He was eventually found by a local resident who helped him to get up. Andy then walked
the short way home. When he got home he felt angry and ashamed that he was unable
to fight these men off. He was in a lot of pain but felt that he could not seek
medical attention or contact the police due to the fear of what they might think of him.
Andy tried to forget about what had happened and did not speak to anyone about the
attack. His work started to suffer and eventually he decided to leave as he could
not face going to work anymore. After about a year he decided to speak to his GP
about his depression and lack of energy and the GP referred him for a psychiatric
assessment. After another year he eventually spoke to his psychiatrist who then
referred him to Survivors UK.
Andy was found suitable for Survivors UK's therapeutic group and started a month
later. Over the course of the meetings issues discussed included isolation,
forgiveness and coping with anger. The first group concentrated on participants'
fears and expectations. Time was also spent looking at how members might stop
themselves getting what they needed out of the process, or how they might hold
At first Andy was very quiet and the others in the group talked very openly about
their abuse from the beginning. At the fourth meeting Andy started to talk about
the rape and was upset and angry. He was supported by the other members of the
group and was able to focus on the pain he was experiencing. her members' processes.
By the end of each group session Andy described feeling more alive and more in touch
with his feelings. He commented on how he saw his depression as being strongly linked
to the rape. Andy stated: "Meeting others who had been through similar experiences
let me move on."
"It can be harder for a straight man to talk about abuse than for a gay man," suggests Adam.
"For men especially, who you are and what happens to you can at least appear to be closely
linked. So, if another man has 'sex' with you - no matter what consent was involved -
you might start to question in your own mind whether you are straight: 'Why was I
chosen for the attack? Why did he think I was gay? Am I secretly gay?' This is
compounded by a general tendency of the victim to blame themselves in some way or another."
"Survivors UK services are for all men: gay, straight or bisexual," he says. "All
men are welcome. Rape is not, essentially, a sexual act but rather an act of power
and domination. So even if those involved would in fact consider themselves gay,
that is why we call it 'male rape' not 'gay rape'."
He continues: "We listen, talk, help explore and express feelings, look at consequences
and enable change. Counselling provides the safe space to do these things. And group
work is a great antidote to isolation: meeting other male survivors means you cannot
be the only one."
So should survivors prosecute their abusers, often their own family or acquaintances?
"In the short term," says Adam, "taking positive action about an experience that
has made you feel powerless can by very healing. But the difficulties of the judicial
process make it impossible for us to recommend this. How can we expect the man to
relive the experience, be put on trial himself and deal with the disappointment if the
perpetrator is not convicted."
If you need support following male rape or abuse, visit SurvivorsUK's website
email them in confidence email@example.com or
call office number for more information on 020 3598 3898.
Surviving Male Rape Part 1 - Feature on Survivor's UK