I used to be a Director of a rape crisis center in a rural area, and I can’t tell you how many men that reported rape and were not believed. I will never forget the time an elderly man with special needs was being raped by his nephew. He had been telling his female caretaker that this relative would come into his bedroom and do things to him at night and told him not to tell. The relative came with the man to the center for an interview with a detective and a SANE exam. Sure enough, there was plenty of evidence this man’s rectum had been penetrated. Not only that, he’d been given an STD. His caretaker was embarrassed and devastated that she’d had this relative in her home, and he had been raping this older gentleman.
I gave him a hug as he got ready to go, and I escorted him back to his much younger caretaker. I gave her the ugliest scold I could give without losing my shit. This poor old man had been raped for a year or more, and she did nothing.
I’ll never forget what the victim said when the detective approached the caretaker and gave her the new that her relative had indeed been a victim of sexual assault.
He said with tears in his eyes, “I told you he was doing stuff to me,” in the most pitiful, sorrowful voice I’d ever heard. I never forgot the look in his face and the sound of his voice.
Women definitely have an issue believing men and boys are sexually assaulted. Anytime a man discloses rape or sexual abuse, I think it’s a big deal. Rape and sexual assaults are traumatic, no matter your sex.