Supporting Male Survivors of abuse
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> Myth and Reality
Myth and Reality

Let's take a look at some mistaken beliefs about male sexual assault and uncover the realities behind the myths...

Myth: Men can't be sexually assaulted.
Reality: Men are sexually assaulted. Any man can be sexually assaulted regardless of size, strength, appearance or sexual orientation.

Myth: Only gay men are sexually assaulted.
Reality: Heterosexual, gay and bisexual men are equally likely to be sexually assaulted. Being sexually assaulted has nothing to do with your current or future sexual orientation. Your sexuality has no more to do with being raped than being robbed. There is no evidence that men are "turned gay" by being raped or sexually assaulted in their childhood or teens.

Myth: Only gay men sexually assault other men.
Reality: Most men who sexually assault other men identify themselves as heterosexual. This fact helps to highlight another reality -- that sexual assault is about violence, anger, and control over another person, not lust or sexual attraction.

Myth: Men cannot be sexually assaulted by women.
Reality: Although the majority of perpetrators are male, men are also sexually assaulted by women. Many men who have found themselves in this situation find it particularly difficult to come forward for support. At Mpower, we don't make any judgement about you and we acknowledge that men of any sexual orientation can be sexually assaulted against their will by women and by other men of any sexual orientation. This stems from the statement in the previous myth, that rape and sexual assault is about power, domination and control; the gender and sexual orientation of the victim is of incidental interest to the perpetrator.

Myth: Erection or ejaculation during a sexual assault means you "really wanted it" or consented to it.
Reality: Erection and ejaculation are physiological responses that may result from mere physical contact or even extreme stress. These responses do not imply that you wanted or enjoyed the assault and do not indicate anything about your sexual orientation. Some rapists are aware how erection and ejaculation can confuse a victim of sexual assault -- this motivates them to manipulate their victims to the point of erection or ejaculation to increase their feelings of control and to discourage reporting of the crime.

No-one deserves to be raped.
No survivor deserves the blame.

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