
“But also, you’re instantly viewed as a liar and a troublemaker (when a man reports a sex crime), and there’s the notion that you have abandoned your shipmates, that you took a crap all over your shipmates, that you misconstrued their horseplay,” he added.
Lewis, who was raped by a male superior officer aboard a Navy ship in 2000, spoke Thursday at a press conference introducing a bill that seeks to strip serious sex assaults from the military’s chain of command. At that event, he said: “Too often male survivors are ignored and marginalized.”
“The biggest reasons men don’t come forward (with sex assault reports) are the fear of retaliation (from fellow troops), the fear of being viewed in a weaker light, and the fact there are very few, if any, services for male survivors,” Lewis told NBC News.
All sexual assault response coordinators within the military are instructed to provide “gender-responsive, culturally competent and recovery-oriented” resources, said Cynthia O. Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman.
“Based on that guidance, each of the services customizes its training and implementation specific to their service,” Smith said. DOD offers a 24/7 “safe helpline” providing anonymous victim support, and its staffers “have been trained to assist male victims.”
Still, the Defense Department acknowledges it must do more to help male victims.
“A focus of our prevention efforts over the next several months is specifically geared towards male survivors and will include (learning) why male survivors report at much lower rates than female survivors, and determining the unique support and assistance male survivors need,” Smith said.
The Pentagon “has reached out to organizations supporting male survivors for assistance and information to help inform our way ahead,” she added.
“I applaud that stand on behalf of male survivors,” Lewis said. “However, I would be interested in hearing what organizations they are partnering with considering there are none especially geared for male survivors of military sexual trauma.”