Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Sexually Assaulted Male



Sexual assault occurs when one person engages in sexual activity with another person, without the consent of the other individual. These acts can a be physical or verbal in nature.
Sexual assault can be perpetrated in various ways - it can involve strangers or people who know one another, individuals or groups of people. Positions of authority, blackmail, weapons, or drugs may be used to encourage the submission of the victim. In cases such as sexual harassment in the workplace, the victim is subjected to a hostile work environment with genderized standards and/or unwelcome sexual discourse.
It is important to remember that, no matter what the circumstances, sexual assault is never the fault or responsibility of the victim, no matter the gender.
Breaking Down Myths About Male Sexual Assault:
Myth: Men cannot be sexually assaulted by women.
Reality: Men are sexually assaulted by women (although most perpetrators of male sexual assault are men).
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Myth: Men cannot be sexually assaulted by men.
Reality: Men are sexually assaulted by other men, regardless of sexual orientation.
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Myth: Men cannot be sexually assaulted.
Reality: Men ARE sexually assaulted. Men of any sexual orientation, size, appearance, or strength can be sexually assaulted.
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Myth: Only gay men are sexually assaulted.
Reality: Heterosexual, bisexual, and gay men are equally likely to be sexually assaulted. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation.
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Myth: Only gay men sexually assault other men.
Reality: Most men who sexually assault other men identify themselves as straight. Sexual assault is about anger, violence, and control, not necessarily about lust or sexual attraction.
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Myth: Erections or ejaculation during a sexual assault means you consented to the assault, or "liked it."
Reality: Erection and ejaculation are physical responses to an assault (over which there is very little control), and these do not imply enjoyment or pleasure. However, these responses can confuse and manipulate a victim of sexual assault into the false believe that they did, in fact, consent to the experience. They did not.
How Common is Male Sexual Assault?
Rates of male sexual assault, similar to female sexual assault, are said to be grossly under-reported. In fact, it is believed that 10% of all sexual assault victims in the US are male (RAINN) and that 10-20% of all men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime (www.mscasa.org). This number includes boys who are sexually assaulted in childhood. For more information aboutpreventingdetecting, and responding to childhood sexual assault please see the resources linked here.
In recent years, perhaps due to economic decline, reports of sexual assault on males have increased.
Male Sexuality
The issue of male sexual assault is complicated by society’s beliefs about male sexuality. Many people may believe that it is impossible for a man to be sexually abused due to their size and strength. This is absolutely untrue.
There is also a myth that all men enjoy all sexual contact, thus making the victim “lucky” to have engaged in sexual activity. This myth is particularly damaging and false.
Males who have experienced sexual abuse can sometimes respond in a physical way - by becoming erect , which can lead to feelings of guilt or shame. It should be noted that a physical response to abuse does not, in any way, indicate acceptance or willingness to participate in sexual activity. It is merely a physiological response to a stimulus.
These responses do not mean that the sexual activity was not assault and cannot be prosecuted as such.
Effects of Sexual Assault:
Men and boys who have been abused may experience any, all, or none of the following, in response to their abuse:


