Serving male students
When sexual assault occurs it is devastating to the victim regardless of sex and/or gender. Male victims have the same rights under the law as women. Men are entitled to the same services and support following a sexual assault. Survivors of sexual violence often blame themselves for the attack(s). Men, in particular, may feel that they should have been strong enough to defend themselves against the assault. They may feel that a “real man” could have avoided the sexual assault. It is important to help victims understand that they are not to blame. Sexual violence is a crime of power and control and perpetrators use many methods to control their victims, including fear, shame, threats, and debilitating substances like alcohol and drugs. SHARPP recognizes these differences and is committed to male victims by providing accessible, free, culturally competent, and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies.
A 2005 study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, on San Diego Kaiser Permanente HMO members, reported that 16% of males were sexually abused by the age of 18.1
A 2003 national study of U.S. adults reported that 14.2% of men were sexually abused before the age of 18.2
A 1998 study reviewing research on male childhood sexual abuse concluded that the problems are “common, under-reported, under-recognized, and under-treated.”3
A 1996 study of male university students in the Boston area reported that 18% of men were sexually abused before the age of 16.4
All survivors that use SHARPP services have the right to respectful treatment of confidential information. All information and records pertaining to you will be kept confidential in accordance with NH RSA 173-C;
Male victims may face unique hurdles in reporting the crime and getting the medical assistance and emotional support they need and deserve. Male sexual assault survivors may believe that the police, medical professionals, and even sexual assault support center advocates will be insensitive to their experience because they are men.
Male rape victims suffer a similar fear that female rape victims face -- that people will believe the myth that they may have enjoyed being raped. Some men may believe they were not raped or that they gave consent because they became sexually aroused, had an erection, or ejaculated during the sexual assault. These are normal, involuntary physiological reactions. It does not mean that the victim wanted to be raped or sexually assaulted, or that the survivor enjoyed the traumatic experience. Sexual arousal does not necessarily mean there was consent.
There are many reasons that male victims do not come forward and report being raped, but perhaps the biggest reason for many males is the fear of being perceived as homosexual. However, male sexual assault has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the attacker or the victim, just as a sexual assault does not make the victim/survivor gay, bisexual or heterosexual. It is a violent crime that affects heterosexual men as much as gay men.
Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) www.unh.edu/sharpp 603-862-3494
SHARPP works to eliminate sexual and intimate partner violence. SHARPP's mission is accomplished in two parts: by providing free and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies; and by offering culturally competent awareness and prevention programs to the University of New Hampshire community.
Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS) www.unh.edu/pacs/ 603-862-2090
PACS is committed to serving UNH’s diverse campus community by providing students with support and education for their person and academic success through confidential counseling, psychiatric consultation, and outreach and prevention services.
Affirmative Action and Equity Office www.unh.edu/affirmativeaction 603-862-2930
Responsible for oversight of the University’s compliance efforts in regard to affirmative action, Title IX, disability laws and regulations, equal employment laws, and campus initiatives aimed at creating a diverse, welcoming and equitable campus.
To see a list of other places SHARPP refers to check out www.unh.edu/sharpp/resources
1in6’s goal is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. Their mission also includes serving family members, friends, and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.
MaleSurvivor provides critical resources to male survivors of sexual trauma and all their partners in recovery by building communities of Hope, Healing, & Support.
1 Dube, S.R., Anda, R.F., Whitfield, C.L., et al. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430–438.
2 Briere, J. & Elliot, D.M. (2003). Prevalence and psychological sequelae of self-reported childhood physical and sexual abuse in a general population sample of men and women. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27, 1205–1222.
3 Holmes, W.C., & Slap, G.B. (1998). Sexual abuse of boys: Definition, prevalence, correlates, sequelae, and management. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 280, 1855–1862.
4 Lisak, D., Hopper, J. & Song, P. (1996). Factors in the cycle of violence: Gender rigidity and emotional constriction. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 721–743.