minority victims in figures and diminished of their trauma | EUROtoday

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Since the launch of the hashtag #MeTooGarçons final Thursday, testimonies from males who’ve suffered sexual violence have multiplied on social networks. Traumatic tales that had been till now very uncommon, significantly because of robust gender stereotypes. Masculinist discourses, homophobic prejudices… The testimonies of male victims are generally stigmatized, in response to the identical mechanisms as these of girls.

“FINALLY, you. I see you, I believe you”, can we learn among the many many messages of help revealed in latest days on X (previously Twitter). Eight years after the emergence of the #MeToo motion which allowed the liberty of girls to talk, males victims of sexual violence are in flip rising from the silence because of the hashtag #MeTooGarçons.

In the wake of the Depardieu affair, and the accusations lately made by Judith Godrèche on the cinema trade, actor Aurélien Wiik, now 43 years outdated, testified on Instagram, Thursday February 22, about abuse suffered from his agent and different members of his entourage when he was a minor. Launching the key phrase #MeTooBoys, the actor of “Munch” and “All this I will give to you” then referred to as on “boys and girls” to “speak” and “act” by submitting a grievance.

French actor Aurélien Wiik poses as he arrives at the screening of the film "Two Days, One Night" during the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, in the south of France, on May 20, 2014.
French actor Aurélien Wiik poses as he arrives on the screening of the movie “Deux Jours, Une Nuit” in the course of the 67th version of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, May 20, 2014. © Loïc Venance, AFP

Since then, the motion has rapidly grown, significantly on throughout a drunken night.

Accounts of sexual assaults dedicated by males or ladies, reasonably uncommon till now within the public area, specifically because of prejudices which apply to the victims.

Fewer, much less seen

This invisibility of males victims of sexual violence is primarily because of statistical realities.

“Men are much less confronted with this type of violence than women,” says Christelle Hamel. In 2015, this sociologist co-led the “Violence and gender relations” (Virage) survey performed by the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED). The research reported that over the course of their lives, 3.9% of males have skilled sexual violence, in comparison with 14.5% of girls.

Also, “the statements of men on acts of rape are essentially statements which concern the period of childhood and adolescence”, she continues, evoking details primarily linked to contexts of incest.

The research specified that two thirds of sexual violence reported by males had occurred or began earlier than the age of 18.

Read additionallyViolence in opposition to youngsters: 160,000 victims of sexual violence annually in France

More lately, in 2021, the newest Genese survey (Gender and safety) performed by the Ministerial Statistical Service for Internal Security (SSMSI) reported an overexposure of girls to sexual violence, significantly in maturity: 1 in 6 ladies declared having been the sufferer of sexual violence by a accomplice no less than as soon as for the reason that age of 15 (in comparison with 1 in 18 males); As for sexual violence by a non-partner, it issues 17% of girls (in comparison with 3% of males).

“There is a male awareness of sexual assault which has always been present, but perhaps not to the point of turning it into protest movements, because men are less concerned [en tant que victimes]there is less mass and it is then more difficult to get together,” explains Christelle Hamel.

Also, in France, men victims of sexual violence struggle to find help to become a body, with no center being exclusively dedicated to them (with the exception of very specialized associations) unlike the United Kingdom which has open associations. to all (like SurvivorsUK which works with adolescents and men who have suffered sexual violence) and even a telephone helpline available to men victims of domestic violence.

In France, the association “Colossus with Feet of Clay”, created by the former rugby player Sébastien Boueilh – himself a victim from the age of 12 to 16 – is a reference in this area, but specializes in prevention against the risks of child crime in the sporting environment.

As for the associations which help rape victims, like the “Feminist Collective Against Rape”, “Stop Violence Women” or even “SOS Femmes”, they appear by their identify to solely be geared toward ladies, even when in truth they’re open to all victims.

