Sexual assault is a crime that involves any type of unwanted sexual contact or activity without the consent of the victim. Anyone can experience sexual assault, regardless of sexual orientation, location, or gender identity. While many sexual assault survivors are women, men experience sexual assault at high rates — and often remain silent, due to social perceptions and attitudes toward masculinity.
Male Sexual Assault Statistics
According to the organization 1in6, approximately 1 in every 6 men in the United States will experience sexual violence in his lifetime. Since a significant number of sexual assault victims do not report their experiences to law enforcement, this number may be much lower than the actual prevalence of male sexual violence.
The organization provides the following statistics on men and sexual assault.
- A 2005 study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that 16% of men suffered sexual abuse by the age of 18.
- Men who have experienced sexual violence have a higher risk of developing serious mental health problems, such as depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation.
- Approximately 16% of men who have a documented history of sexual abuse consider themselves to be victims of sexual violence, compared to 64% of women.
Men often face high rates of ostracization and shame after experiencing this type of assault, which can make it difficult to seek help. Without treatment, survivors can experience significant emotional turmoil that can harm their quality of life for years after the assault.
What Resources Are Available for Male Sexual Assault Survivors?
If you are a male victim of sexual assault, it is important to remember that what happened to you is not your fault, and seeking help is one of the best steps you can take to protect yourself and seek justice.
Many resources are available for male victims of sexual assault, including the following.
- The National Helpline for Men: 1in6, in partnership with the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), launched a 24/7 anonymous helpline for men who experienced sexual abuse or assault. With this resource, you can chat one-on-one with a trained advocate who has specialized training to help male survivors.
- Malesurvivor.org: This website offers a variety of resources to help male victims navigate the aftermath of sexual assault. In addition, this resource library provides access to a directory of mental health providers who specialize in helping men who experienced sexual assault.
- Jimhopper.com: This is another website for male victims of sexual assault, specifically survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Jim Hopper is a clinical psychologist who aims to provide information to adult men and loved ones on the impacts of childhood sexual assault and resources for healing.
- The Bristlecone Project: Sometimes, hearing about the experiences of others can empower survivors to seek the help they need. The Bristlecone Project is a collection of stories from male survivors of sexual assault around the world, highlighting their resilience and journeys to recovery. 1in6 also operates this resource, aiming to break the stigma of sexual assault among men and boys.
If you are a male victim of sexual violence, the above resources can help you seek the support, guidance, and empowerment you need to seek help. Remember, sexual violence is never the survivor’s fault — the perpetrator is responsible, and you deserve justice.
For further support, contact a sexual assault survivor’s attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options and to connect with additional resources in your area.