In Pictures: Male Survivors Of Sexual Assault Share The Words Of Their Attackers

A photo series by Grace Brown is providing an online platform for survivors of rape and sexual abuse to share the terrifying and humiliating experience in efforts at neutralizing the impulse for shame.

According to the site:

Project Unbreakable is a photography project aiming to give a voice to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.”

This site is important to men and women.

According to RAINN, more than 200,000 women are raped in the U.S. every year, resulting in 32,000 pregnancies.

However, last year the National Crime Victimization Survey found something truly shocking. After asking 40,000 households about rape and sexual violence, the survey uncovered that 38% of incidents were against men.

Furthermore, due to the prevalence of rape within the penal system, the US might be the only country in the world where more men are raped each year than women.  A recent Department of Justice study which only counted filed complaints, found 216,000 incidents of male rape in a single year.  That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year.  Meanwhile, according to RAINN:

“This painful passage from screenwriter and novelist Rafael Yglesias explores the sense of shame and self-loathing attached to male survivors of sexual assault:

“I used to say, when some part of me was still ashamed of what had been done to me, that I was ‘molested’ because the man who played skillfully with my 8-year-old penis, who put it in his mouth, who put his lips on mine and tried to push his tongue in as deep as it would go, did not anally rape me. . . . Instead of delineating what he had done, I chose ‘molestation’ hoping that would convey what had happened to me.

“Of course it doesn’t. For listeners to appreciate and understand what I had endured, I needed to risk that they will gag or rush out of the room. I needed to be particular and clear as to the details so that when I say I was raped people will understand what I truly mean.”

But men are not only being raped by men.   A recent analysis of BJS data, for example, turned up that 46 percent of male victims reported a female perpetrator.

In the emotional images below, some of these men tell their story.