Why nobody talks about male rape victims, ask survivors

New Delhi, Feb 16: In recent times, India has witnessed massive protests against crime against women. Protests started in the wake of fatal Delhi gang-rape episode which shocked the whole nation.

Now, male rape survivors feel that society is not yet ready to address their plight.

"Why nobody talks about male rape victims?" asked a male rape survivor. "Males too are raped. It is a reality. And we need protection," added the victim.

Chennai-based Vinodhan was gang raped by six men at the age of 18. The incident occurred 12 years back, but scars of the horrific incident is still fresh in his mind. In order to get rid of the trauma, the 30-year-old victim constantly writes.

Protests against Delhi Gangrape

He writes blogs on Orinam, a Chennai-based support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people.

"The Delhi rape and discussions around it acted as a trigger for me to write that post," says Vinodhan.

Statistics suggest that hardly a male rape victim seeks help from police or society. They suffer in isolation, which further aggravates the problem.

"I was sexually assaulted when I was 29 in a small town in Kerala," says Krishna, another victim. "I had got off a bus and was walking to my aunt's house when I noticed a man following me."

"The gate was locked when I reached, and the moment he realized it, he pinned me down. The sheer shock and shame at what was happening left me with no voice," says Krishna.

"People feel you are a weakling, that you somehow asked for it and, if you are gay, maybe you enjoyed it," says L Ramakrishnan, country director (programmes and research), Saathi, a non-governmental organisation that works in the field of HIV/AIDS.

"A majority of perpetrators of male rape are not gay or bisexual but straight men. Male rape is another way of demonstrating power and aggression. "After the Dec 16, 2012, gang-rape episode, government formed Justice J S Verma Committee to deal strongly against sexual assaults.

Verma panel recommendation and new ordinance on sexual crimes against women seeks to bring about change. "In the ordinance, rape has been termed sexual assault and is gender neutral," said an activist.

It is high time to recognise rape committed against men and transgenders, and need to punish the culprits.

OneIndia News

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