Myths: Men Can’t Be Raped

Men can’t be raped.

Saying, “men can’t be raped” is entirely false. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, “Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused may have many of the same feelings and reactions as other survivors of sexual assault, but they may also face some additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.” Further it is important to note that, “although rape is thought to occur much less frequently to men than to women, the incidence of male rape is thought to be underreported. Because of the misconceptions about rape and the fears such an experience unleashes, most men come forward reluctantly or not at all.”

When someone discloses that they have been sexually assaulted, it can be difficult to know what to say. However, it is crucial that we avoid victim-blaming and stigmatizing statements and instead approach the survivor with validation and compassion. Sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault and no one should have to cope with the aftermath alone. Further, it is possible to live a happy and fulfilled life as a survivor.