A violent “stigma” of the victims

On X, the testimonies are pouring in, as are the reactions. Among the principle helps displayed below the traumatic tales, the phrases of those that first inspired the liberation of girls's voices.

“It is so difficult and courageous to recognize that we have been victims of sexual violence. All my support to those who testify; I also think of all those who cannot, of those who have forgotten, of those who are dead”, writes for example Victoire Tuaillon, journalist, and author of the podcast “Les Couilles sur la Table” which questions masculinities.

“Neither homophobia nor contempt for masculinists will succeed in containing the wave #MeTooBoys“, also reacts Sophia, feminist activist and Femen activist. “Bravo to all those who shake the patriarchy by releasing a vital and necessary word!”

Faced with the swarm of messages of help that the #MeTooGarçons hashtag receives – significantly from feminist associations and activists – a class of mocking and even insulting messages stands out, with masculinist and homophobic overtones, which systematically consult with the lads victims of an alleged need to be observed, or calling into query their masculinity by the straightforward indisputable fact that they “did not know how to defend themselves”.

“17 years old? Guys don't know how to defend themselves anymore, seriously? Or is it a symptom of poorly accepted homosexuality? The need to be interesting?”, adopted by a slew of insults, we are able to learn specifically below the testimony of a person recounting the pressured fellatio he was pressured to carry out when he was a youngster.

Faced with sexist and homophobic prejudices uttered by different males, male victims of rape could really feel afraid on the thought of ​​testifying to the violence they’ve suffered.

“This stigmatization is experienced by all victims, regardless of their gender, although the arguments put forward for this differ,” explains Christelle Hamel. “These processes which aim to silence victims are extremely strong, and it is not at all surprising that male victims who begin to testify publicly receive the same treatment as women who denounce the same violence.”

“I'm taking a little courage to go through #MeTooGarcons and write my few truths,” begins one other testimony on denied or minimized the ache I expressed – The solely ones who laughed about it had been males.”

According to Christelle Hamel, if the duty for the violence suffered is systematically projected onto the sufferer, it’s as a result of “this causes a mirror effect”, uncomfortable for sure individuals who probably really feel responsible sooner or later for having recognized or seen one thing, however for not having performed something.

“If there are so many people who are victims, it is because there are almost as many people who are aggressors,” she says, recalling that male dominance on the aspect of the aggressors comes up from investigation to investigation. “All these people – mainly men – who make comments, if they are not themselves aggressors, at least know aggressors. They know who has already attacked, who has already behaved badly, who is putting pressure , which does not respect consent.”

The newest report from the Ministry of the Interior on sexual violence exterior the household, recorded by the safety providers in 2021, famous that 96% of these accused in instances of sexual violence had been males.

Read additionallyMisogyny on social networks: “The most powerful algorithm is patriarchy”

Even dedicated by a lady, rape isn’t “lucky”

The query of how everybody perceives the notion of rape can also be vital within the characterization and recognition of sexual violence, significantly that perpetrated on males by ladies. A situation extra mocked by some who contemplate it a “luck”.

“Being abused by your ex at 16 means: friends saying 'so lucky', having apprehensions when it comes to having sex with new people, hearing 'no big deal 'by all his friends because it was by a girl”, testifies for instance this man.

“Everyone has their own representation of what rape is,” explains Christelle Hamel, including that sure acts of penetration (aside from with intercourse) usually are not acknowledged by everybody as being prone to represent rape. “The issue of forced fellatio also falls within the definition of rape, but is less identified as such by individuals,” continues the sociologist.

In France, a invoice, adopted in August 2018, nonetheless included within the authorized definition of rape the case of people who’ve undergone pressured fellatio, or that of males or boys who’ve been pressured to penetrate the perpetrator of the rape.

Article 222-23 of the Penal Code now offers that “any act of sexual penetration, of whatever nature, or any oral-genital act committed on the person of another or on the person of the perpetrator by violence, coercion, threat or surprise is rape.”