  • Decreased self-esteem, self-confidence, or development of negative body image
  • Feelings of shame, anger, guilt, and self-blame
  • Difficulties trusting others, especially those who share the gender of their abuser
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Difficulties with intimacy
  • Self-destructive impulses
  • Confusion or questions about sexual identity and masculinity
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • These issues can be effectively addressed with therapy. Men may be particularly unwilling to undergo therapy, believing that they can tough it out. Many men identify with the stereotypical strong, quiet man and don’t wish to call attention to their abuse; however, support is essentialfor the recovery of any sexual abuse victim, and therapy should be encouraged.
    Certain medications may also be administered if the victim sufferers from disruptive mood disorders or trauma-related problems.
    Unique Issues Faced By Male Sexual Assault Survivors:
    Society wrongly denies that men get sexually assaulted. With the exception of a prison joke, most people don't even think about male sexual assault. When most people think of rape or sexual assault, they think of women. There's a stigma that "real men" can fight off any attacker or that men are immune to sexual assault - and the issue that most people think that men, due to the nature of erections, cannot be forced into sex. These stigmas allow for men to feel safe from sexual assault.
    Until it happens to them.
    It's really no wonder that men don't seek help or report sexual assault. The percentage of men who report sexual assault is less than 5% - because they feel shame, isolation, and like they're somehow "less of a man," if they admit to being sexually assaulted.
    For guys, the idea of being a victim is hard to accept. I mean, guys grow up believing they can defend themselves against ANYTHING. Dudes are supposed to believe that they can fight - TO THE DEATH - something like an unwanted sexual advance. Those masculine feelings are deeply rooted for most men - which can lead to guilt, shame and inadequacy for male sexual assault survivors.
    Lots of male sexual assault survivors question whether or not it WAS sexual assault. Maybe they wanted it! Maybe they deserved it! I mean, they did fail to defend themselves...right? Male sexual assault survivors often become disgusted with themselves for not fighting back. The feelings are normal of any rape survivor, but the thoughts are flawed. Men who've been assaulted were just doing the best they could to survive. There's NO shame in that.
    Thanks to the guilt and shame spiral, a lot of male survivors punish themselves for the assault by engaging in self-destructive behavior. Drug or alcohol use and abuse. Picking fights. Social isolation. This is why male sexual assault survivors are at a higher risk for depression, work problems, and drug or alcohol addiction.
    Sexual insecurities are common following a sexual assault are common. It may be hard to have sex or have a relationship with someone because any sexual contact may trigger a flashback. So if you've been the victim of male sexual assault, please just go easy on yourself and take some time to recover.
    When heterosexual men are assaulted, they may question their sexuality, as though the assault may have made him gay, especially if the perpetrator accused the victim of enjoying himself. Sexual assault, though, is about power, anger, and control - not about sexuality. A sexual assault cannot "make someone gay."
    Gay men who have been sexually assaulted may feel self-loathing and self-blame, as though their sexuality caused it. In fact, some sexual assaults ARE the result of gay-bashing, motivated by fear of homosexuals. Remember that NO ONE deserves to be sexually assaulted.
    What To Do If You've Been Assaulted:
    Men who have been sexually assaulted should first get to a safe place and then call a friend and/or the police for help. Victims should refrain from showering or otherwise destroying physical evidence that may help convict the offender.
    Remember, victims are not to blame for the assault.
    By raising awareness about the prevalence of male sexual assault, we have hope that more and more men will feel comfortable reaching out for the help they need and deserve after surviving sexual assault.
    Reclaiming Your Life:
    It's important for all male sexual assault survivors to remember that their feelings and reactions are both normal and temporary. Fear and confusion will lessen, but the trauma of a sexual assault may disrupt things awhile. Some feelings will happen out of the blue and are related to the sexual assault - you're not going crazy.
    It's hard to want to talk about your feelings - you probably just want to get over it and move on with your life. Eventually, you'll have to deal with those feelings to heal and gain control of your life again. So talk to a friend, a therapist, a hotline counselor - anyone you trust - to work through those feelings. It's a key part of reclaiming your life after a sexual assault.
    Remember - you won't be functioning 100% after the assault. It's normal to feel tired, forgetful or irritable - be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to feel how you feel.
    Tips for Taking Care of Yourself:
    Get some support. Find people who understand what you're feeling and those who love you just as you are. Don't isolate yourself.
    • Engage in some hard exercise or some relaxation techniques.
    • Talk about the assault - express your feelings. Doesn't have to be with everyone, just people you trust.
    • Get some counseling.
    • Remind yourself that you're safe now - no one can hurt you.
    • Let out some of your anger in safe, healthy ways like writing or reading.
    • Write a post for Band Back Together. Remember: you can be anonymous!
    How To Help Someone Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted:
    • First, get your friend or family member some medical help.
    • Listen to him - don't judge him.
    • Let him stay with you or offer to stay with him.
    • Give some comfort.
    • Suggest that he get some professional help.
    • Don't offer quick-fix ideas for healing. They don't help.
    • Accept his choices for dealing with the sexual assault.
    • Get some counseling for yourself if you can't handle your own feelings.

