Engaged Excellence or Excellent Engagement? Collaborating Critically to Amplify the Voices of Male Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
This article offers a case study of how excellent engagement has developed over a decade-long relationship between researchers from IDS and from a partner organisation in Uganda, the Refugee Law Project, and how incrementally these have extended to include intensive engagement with the lives and advocacy commitments of an association of male survivors of sexual violence.
Sexual Assault & the Brain
Why are memories of sexual assault so often fragmentary and confusing? The answer has big implications for people who've been sexually assaulted, for those who investigate and prosecute such crimes, and for everyone else who knows or works with someone who's been sexually assaulted.
Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys
As the civil war in Syria further deteriorates, accounts of systematic human rights abuses continue to emerge,
including torture, starvation, and widespread sexual violence against civilians and combatants. More than five
million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries in search of safety, yet they continue to face challenges
of poverty, discrimination, as well as sexual violence and exploitation. Some attention has been given to
women and girls who have suffered sexual violence in Syria and in displacement; however, less is known
about male survivors, including ways to meet their needs.
Sexual Violence Against Men in Armed Conflict
European Journal of Intl Law, 2007
Sexual violence is committed against men more frequently than is often thought. It is perpetrated at home, in the community and in prison; by men and by women; during conflict and in time of peace. It has been written that, ‘[i]n some respects, the situation facing male rape victims today is not so different from that which faced female victims, say, two centuries ago.
Male Rape and Human Rights
L. Stemple, Program for the Study of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights, Columbia University. 2009
For the last few decades, the prevailing approach to sexual violence in international human rights instruments has focused virtually exclusively on the abuse of women and girls. In the meantime, men have been abused and sexually humiliated during situations of armed conflict. Childhood sexual abuse of boys is alarmingly common ( Pdf, 42 pages).
The rape of men: the darkest secret of war
Will Storr, The Guardian. July 2011
Sexual violence is one of the most horrific weapons of war, an instrument of terror used against women. Yet huge numbers of men are also victims. In this harrowing report, Will Storr travels to Uganda to meet traumatised survivors, and reveals how male rape is endemic in many of the world's conflicts. Of all the secrets of war, there is one that is so well kept that it exists mostly as a rumour. It is usually denied by the perpetrator and his victim. Governments, aid agencies and human rights defenders at the UN barely acknowledge its possibility.
Access to Justice for Male Victims of Sexual Violence; Focus on Refugees in Uganda
Meg McMahon, Legal Aid Board.
Sexual violence against men has garnered increasing publicity in recent years but still remains extremely under-researched and under-reported. This paper will examine the challenges facing male victims of sexual violence. The paper will look at the broad international framework, including definitions of sexual violence and international jurisprudence in the area as well as generally looking at how the term sexual or gender based violence has come to be associated with violence against women (webpage).
UNHCR issues guidelines on protection of male rape victims
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). October, 2012
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against men and boys has generally been mentioned as a footnote in reports. There are no detailed statistics on the number of male victims of SGBV but, the phenomenon is increasingly being recognized as a protection concern in conflict and forced displacement situations. Despite the prevailing taboo, there had been progress over the last decade in reporting of incidents.
Hope in the Shadows: Male Victims of Sexual Assault in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Miya Cain, Harvard Kennedy School. 2014
As a result of ongoing conflict, poverty and instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congolese men and women have been subjected to various forms of sexual violence by warring rebel militia, government forces, and noncombatants. Most humanitarian aid, money, and international attention supports female victims of sexual violence, but male victims are largely left in the shadows. Simplified narratives of gender violence often define men as “villains” and women as “victims.” This narrative aligns with traditional conceptions of gender roles; however, the oversimplification often leaves male victims overlooked by policy responses designed to address sexual violence.
In some refugee groups, more than one in three men are said to have suffered sexual violence
Katie, Nguyen, Thomson Reuters Foundation. May, 2014
Sexual violence against men is one of the least told aspects of war. Yet men and boys are victims too of abuse that is frequently more effective at destroying lives and tearing communities apart than guns alone. It can take the form of anal and oral rape, genital torture, castration, gang rape, sexual slavery and the forced rape of others. It is so taboo that few survivors have the courage to tell their story. Besides feeling ashamed and afraid of being ostracised, many victims dare not challenge powerful myths about male rape in their cultures, experts say. A common belief is that a man who is raped becomes a woman.
