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Yes, the rape of men is a fact and the faster our laws and society start recognising it, the survivors will not need to suffer in silence.
To expect justice for men who have been raped is still a farfetched dream; at present, they can’t even say it aloud for the fear of society and even their own people, who will ridicule them or simply not believe it.
Trigger Warning: This post contains some descriptions of violence that some readers may find hard to read.
In a shocking recent incident, a 36-year-old man was gang-raped in Navi Mumbai. He was kidnapped and dragged behind some trees as he stopped for a cigarette while on his way home. He reported that five unidentified men, thrashed, stripped and then raped him.
They heinously went on to insert dried coconut shell in his anus. The man managed to come out of the jungle and collapsed. Passers-by took him to the nearest hospital.
According to media reports, the victim has undergone several surgeries and is currently under medical observation. The case is under investigation at the Vashi police station.
Well, this is not just one case or a rare case. News related to the rape of men doesn’t remain hidden nowadays, although it happened previously as well. During the rise of the #MeToo movement in India, numerous men also revealed their stories of sexual abuse and rape, but were less heeded. Among the many reasons for this, one is that people simply don’t want to accept this fact.
Two days back I landed on a guy’s pinned tweet on his experience of sexual assault. It was distressing to read about this sexual assault that started from the age of 7. Several others I read when the hashtag was trending.
The hashtag #MeToo gave a common platform to both men and women to share their trauma and several did.
The survivor stories of male rape reflect similar facts as those of women who were raped, regarding humiliation, victim shaming and blaming, and also that men are less likely to report an assault.
Rape is a horrendous crime; when someone’s boundaries are sexually trespassed with force, it shatters one’s belief in human beings and humanity.
Post this news, I expected the MRAs of India to come out with social media hashtags or any kind of initiative that would make society aware of the fact that men and boys are vulnerable to rape and that rape law must be a common umbrella for both girls/women and boys/men.
Sigh! Till the time I have written this, there was no outrage, except for a few tweets as a formality.
In India, the rape of men is rarely addressed, if ever and there is also a lack of strong legal support to help the survivors. Section 375 of the IPC does not include males as rape survivors and the only hope for justice is through Section 377, an anti-sodomy law when a man is assaulted by another man.
There has been extensive research on the effects of sexual abuse of women by men but minimal studies and statistics exploring the effects of sexual assault on men by other men. Also, the statistic for rape and sexual abuse of men is a delayed or let’s say, a neglected project.
In India, boy victims of sex crimes are less talked about.
Can we add our voice to talk about the rape of men and try to create a safe place for our boys and men as well? In our fight to make this society safe, we need to care for all victims, irrespective of gender.
Signing out on a positive note: I name it Hope.
Image via Pexels
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