March 3, 2016
By Sara Coughlin
“Why didn’t he fight back?” “But he’s such a nice guy.” “It’s just a misunderstanding.”
These are just a handful of the reactions men hear when they share their experiences of sexual abuse. The video above shares many more in varying tones, but their message remains the same: What happens to male sexual assault victims can be excused and quietly tucked away.
The video is from the NO MORE Excuses campaign, which was launched by the Joyful Heart Foundation, Viacom, and 1in6 to raise awareness for adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Celebrities like Tim Gunn, Mariska Hargitay, Courtney Cox, and Debra Messing, among others, make an appearance in the video to back up the cause.
Advocacy organization 1in6 gets its name from a startling statistic: one in six boys will be sexually abused before turning 18. But, as Andre Braugher states in the video, sexual violence is often considered to be “just a women’s issue.” Sure, it happens more often to girls — one in four girls will be sexually abused as children — but the video suggests that perhaps there’s a specific reason it’s so difficult to talk about men or boys as sexual abuse victims, and that this could be why people brush-off sexual assault claims with statements like “boys will be boys.” It’s simply not fathomable.
As more campaigns like these raise awareness — and more men share their experiences — hopefully people will face the reality, stop making excuses for abusers, and take action.
For those in need of help or support, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
Read the full article on Refinery29