Male Sexual Assault Survivors
In a world where conversations about sexual assault largely focus on female victims, the experiences of male sexual assault survivors often go unheard. Feelings of violation, confusion, and even fear can keep male victims from seeking the support, guidance, and justice they deserve.
At Bachus & Schanker, we believe every survivor deserves a voice that will hold their abuser accountable. Our mission goes beyond legal representation; it’s about breaking societal norms that may contribute to male victims feeling like they don’t have a safe space to turn to.
If you are a male survivor of sexual assault, please know you are not alone. We’re so sorry this has happened to you; our dedicated team of sexual assault attorneys is here to listen, understand, and fight for your rights. Your story matters, and our team is here for you when you feel ready.
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How common is male sexual assault?
Unfortunately, sexual assault against men is widely underreported. Much of this underreporting is due to the stigma surrounding male sexual assault. It’s estimated that 9% – 14% of all reported rapes are against men and boys. Additionally, one in six reported sexual assaults involved boys, while 1 in 25 reported sexual assaults are against men.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, college student males (ages 18 – 24) are five times more likely than non-college student males to become victims of sexual assault. A variety of factors, including peer pressure, hazing, and drugs and alcohol, account for these higher rates.
Why does male sexual assault happen?
Both men and boys can be victims of sexual assault for the same reason women and girls are. However, male victims are more likely to be targeted by an abuser who wants to assert their power over them.
Whether it’s a power dynamic in a peer group relationship or a power dynamic between a young boy and an authority figure, men and boys may be victimized solely because a perpetrator feels they can exert their power over them.
With female victims, the concept of power is at play, but male perpetrators often have a sexual infatuation with their female victims that can lead them to stalk, harass, and then ultimately attack their victims. Female victims may also be susceptible to sexual abuse if they are in abusive or violent relationships.
Sexual assault is never okay, no matter the reasoning behind it. You’re not alone in this, and we will fight on your behalf.
What are the long-term effects of male sexual assault?
Male sexual assault victims are not immune to the long-term effects caused by sexual assault. Whether you are a victim or the loved one of the victim, it’s important to recognize that male sexual assault survivors can struggle with physical, emotional, and psychological issues following an assault.
Negative long-term effects on male survivors can include but are not limited to:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD): All survivors of sexual assault may experience flashbacks, nightmares, uncontrollable thoughts and feelings associated with the assault
- Depression and anxiety: Male sexual assault survivors are especially prone to mental health issues like depression and anxiety following an assault. Many behavioral health analysts believe this is due to the stigma around male sexual assault. Victims who feel they don’t have a safe space to turn to may end up bottling their emotions and not dealing with them as they should.
- Substance abuse: Some victims may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their pain and suffering following a sexual assault. Dependency on drugs and alcohol to cope with the trauma brings its own issues of long-lasting negative effects.
- Sexual dysfunction: Male victims may find it difficult to develop romantic relationships along with being intimate in those relationships
Other long-lasting effects can include:
- Shame and guilt
- Trust issues
- Issues with self-esteem
What should I do if I am a victim of sexual assault as a male?
If you or a loved one has been the unfortunate victim of a sexual assault, it’s important to speak with someone about your experience as quickly as you can. This can be an individual you trust, like a friend or family member, a mentor, law enforcement, or a mental health professional. Colorado’s Division of Criminal Justice also offers victim resources you can turn to following an assault.
Speaking out about the assault is the first step in getting the help you need. Afterward, you will be able to build a support system underneath you that can help you take the next critical step: reporting your abuser.
You can report your abuser to your local police department. If you are not yet ready to take this step, it is okay. You are not alone. You can report your assault to the RAINN’s national sexual assault hotline. This hotline is free and confidential and can equip you with guidance and resources that will help you navigate the next steps forward.
Male Survivor is another nationally recognized organization dedicated to supporting male victims of sexual assault. They offer a comprehensive support system that allows male victims to connect with other victims and critical resources in their community.
Consult with a sexual assault attorney
This next step may be one of the hardest many sexual assault survivors struggle with, but it can be a critical step in holding your abuser responsible. That step is turning to a trusted sexual assault attorney. A sexual assault lawyer will help you understand your legal rights and options so you can hold your abuser accountable.
An experienced sexual assault attorney will also help you determine whether other parties could be held liable for your assault. For example, if your assault happened in a school, work, or public setting, there may be other defendants who may have failed in their duty to protect you. A sexual assault lawyer can help you determine if any liable parties can be held accountable for the abuse you have had to endure.
Should male sexual assault survivors file a lawsuit?
Sexual assault, whether it is against a male or a female, is a criminal charge under Colorado law. While criminal proceedings play out, a sexual assault male victim can also seek justice through a sexual assault lawsuit.
Criminal proceedings can only hold perpetrators accountable for their actions through fines and jail time. When you file a lawsuit, you will be able to recover compensation as it relates to the pain, suffering, and financial losses you have suffered after the assault.
What damages may be available in a male sexual assault lawsuit in Colorado?
As with any personal injury lawsuit, male sexual assault survivors will be able to seek economic and non-economic damages. Although rare, they may also be able to seek punitive damages. These damages can allow a victim to recover compensation for things like:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of income/lost wages
- Other financial losses
Speak with a sexual assault attorney at Bachus & Schanker
At Bachus & Schanker, we are committed to championing the rights of all sexual assault survivors, especially male victims who may not feel they have the support they need to speak up.
Our unwavering dedication is exemplified through our unique Victim’s Advocates team. This highly specialized team doesn’t just offer legal expertise; they extend a compassionate hand, providing not only dedicated legal support but also essential emotional guidance for victims and their families.
If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, the team at Bachus & Schanker is here for you. Our legal experts are committed to empowering you to reclaim your life. Often, the first step to do so is seeking out legal support that can hold your abuser and other responsible defendants accountable.
Contact Male Survivors. (2023).
National Sexual Assault Hotline. (2023).
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Written and Legally Reviewed By: Kyle Bachus
4.6 ★★★★★ 1,461 Google Reviews
Kyle is a member of the Colorado and Florida Bar associations and has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for more than twenty years in total. Over the years, Kyle has achieved justice for many clients. He has served on numerous committees and repeatedly won recognition from his peers at both the state and national level. He is proud of the role he has played in the passage of state and national legislation to protect consumers and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer.