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Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Why We Mustn’t Forget That Nearly 23 Percent of Sexual Assault Survivors Are Black Men

April 26, 2017

I found this article written by Tanasia Kenney on a news outlet website that I currently subscribe to.  The website is The Atlanta Black Star.  The link to the website will be listed at the bottom of this article.  I am convinced more than ever that the topic of the victimization of African American men and boys is something that is slowly coming to the surface.

 

The statistics resonated with me deeply...and through this piece, I was able to breathe just a little bit deeper.  Here are some of the highlights of the article.

 

April marks the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time of year typically teeming with national campaigns highlighting the epidemics of rape and sexual abuse.

Some may hold silent protests in a show of support for female sexual assault victims, while others tow heavy mattresses across their college campuses to symbolize the psychological burden of sexual violence. Then, there’s that unique art display featuring Barbie and Batman underwear to serve as a chilling reminder that children bear the brunt of sexual assault too.

 

What’s often missing from the conversation, however, is the fact that adult men experience sexual violence as well. In the case of Black men, who have historically been painted as the perpetrators of said violence, the shame and trauma of being sexually exploited is enough to force many to suffer in silence.

 

Nearly 21 percent of straight men, 40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men also have experienced some form of sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes, according to the NSVRC. Twenty-three percent of those men are Black. A 2015 study from the American Psychological Association also showed that African-American men are most likely to be sexually coerced through manipulation, compared to other racial/ethnic groups.

 

 

 

 

“There’s still a culture that believes that if someone is raped, somehow they asked for that rape,” said Monika Johnson Hostler, president of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence. “We talk about this in terms of rape culture — and I think not talking about men, especially Black men, as victims plays into that culture that further pushes people to the margins of not reporting it, not seeking services.”

 

Nearly 21 percent of straight men, 40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men also have experienced some form of sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes, according to the NSVRC. Twenty-three percent of those men are Black. A 2015 study from the American Psychological Association also showed that African-American men are most likely to be sexually coerced through manipulation, compared to other racial/ethnic groups.

 

Hostler went on to suggest that the lack of discourse and awareness surrounding Black male sexual assault is largely due to the fact that awareness raising and prevention work are both based on prevalence data. She also pointed out that Black men, as well as survivors of other groups, must be willing to participate in studies collecting data on sexual assault, as hard as that may be.

 

This article has given me just a little bit more courage to move forward and to tell my story.  As I said before...the story is my truth.  Saying anything less would defeat the purpose of the book.

 

Read the full article by clicking on the link below:

 

http://atlantablackstar.com/2017/04/25/sexual-assault-awareness-month-why-we-mustnt-forget-that-23-percent-of-sexual-assult-victims-are-black-male-sexual-abuse/#respond

 

~ J.L. Whitehead

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