    Find More HERE Band Back Together

    Tuesday, 24 February 2015

    Characteristics of Abusers #DV #Abuse

    Characteristics of Abusers

    If the person you love or live with does these things, it’s time to get help:
    • Keeps track of what you are doing all the time and criticizes you for little things.
    • Constantly accuses you of being unfaithful.
    • Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family, or going to work or school.
    • Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs.
    • Controls all the money you spend.
    • Humiliates you in front of others.
    • Destroys your property or things that you care about.
    • Threatens to hurt you or the children or pets, or does cause hurt (by hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting).
    • Uses or threatens to use a weapon against you.
    • Forces you to have sex against your will.
    • Blames you for his/her violent outbursts.

    Characteristics of Abusers...Warning signs of potential violence:

    • Abuser pacing the floor
    • Clenching/unclenching fists
    • Facial expression (glaring)
    • Shouting/yelling
    Always be conscious of your own safety needs in all interactions involving an abusive person.  Do not meet privately with a violence-prone individual.  If you must do so, be sure someone is available close by in case you need help.

    Abusers frequently have the following characteristics:

    • Often blow up in anger at small incidents. He or she is often easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really very angry.
    • Are excessively jealous: At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser may claim that jealousy is a sign of his or her love. Jealousy has nothing to do with love.
    • Like to isolate victim: He or she may try to cut you off from social supports, accusing the people who act as your support network of "causing trouble."
    • Have a poor self-image; are insecure.
    • Blame others for their own problems.
    • Blame others for their own feelings and are very manipulative. An abusive person will often say "you make me mad", "you’re hurting me by not doing what I ask", or "I can’t help being angry".
    • Often are alcohol or drug abusers.
    • May have a family history of violence.
    • May be cruel to animals and/or children. 
    • May have a fascination with weapons.
    • May think it is okay to solve conflicts with violence.
    • Often make threats of violence, breaking or striking objects.
    • Often use physical force during arguments.
    • Often use verbal threats such as, "I’ll slap your mouth off", "I’ll kill you", or "I’ll break your neck". Abusers may try to excuse this behaviour by saying, "everybody talks like that". 
    • May hold rigid stereotypical views of the roles of men and women. The abuser may see women as inferior to men, stupid, and unable to be a whole person without a relationship.
    • Are very controlling of others.  Controlling behaviours often grow to the point where victims are not allowed to make personal decisions.
    • May act out instead of expressing themselves verbally.
    • May be quick to become involved in relationships.  Many battered women dated or knew their abuser for less than six months before they were engaged or living together.
    • May have unrealistic expectations. The abuser may expect his or her partner to fulfill all his or her needs. The abusive person may say, “If you love me, I’m all you need- you’re all I need". 
    • May use "playful" force during sex, and/or may want to act out sexual fantasies in which the victim is helpless.  
    • May say things that are intentionally cruel and hurtful in order to degrade, humiliate, or run down the victim’s accomplishments.
    • Tend to be moody and unpredictable. They may be nice one minute and the next minute explosive. Explosiveness and mood swings are typical of men who beat their partners.
    • May have a history of battering: the abuser may admit to hitting others in the past, but will claim the victim “asked for” it.  An abuser will beat any woman he is with; situational circumstances do not make a person abusive.

    How dangerous is the abuser? Assessing lethality in an abuse situation:

    Some domestic violence is life threatening. All domestic violence is dangerous, but some abusers are more likely to kill than others and some are more likely to kill at specific times. The likelihood of homicide is greater when the following factors are present:
    1. Threats of homicide or suicide: The abuser may threaten to kill himself, the victim, the children, relatives, friends, or someone else;
    2. Plans for homicide or suicide: The more detailed the abuser’s plan and the more available the method, the greater the risk he will use deadly force;
    3. Weapons: The abuser possesses weapons, and has threatened to use them in the past against the victim, the children, or himself. If the abuser has a history of arson, fire should be considered a weapon;
    4. "Ownership" of the victim: The abuser says things like "If I can’t have you no one can" or "I would rather see you dead than have you divorce me". The abuser believes he is absolutely entitled to the obedience and loyalty of the victim;
    5. Centrality of victim to the abuser: The abuser idolizes the victim, depending heavily on him or her to organize and sustain the abuser’s life, or the abuser isolates the victim from outside supports;
    6. Separation violence: The abuser believes he is about to lose the victim;
    7. Repeated calls to law enforcement: A history of violence is indicated by repeated police involvement;
    8. Escalation of risk-taking: The abuser has begun to act without regard to legal or social consequences that previously constrained his violence; and
    9. Hostage taking: He is desperate enough to risk the life of innocent persons by taking hostages.  There is a very serious likelihood of the situation turning deadly.

