Health

Sweden Opens The World’s First Rape Center For Male Victims

Rape affects both genders; men can now receive the treatment and counseling they need at Sweden’s Sodersjukhuset hospital.

Credit: GoodTherapy.com

Credit: GoodTherapy.com

Sexual assault is a term that gets refracted through the culture wars. Whereas rape is more often associated with male-on-female assault, men can be victims of rape, as well. In fact, it happens far more often than one might suspect.

In 2013, the National Crime Victimization Survey released a statistic that was shocking to many – out of 40,000 households surveyed in the United States about rape and sexual violence, 38% of incidents were against men.

Unfortunately, society has conditioned men to believe that they cannot be victimized in such a way, therefore, few speak out. Because of this, the accurate statistics of female-on-male assault are estimated to be much higher than what surveys presently show.

Regardless of gender, rape causes psychological, emotional, and physical stress and needs to be addressed for healing to take place. Men may now have an opportunity to come to terms with what happened to them one inebriated night, thanks to a forward-thinking hospital in Sweden.

Aware that rape is not just a female issue, but a human issue, Sweden’s Sodersjukhuset hospital opened the world’s first rape center for male sexual violence victims. There is already a walk-in clinic for women and girls, but the hospital will now provide the same around the clock care for men and boys, reports the Daily Mail

This center was opened as part of the hospital’s strategy to ensure ‘gender equal’ patient care.

Credit: Tommy Kay/Corbis

Credit: Tommy Kay/Corbis

Similar to women, emergency medical care for raped men will be free of charge. It will also be offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

At present, the Sodersjukhuset hospital treats between 600-700 women and girl victims each year, but there are not any specific places for male victims of sexual assault to turn to.

This is of major concern. According to a report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, around 370 cases of sexual assault on men or boys was reported in 2014. As stated above, the actual case is likely to be much higher, due to the fact that many cases go unreported.

Sweden has the highest rape rate in all of Europe, so the importance of this new center cannot be overstated.

The new male center will employ a slightly different set of strategies when discussing sexual assault to entice men to share their experience(s).
Said Peter Pollard, a spokesperson for 1in6 – an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of and support for male victims of sexual assault:

“Anyone, male or female, who has been sexually assaulted, is, by definition, coming to terms with their sense of vulnerability. For men, the process is complicated by widely accepted norms, which teach boys from a young age that it’s socially unsafe for males to express vulnerability, fear, or sadness. So the very act of seeking help can, for men, initially stir a fear of increasing—rather than decreasing—vulnerability.”

By portraying sexual violence against men as abnormal and rare, we are providing a catalyst for shame and preventing justice, summarizes The Plaid Zebra.

With this new rape center, a safe space is being provided for men to open up about abuse inflicted upon them and great treatment. Hopefully, it will also help dispel the myths surrounding male rape.

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