People don’t think it happens to boys

If you are a boy or young man who has been raped, this whole website is for you too.

Here is a bit more information that may be useful. Boys often experience the effects of rape differently to girls for the following reasons:

  • People don’t think it happens to boys
  • Boys are ‘supposed to be tough’
  • Does it mean I’m gay?

Mankind UK are a charity working with men who were raped in childhood. They believe that the above issues mean that boys/men who have been raped may have even more feelings of confusion, guilt and shame than girls/women.

People don’t think it happens to boys

People don’t think it happens to boys

Many people don’t think that rape happens to boys and men, so if this has happened to you, you may feel like there is nowhere to get help or support.

When we talk about boys or men being raped, we are referring to boys/men being raped by other men, although some women sexually abuse or sexually assault boys or men.

Boys are ‘supposed to be tough’

Boys are ‘supposed to be tough’

Many boys are brought-up to believe that:

  • They shouldn’t cry.
  • They shouldn’t show emotions – if they do, this is a sign of weakness.
  • Only women show emotions and talk about their feelings.

Of course, boys have feelings just like girls do, it’s just that they are often taught to hold them in or ignore them. This can make it even more difficult for boys who have been raped to talk about it. Additionally, boys often feel like they should be able to look after themselves, so when something awful like being raped happens, they may feel angry with themselves for being unable to stop it, and fear what others may think of them.  As a result of such anger, guilt and shame, as they get older some boys may punish themselves with self-destructive behaviour, such as increased alcohol or drug use.

As they get older, boys may question if they are ‘a real man’ as a result of being raped. The fact is that any boy or man can be raped, no matter what their size or how strong they are.  Also, many men who have been raped report that the shock and fear has ‘frozen’ them, making them unable to react to what is happening

All of these feelings combined often mean that boys who have been raped feel very isolated and alone.

Concerns about Sexuality

Concerns about Sexuality

The guilt and shame associated with rape is increased if the body of the person being raped has responded and become aroused. It is normal for the male body to become aroused when touched, and does not mean that the person wants to be raped. However, men who rape people often use this to ensure that their victim feels even more ashamed of what has happened, because they may then be less likely to tell anyone about it. Rapists don’t necessarily target gay people, they target people they want to have sexual control and power over.

Help for boys who have been raped

 For further information, the following websites may be useful

 www.survivorsuk.org.uk

01872 262100

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