International Human Rights Law and Sexual Violence Against Men in Conflict Zones
Tom Hennessey and Felicity Gerry, Halsbury´s Law Exchange.
Sexual violence occurs in times of peace and of war. It takes place within committed relationships and between strangers, between people of any gender and sexuality, and for reasons that can be complex. However, despite common misconceptions, it is widely accepted amongst academics and charities that rape and other forms of sexual offences are usually about dominance and control rather than sexual gratification; a form of physical violence that has the power to fundamentally undermine the victim’s confidence and self-identity. Because of this, sexual violence is a common feature of war zones. As armies or militias struggle to assert their dominance, civilians within contested areas often find themselves subjected to widespread sexual abuse. The result is fear, humiliation and trauma.
Working with men and boy survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in forced displacement
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 2012
Refugee men and boys can be subjected to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). Survivors have specific health, psychosocial, legal, and safety needs, but often find it hard to discuss their experience and access the support they need. The objectives of this note are to emphasise that programmes on SGBV need to include men and boys, and to provide guidance on how to access survivors, facilitate reporting, provide protection and deliver essential medical, legal and social services (Pdf, 20 pages).
Male victims of sexual violence: war's silent sufferers
Allan Ngari, Institute for Security Studies (ISS). 2016
Sexual violence is a tactic of war, used to humiliate, dominate and instill fear. It is also increasingly being used as a tactic of terrorism. While the focus has largely been on women and girls as victims of sexual violence, boys and men are equally at risk. Sexual violence against men and boys takes on a range of heinous acts, including anal and oral rape, genital torture, castration and coercion to rape others. Many of these acts are seen as emasculating, and while many male victims are willing to give accounts of what they witnessed, they are less likely to express what they themselves had experienced in conflict (webpage).
Male rape victims in the Lord’s resistance army war and the conflict in Eastern Congo
Linda Lanyero Omona, International Institute for Social Studies. December, 2014
Sexual violence against men in Uganda is an underreported crime. Sexual violence against men is considered a taboo in most cultures. It is an issue not talked about because many consider the rape of men nearly impossible. It is clear that men have also been victims of rape in armed conflicts all over the world. The laws that define rape should be revised to include men and boys as victims of rape (Pdf, 48 pages).
Ttrauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in male survivors of sexual abuse
C. Anderson, American 2015 Common Types of and Prevalence Estimates for Exposure to Traumatic Stressors. Within the U.S. as many as 1 in 4 males will experience some form of sexual abuse during their lifetime. The number of males who are sexually abused during military service is greater than the number of female service members. As many as 50% of the children who are sex trafficked in the US are males (Pdf, 3 pages).
Identifying and Responding to Urban Refugees’ Risks of Gender-Based Violence Men and Boys, Including Male Survivors
Women´s Refugee Commission (WRC). 2016
Throughout 2015, WRC conducted a research in urban settings, the first phase of a multi-year project to improve the humanitarian community’s understanding of and response to GBV risks in urban contexts. Quito, Ecuador; Beirut, Lebanon; Kampala, Uganda; and Delhi, India, were chosen because they are host to diverse refugee populations, have different policy environments for refugees, and are at different stages of humanitarian response. The project looked separately at the GBV risks of different urban refugee subpopulations: women; children and adolescents; LGBTI individuals; persons with disabilities; and male survivors of sexual violence (Pdf, 16 pages).
Health and Human Rights Info
Health and Human Rights Info is a resource data-base that gives you free information about the consequences of human rights violations on
mental health in contexts of disaster, conflict and war and an overview of experiences in the field as well as ways of
dealing with such consequences on individual, group and community level.
Through our search engine you will find Publications
and Guidelines and Manuals
on assistance and interventions as well as updated information on relevant Organisations
providing care in this field.
Gender Based Violence training manual
If you are working with survivors, or involved in training of helpers working directly with survivors or in other ways engaged in the
topic of assisting survivors of gender based violence, we hope that the Mental health and gender-based violence training manual can be useful for you.
Please visit our GBV- manual site for download of the manual or more information. To go directly to the full manual - Online reader (FLASH required).
Whether you are field worker, clinical professional, human rights defender, or in training you may find relevant information
with references for specific user groups on our carefully edited thematic pages
on topics covering human rights treaties, field experiences and practical psychosocial interventions.