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20 Things People Say To Male Survivors Of Sexual Assault

Self Magazine
March 4, 2016

By Lindsey Lanquist

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“That doesn’t happen to guys,” is a sentiment too often echoed when it comes to sexual assault. The misconception that sexual assault is solely a women’s issue is a dangerous one, and it can create an atmosphere in which male survivors don’t feel like they can speak out about what’s happened to them. NO MORE, a sexual assault and domestic violence awareness campaign, is here to end that. The group’s most recent PSA involves a series of celebrities reading the negative responses male survivors often face when they make the decision to open up about their experiences.

“What kind of a man would let that happen to him?” “Why didn’t he fight back?” “It’s just a misunderstanding.” These are a few of the examples NO MORE’s video lists, and they’re only a fraction of the criticisms many male survivors encounter when trying to tell their stories. These judgments are often dismissive (“That’s not how I saw it”) or victim-blaming (“Why didn’t he say anything?”), both of which are harmful because they imply a kind of dishonesty or fault on the part of the survivor.

NO MORE is the brainchild of the Joyful Heart Foundation, Viacom, and 1in6—an organization that derives its name from the fact that 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before turning 18. This statistic was a central focus of NO MORE’s male survivor campaign, as it sheds light on the prevalence of sexual assault affecting males. Other NO MORE campaigns include a piece on excuses given that condone sexually violent behavior, testimonials from NFL players speaking out against sexual assault, and a video series highlighting the difficulty people have when attempting to candidly discuss the issue. A variety of celebrities have come forward to participate in the videos, including: Mary J. Blige, Katie Couric, Tate Donovan, and Nick Lachey.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit 1in6.org for resources. See the full video from the male survivor campaign below.

Read the full article at Self Magazine

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