If you have male friends or relatives who have experienced sexual assault/sexual violence around you and you don't know how to accompany them, we've put together three ideas and methods for you.
The Sexual Assault Initiative Month, launched every April by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, calls on the world to address the growing issue of sexual assault and to provide resources and methods to assist survivors.
On April 8th the Psychiatry Times released a special report about the difficulty and recovery of male survivors under the hashtag , and the reasons for preventing men from speaking for help often come from social myths about masculinity .
"Boys are very careful and defensive, " said Huang Huiren, director of the city's old-fashioned heart station, in an exclusive interview with the city's old man in 2019. The boys we're impressed with, usually very big, aren't they? But it's not, men are a very cautious group. 」
Huang also mentioned that behind these soft sex activities, there is in fact an important task, including the case of men who undertake gender-based violence. Although the case is rare, it is very important. Because many men, with very low awareness of intimate violence, are less likely to seek help. In an era when 113 was also known as the Maternal and Child Line, intimate violence and marital violence, they were easily considered relatives of violence rather than victims.
- Interview with Huang Huiren, Director of the City Men's Old Heart Station: At least Don't Let Men Feel Isolated
Men's defense and caution may come from education, the environment, and the norms of masculinity, making it difficult for them to speak, learn to hide emotions, or use anger, silence, jokes, etc.
However, we all know that the problem will not go away without talking about sexual violence.
Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash
So if you have male friends or relatives who have experienced sexual assault/sexual violence and you don't know how to accompany them, we've compiled three ideas and approaches from the Psychiatry Times, the National Center for Sexual Violence:
1. Why is it difficult for men to talk about the experience of sexual assault?
To make men aware that "this is sexual assault" is often difficult, the Psychiatry Times reported a case in which a physician tried to understand whether a man's childhood had been sexually assaulted, which he first denied, and he didn't mention that he had been inappropriately touched by a neighbor when he was 14.
Uncomfortable feelings, anger at being hurt, men may only see it as an "unpleasant (sexual) experience" and not recognize that sexual assault is a fact. At the same time, we recall that in the news reports or various comments of various netizens, there will often be such a voice: no one can violate the will of men to sexually assault him, because they have enough strength to resist, if they are really forced to have sex, as long as the sexual organs have a reaction, it means that he actually enjoyed in the process;
2. How do I talk to my male friends/relatives about this experience?
First, create an environment in which he feels safe and comfortable, lets him know that you are willing to listen, not judge any of his feelings, and if the other person strongly rejects words such as "sexual assault trauma", it is recommended to use "unpleasant sexual experience" instead to guide and ask how he feels at the moment.
Without any judgment in the process, you can rightly acknowledge his feelings, such as "You have to know that you are not alone, it's safe to share your feelings here", "You'll be angry, sad, or even if you don't respond, you don't need to question yourself." You may feel angry when you listen to the moment, but you must remain calm and avoid making the other person feel uncomfortable or confused.
If you want to give him some physical interaction in the middle, get his consent first, such as "Can I hold you?" so that he can rebuild security and trust.
3. How can I respond after hearing about the experience?
Respect each other's wishes, he will share the experience to you, and also build a certain trust in you, if he is currently unwilling to tell his family and friends, then respect his ideas. At the same time, encourage him to seek counseling and mutual legal assistance, but don't force him, you may think it's good for him, but for survivors of sexual assault, it's not easy to tell and face trauma, be patient and accompany him.
Finally, we must take good care of their emotions, in order to walk with him, so that male survivors know, tell the story, in fact, is a very brave thing.