The Rape of Men -*Trigger Warning*- Probably the most important article I’ve read Regarding Sexual Violence
I’ve been learning a lot in my research. Men fear other men. This is a new concept to me. The Man Box concept was created as a way for men to protect themselves from predatory men. One male activist I watched (Tony Porter from Call To Men) stated that predatory men are destroying the world and that it is time for men to stand with women to stop them. The youtube for the discussion is here.
I didn’t understand exactly what he meant, I think, until I read this article.
Rape is a Violent Crime. Rape is a Tool of War.
It is not a misunderstanding or a way to procreate.
Of all the secrets of war, there is one that is so well kept that it exists mostly as a rumour. It is usually denied by the perpetrator and his victim. Governments, aid agencies and human rights defenders at the UN barely acknowledge its possibility. Yet every now and then someone gathers the courage to tell of it. This is just what happened on an ordinary afternoon in the office of a kind and careful counsellor in Kampala, Uganda. For four years Eunice Owiny had been employed by Makerere University’s Refugee Law Project (RLP) to help displaced people from all over Africa work through their traumas. This particular case, though, was a puzzle. A female client was having marital difficulties. “My husband can’t have sex,” she complained. “He feels very bad about this. I’m sure there’s something he’s keeping from me.”
Owiny invited the husband in. For a while they got nowhere. Then Owiny asked the wife to leave. The man then murmured cryptically: “It happened to me.” Owiny frowned. He reached into his pocket and pulled out an old sanitary pad. “Mama Eunice,” he said. “I am in pain. I have to use this.”
Laying the pus-covered pad on the desk in front of him, he gave up his secret. During his escape from the civil war in neighbouring Congo, he had been separated from his wife and taken by rebels. His captors raped him, three times a day, every day for three years. And he wasn’t the only one. He watched as man after man was taken and raped. The wounds of one were so grievous that he died in the cell in front of him.
More: The Rape of Men
From the same article:
The research by Lara Stemple at the University of California doesn’t only show that male sexual violence is a component of wars all over the world, it also suggests that international aid organisations are failing male victims. Her study cites a review of 4,076 NGOs that have addressed wartime sexual violence. Only 3% of them mentioned the experience of men in their literature. “Typically,” Stemple says, “as a passing reference.”
This is horrifying to me. The male survivors encounter the same stigma and exile that female survivors experience in some cultures. In many ways it is worse, becuase they are no longer considered men. Female survivors don’t lose their gender in the eyes of society.