Let's talk about assault on men
Have you ever heard someone saying that men can’t be physically assaulted because they’re physically stronger or they can’t be raped because they always want sex? If you have, it’s probably because abuse against men is still considered taboo. The truth is, men are abused too and we don’t talk about it often enough. Here’s more about assault against men.
Why we don’t talk about it
From a young age, young boys are taught not to express their emotions and to never view themselves as victims because they’re meant to be “stronger’. They are often told to “man up” in difficult situations.
These perceptions make it hard for them to cope with emotional challenges or situations where they are being oppressed. This happens especially in abusive relationships, where men are discouraged from speaking up about abuse because people might not believe them or will laugh at them for it.
Why we should talk about it
Assault can happen to anybody regardless of their gender. And dealing with the trauma is not easy for anyone. Everyone has the right to be safe from violence and abuse, including men - and it’s our responsibility as a society to create awareness around male assault by acknowledging that it’s real and it’s not some weakness.
Making it comfortable for men to report any form of abuse without shaming them will make it easier for them to open up and speak up about assault. That way, they can also feel safe and know where to turn to for help.
What not to do
When a man tells you that he has been assaulted, here are some things you should not do:
- Make fun of the situation
- Shame their masculinity
- Tell them to toughen up
- Tell them they wanted it
- Discourage them from expressing their emotions
The impact of assault can be serious and can last for a long time, especially when you want help and nobody is willing to hear you out because of your gender. Being a victim of assault can take a lot from you physically, mentally and emotionally which is why having a support system that understands that it can happen to anybody (including men) is important. Are you ready to break the silence, Choma?
Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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