For men, the horrors of abuse can be intensified by cultural stereotypes regarding masculinity, which often drive the talk, or lack of it. Sexual violence can also serve as an assault against ideas about what a man is “supposed” to be. In too many families, victims of abuse are categorized as “weak” and other dangerous, damaging labels. This high potential for stigma contributes to a particularly difficult situation for men who survive abuse, providing obstacles to disclosing sexual abuse, even for survivors who try to get the help they need.Opinion: Sexual assault and domestic violence do not discriminate | Opinion | record-eagle.com
For the men of our community, as with women, surviving sexual assault and domestic abuse is all about recognizing, reporting and resources. As neighbors, we must learn to recognize the signs of abuse with male victims, so that we can help identify crimes when they are committed. The courageous men and boys who step forward to report their abuse to authorities deserve the same respect as women who survive abuse. And we must support the resources available for survivors to help them live after sexual and domestic violence, break its dangerous cycle and ensure that no survivor remains alone.