Male sexual assault survivors face unique challenges in seeking support and healing. These survivors often suffer in silence, battling societal stereotypes and disregarding their trauma. According to recent studies, over one in six men experience sexual abuse, challenging the misconception that sexual violence primarily affects women.

In therapy sessions, common themes emerge among male survivors, including feelings of shame, guilt, and emasculation. Many struggle with intimacy, trust, and self-esteem, while also experiencing complex emotions and trauma-related symptoms. Early on, boys are socialized to believe that they should be strong, stoic, and in control of their emotions. Expressing vulnerability or seeking help is often viewed as weakness or femininity, which can lead male survivors to feel ashamed or emasculated if they acknowledge their trauma.

They may fear judgement or ridicule for not being “man enough” to prevent or stop the assault, exacerbating feelings of shame and guilt. Additionally, social expectations lead many survivors to internalize the belief that they should be able to handle their trauma on their own, further isolating them from support networks.

Societal norms around masculinity often deter men from seeking help, fearing judgment, or questioning their masculinity. Additionally, limited awareness of available services and fear of not being taken seriously are common barriers they face. It’s important to raise awareness, debunk myths, and provide safe spaces for male survivors to access support and resources. By breaking the silence and promoting understanding, we can empower male survivors to heal wounded parts and restore their self-worth and dignity.