In the 47 years since the assault incident, I have never told this story except to my wife. Shame and emotional trauma, exhibiting internally through fear, prevented my honest truth telling. The current climate of victim/survivor advocacy overshadowing abusers of power, is causing perpetrators to pause and fear themselves. Males, because of gender socialization issues to never exhibit vulnerability or "weakness", very rarely tell their stories. They remain silent.
Before I tell my story here is a brief summary of the facts.
From the National Association to End Sexual Violence is a brief description of the issue:
About 14% of reported rapes involve men or boys, and that 1 in 6 reported sexual assaults is against a boy and 1 in 25 reported sexual assaults is against a man . As with male sexual violence against women, sexual violence against men is motivated by the desire to dominate and use sex as a weapon against the victim. The majority of the perpetrators of sexual violence against men are white, heterosexual men .
Male victims experience similar effects of sexual violence as female victims such as shame, grief, anger and fear. Male victims may also have issues surrounding their sexual and/or gender identity after a sexual assault. Issues of reporting and talking about their experiences, challenges for all victims of sexual violence, may be especially difficult for male victims because of gender socialization issues.
For our society to acknowledge that men are raped, we must first recognize and acknowledge that men can be vulnerable. Both men and women are socialized to see men as powerful, assertive and in control of their bodies. It may be challenging for some to think of men being the victims of sexual crimes because it is challenging to recognize men as “victims” and still think of them as men. This socialization can make it less likely for men to seek services and can make it less likely that appropriate services are available.
I was fourteen years old attending school and of course at midday made my way to the Boys Washroom to relieve myself. The halls were quiet as most students had returned to their classrooms. I was a straggler that day... I never heard the bathroom door open, so I assumed I was alone. While finishing up at the urinal, facing the mirror-less wall, I suddenly felt a strong arm go around my middle and a large body pressed against my back, he was much larger than me and had the physical advantage. His grip tightened as he whispered, "let me just feel you", his hand groping my genitals. The only way I could get out of this was to scream as loud as I could, "Let me go!" I screamed again, his grip released and he fled. I recognized my attacker but out of fear and shame have kept silent to this day.