Male Sexual Assault Survivors Less Likely To Report

February 22, 2024by debunkingthemyths.ie

Male sexual assault survivors are less likely to report their experience of the crime to Gardaí, so found a study conducted by Doctors Dan Kane, Karen Flood and Prof Maeve Eogan of the RCSI  Hospital and University group, project experts at ‘Debunking The Myths‘ and members of The Rotunda Hospital’s Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU)....

Male sexual assault survivors are less likely to report their experience of the crime to Gardaí, so found a study conducted by Doctors Dan Kane, Karen Flood and Prof Maeve Eogan of the RCSI  Hospital and University group, project experts at ‘Debunking The Myths‘ and members of The Rotunda Hospital’s Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU). This study was featured articles by both The Irish Examiner and The Irish Times.

In a ground-breaking study conducted significant insights into male sexual assault in Ireland have been unearthed. This comprehensive analysis, published in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, provides a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by male survivors, shedding light on underreporting, substance-related risks, and perpetrator dynamics.

Key findings from the study reveal a concerning trend: nearly a fifth of men attending SATUs expressed concerns about being victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault, commonly known as “spiking.” This revelation underscores the insidious role of substance use in perpetuating sexual violence against men, highlighting the urgent need for targeted interventions to address this issue.

Moreover, the study compared gendered reorting trends in the SATU, revealing important disparities. For instance, 13.9% of male survivors reported being assaulted by multiple perpetrators, twice the proportion observed among female victims. Additionally, male survivors were significantly more likely to be assaulted in the perpetrator’s home, while female victims were more likely to experience assaults in their own homes, emphasising the distinct power dynamics at play in sexual assaults against men. Furthermore, the study identifies people in positions of authority as more likely perpetrators of sexual assault against men. This finding challenges traditional stereotypes and underscores the importance of addressing power dynamics in sexual violence prevention efforts.

Further analysis of the data unveils the prevalence of injuries among male survivors, with just under a quarter reporting injuries sustained during the assault. Despite the severity of these incidents, less than two-thirds of male survivors reported the assault to Gardaí, highlighting the pervasive issue of underreporting and the barriers that prevent male survivors from seeking justice.

The study also sheds light on the demographic profile of male survivors, with 26% of those attending SATUs identified as students. This demographic insight underscores the importance of targeted support services tailored to the unique needs of student survivors, ensuring that they receive the necessary resources to navigate the aftermath of sexual assault.

Dr. Daniel Kane, one of the study’s authors and a forensic examiner at the Rotunda Hospital sexual assault treatment unit, emphasised the significance of the research, which is believed to be the second-largest study of male attendances at SATUs worldwide. The study’s publication marks a pivotal moment in understanding and addressing male sexual assault, providing critical insights that can inform tailored treatment and support services for male survivors.

In conclusion, the study’s findings underscore the urgent need for a multifaceted approach to addressing male sexual assault, including targeted interventions to address underreporting, substance-related risks, and perpetrator dynamics. By amplifying the voices of male survivors and challenging prevailing stereotypes, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all survivors of sexual violence.

At Debunking The Myths we know that everyone deserves to be supported and listened to, regardless of their gender. If you are the survivor of an assault, or are supporting a survivor, the National Rape Crisis Network Ireland is an excellent resource for further care. For more information about care and treatment options after sexual assault visit the HSE’s SATU website.

 

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