    Battered and Abused Men:

    Most of us recognize that men experience verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of women, less well accepted or admitted is the fact of physical abuse. In our society, we think of women as the victims and men as the aggressors in physical abuse.  The fact that women are more likely to be severely injured in domestic violence adds to the problem of recognizing male abuse.  Nevertheless, it happens - frequently.  In fact, men are just as likely to be seriously injured when a woman becomes violent because women are more likely to use weapons in the course of an assault.  If a male client indicates that his girlfriend or partner assaulted him, believe him.  A man will find it harder to discuss his pain with you than will a woman, and even harder to admit to being a victim. It is easier to attribute an injury to a sports mishap or workplace accident than to admit to a doctor or police officer it resulted from domestic violence.

    Facts:

    1. Fewer men report abuse. They are ashamed to report being abused by women.
    2. Health care and law enforcement professionals are more likely to accept alternative explanations of abuse from a man. They will believe other reasons for the presence of bruises and other signs of injury.
    3. Our justice system often takes the word of the woman above the word of the man in abuse cases. It is just more believable that the aggressor was the man, not the woman.
    4. Men are more likely to tolerate the pain of abuse than women. They "grin and bear it” more. And again, many are ashamed to seek medical help for abuse.
    5. Unless a woman uses a weapon, she usually does not have the strength to inflict injury.
    Abused men are as likely as their female counterparts are to have low self-esteem.  People can come to believe that they are somehow responsible for what happened.  People cling to the hope that things will get better: that the woman he "loves" will quit when their relationship is better adjusted, or the children get older and show more responsibility.  These are all pretty much the same excuses women make for remaining with men who batter them.

    Are you abused?  Does the person you love…

    • "Track" all of your time?
    • Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
    • Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
    • Prevent you from working or attending school?
    • Criticize you for little things?
    • Become angry easily when drinking or abusing drugs?
    • Control all finances and force you to account for what you spend?
    • Humiliate you in front of others?
    • Destroy your personal property or items with sentimental value?
    • Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children?
    • Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
    • Threaten to hurt you or hurt the children?
    • Force you to have sex against your will?

    Below is a list of things Jerry can do to help himself:

    • Tell friends he trusts.
    • Make safety arrangements such as:
      • Leaving the relationship;
      • Finding a safe place to go; and
      • Changing his phone number and/or locks.
    • Telephone a domestic violence hotline or shelter and:
      • Talk to a worker;
      • Find out about his legal rights; or
      • See a counsellor - separately or with Lisa. 
    • Gain the support of witnesses, when possible.
    • Take notes detailing dates, times and what occurred.
    • Phone Police when Lisa becomes physically abusive.

    Abuse Checklists:

    Below is a self-assessment quiz to help you determine if you are being abused. You may be suffering abuse even if you answer, “Yes” to only a few questions.

    You may be becoming or already are a victim of abuse if you:

    • Feel like you have to "walk on eggshells" to keep him/her from getting angry and are frightened by his/her temper.
    • Feel you can't live without him/her.
    • Stop seeing other friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because he/she doesn't like them.
    • Are afraid to tell him/her your worries and feelings about the relationship.
    • Are often compliant because you are afraid to hurt his/her feelings; and have the urge to "rescue" him/her when he/she is troubled.
    • Feel that you are the only one who can help him/her and that you should try to "reform" him/her.
    • Find yourself apologizing to yourself or others for your partner's behaviour when you are treated badly.
    • Stop expressing opinions if he/she doesn't agree with them.
    • Stay because you feel he/she will kill him/herself if you leave.
    • Believe that his/her jealousy is a sign of love.
    • Have been kicked, hit, shoved, or had things thrown at you by him/her when he/she was jealous or angry.
    • Believe the critical things he/she says to make you feel bad about yourself.
    • Believe that there is something wrong with you if you don't enjoy the sexual things he/she makes you do.
    • Believe in the traditional ideas of what a man and a woman should be and do -- that the man makes the decisions and the woman pleases him.
    Original HERE

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