Secondary victimization of sexual and other assault victims

Men are Strong, aka He Should Have Fought Back: This one is actually quite common. While men are not asked what they were wearing, their physical strength and perceived ability to fight back are frequently used to invalidate. There is a ridiculous assumption that all men have the mad martial arts skills of Bruce Lee, tenacity of Charles Bronson in a Death Wish movie, and incredible calm of Clint Eastwood portraying Dirty Harry. Apparently, we are trained in hand-to-hand combat, weapons mastery, and How To Be Macho from birth. In reality, it is quite common for women AND men to freeze during a violent encounter. Quite often, the encounter is over without a single blow placed. Further, predators are skilled at finding ways to either nullify a person’s strengths or use them against their victim. My own rapist was very skilled in this regard.

A man raped him? He must have wanted it: This form of victim blaming is one part homophobia and one part He Should Have Fought Back. Men can overpower other men and do so regularly in physical altercations or by simply communicating a threat. Weapons are also used, as are threats against loved ones, blackmail and drugs or alcohol. The idea that all men can fight off all other men at all times defies logic and credulity. It is incredibly difficult to take a person seriously if they really believe this specious nonsense.

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