Male post-rape victims have many challenges both physical and mental. These challenges can happen straight away or they may take longer to manifest and include the rape trauma syndrome which constitutes the acute and delayed phase. Some challenges that may be apparent in the acute phase include failure of coping and total loss of emotional control.
In the delayed phase, the victims can suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which can comprise some of the following symptoms such as psychic numbing, intrusive re-experiencing of the trauma, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and intense psychological distress.
In addition, the delayed phase has common symptoms such as nightmares and flashbacks, anxiety, catastrophic fantasies, feelings of alienation and isolation, sexual dysfunction, psychological distress, mistrust of others, phobias, depression, hostility, and somatic symptoms.
Many experience substantial difficulty in re-establishing sexual and emotional relationships with spouses or significant others. Suicide attempts have been reported in victims who do not seek treatment. In light of all the above, the essence of male victims of rape seeking assistance from support services and charities for males is mainly due to the ability of these organizations to effectively ameliorate these symptoms.
Support Services and Charities for Males
Support facilities include counselling facilities, social approaches like self-help communities and family therapy. Counselling entails communication between a patient/client and a therapist. The psychiatrist can then use a variety of methods including free association and dream interpretation to try and tackle the victim’s difficulties.
Here, patients participate in hospital activities during the day (day hospital) then goes home at night or stays the night (night hospital) then goes to work or school during the day or spends several hours a day in the hospital for up to 5 or 6 hours a week. This is a cost-effective alternative to full hospitalization.
These are usually sponsored by non-governmental agencies for the purpose of helping people with their particular type of difficulties, for example, halfway houses or residences for the rape victim. These act as a bridge between hospitalization and independence. Substitute homes provide shelter and a treatment program for a longer period. Here, a good example is the foster houses (orphanage) or shelters for young people often in the process of healing from rape trauma especially those who do not have homes like the street urchins.
Non-Residential Self-Help Organisations
These are organised to help people deal with practical and psychological problems and usually administered by people who’ve survived similar problems. We also have special professional and paraprofessional organizations such as medical camps in which physicians, nurses and pharmacists provide education regarding drugs and help the patient to accept the need for long-term medication. Religious groups and churches also play a major role in psychosocial adjustments, for example, marriage counselling.
It is important to note that they use some techniques to help victims in their recovery process. Some of these techniques include stress reduction techniques. These are based on the fact that social and environmental factors are major aids in lowering stress. They could be active recreation such as sports and physical exercise. Others include reading, music and painting which are all necessary for a balanced life and alleviation of stress.
Charities for Males
Charities for male victims have not had a purple patch since male rape was viewed as a grey area until the 21st century. On top of that, the government had been reluctant to fund the organisations like SurvivorsUK. On 11th December 2014, twelve charities were to be given money from the new Male Rape Support Fund. About 75,000 men were victims of sexual assault in 2012 to 2013.The fund was to support the chosen charities over two years. The bulk of the funding (£400,000) over two years was for Survivors UK for a national website and online support service for male victims.
Source (opens in new tab) – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-30427992
Another recipient, Safeline in Warwickshire, is recorded to have welcomed the fund. In the following year, however, Survivor was not reimbursed by the state since it was no longer a function of the Ministry of Justice but rather a function of the Mayor of London and there has been scanty data afterwards.
It is the first UK support service for male sexual abuse and rape victims. It was established in October 1986 due to the growing awareness of lack of a support service specifically for male victims of rape. However, there was an organisation for male prostitutes like the London gay switchboard. It started as a telephone helpline since the funding was inadequate.
The modern-day SurvivorsUK has a variety of help services such as telephone, chat via web and SMS, face to face counselling with trained professionals and self-help guides. There are other organisations which help out like Mankind and Men health forum.
SurvivorsUK website (opens in new tab) – https://www.survivorsuk.org/
Rape does not define the victim. By seeking help from various support groups, these male victims can easily turn around their life for better. The support services should be reimbursed more by the state since the cases of male rape and sexual violence are escalating. Victims are encouraged to come out of the closet, counselling and community help programs can really help to alleviate the rape trauma.