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Male Sexual Assault

Male Sexual Assault

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Published by The Rat

Paper I wrote for a trauma class detailing the little discussed topic of male sexual assault: facts, presentation, symptoms, treatment, implications.

Paper I wrote for a trauma class detailing the little discussed topic of male sexual assault: facts, presentation, symptoms, treatment, implications.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: The Rat on Jan 18, 2013
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09/17/2013

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Male Sexual Assault 1
Male Sexual AssaultSSS: 655Social Work Response to TraumaJane SlomskiApril, 2010
 
Male Sexual Assault 2
 Introduction
The sexual abuse of women has received increased public attention since the women‟s
movement of the 1960s. Policymakers have passed such legislation as the Violence AgainstWomen Act (VAWA, 1994), and have enacted mandatory arrest laws for domestic violencecases. Meanwhile, the sexual abuse of men is a largely unresearched area of trauma that affectsthe lives of many men. Although there has been increased awareness in recent years, there islittle to no recognition and little support for men who are survivors of sexual assault. A review of the literature suggests that sexual violence against men is a largely unrecognized andunderreported area of trauma. Current research highlights the need for clinical interventions andtreatment approaches that address the unique experiences of men affected by sexual violence.These men
are a substantial group and deserve the mental health community‟s ful
l attention.Most researchers believe that in addition to the trauma reactions seen in women with a
history of sexual abuse, the western societal values that surround being male, and “manliness”contribute to men‟s unwillingness to disclose and seek trea
tment for sexual assault or abuse. Thefeelings of helplessness, guilt, and overwhelming emotions that often surround these experiencesare directly contrary to how society tells men they should behave (Allagia & Millington, 2008).Current societal values and beliefs that contribute to this gap as well as the current stateof professional literature on the topic are addressed. Recommendations for policy and practicethat may educate policymakers and social work practitioners and improve services to thispopulation in the mental health field are discussed.
 
Male Sexual Assault 3
 Literature Review
The current literature on sexual assault is overwhelmingly focused on men as theperpetrators of sexual violence and on women as their victims. Certainly this is due to the factthat the majority of perpetrators are male (Kia-Keating, Sorsoli, & Grossman, 2009). However,sexual violence perpetrated against men by both male and female perpetrators occurs with morefrequency than previously acknowledged by either clinical literature, or by society at large (Light& Monk-Turner, 2009). Only recently has society begun to acknowledge that men can be victimsof sexual assault. It is currently estimated that men are the victims of sexual assault or rape inapproximately 5-10 percent of reported cases every year (Light & Monk-Turner, 2009).However, these figures should be interpreted with caution, since not surprisingly, men are lesslikely than women to report being the victims of sexual violence (Light & Monk Turner, 2009).
Common Reactions to Sexual Assault 
Over the past few decades, the traumatic impact of sexual assault in general has been welldocumented by clinicians and researchers alike, but male victims have not received the sameamount of attention as female victims (Grossman, Sorsoli & Kia-Keating, 2006). Regardless of gender, several reactions to sexual assault appear to be common. Victims experience shame,guilt, fear of intimacy and physical contact with others, and may become triggered by previouslyneutral stimuli they associate with the event, such as physical places or sounds. Shame and guiltoften prevent survivors from reporting the trauma in a timely manner that would allow forprosecution of the perpetrator (Rumney, 2008). Many victims report that law enforcementofficials are untrained in interviewing victims of sexual violence and that they feel that lawenforcement does not believe them. Law enforcement personnel report that they are not trainedon how to handle cases involving male victimization (Rumney, 2008). Long-term physical and

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