“Survivors of abuse show us the strength of their personal spirit every time they smile.” ― Jeanne McElvaney, Healing Insights: Effects of Abuse for Adults Abused as Children
Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men report being raped, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 1 in 20 adults reportedly experience other types of sexual trauma at some point. What we seldom hear is that an estimated 1 in 6 boys is molested, along with up to 1 in 4 girls. And all too often, abuse of all kinds derives from a trusted loved one.
This week on Girl Boner Radio, I had the honor of interviewing Andrew Ross Long, a writer, speaker and counselor specializing in sexual trauma, and Elle the Author, a novelist set on bringing awareness to dating abuse. While their means of reaching others vary, their mutual message is one of hope.
I started the episode with clips from the Oprah Winfrey Show I’ve never forgotten—Tyler Perry sharing his own struggles with being sexually abused before 200 men in the audience with similar paths. Here is another powerful clip from that show:
Shame is a tremendous and devastating consequence of abuse, yet as Andrew and Elle will attest, there is only strength in doing whatever it takes to heal and move forward. To hear their wonderful insight, visit this link on iTunes:
Girl Boner Radio: Overcoming Sexual Trauma and Dating Abuse
Andrew Ross Long
Elle the Author
How have you found healing from abuse? What struck you most about Andrew and Elle’s insight? I love hearing from you!
Raani York says
Thank you for your work on the awareness of all these really sad statistics and happenings. It is heartbreaking and I admire you for your dedication!
With statistic like this why are we still saying that rape and sexual assault are a women’s issue??? Guh my heart just breaks and I want to fight back some how.
August McLaughlin says
I know exactly how you feel, Alica. If our culture encouraged open communication about such matters, the world would be a far different place. Prevention is also key, and the causes run so deep. Working with kids as you do helps! I’ve no doubt about that.
The “1 in 71 men have been raped” stat from the CDC study doesn’t tell the whole story. It defines “rape” as the attacker penetrating the victim, which excludes men who are forced to have vaginal sex, which is counted as “made to penetrate”. The very same survey says “1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they were made to penetrate someone else,” which is far more than 1 in 71. Also, the study says that 79.2% of male victims of “made to penetrate” reported only female perpetrators, meaning they were raped by a woman. In fact, updated data released earlier this year found that 1.7% of men have been raped by penetration and 6.7% of men have been made to penetrate (82.6% of the time by a woman), for a total of up to 8.4%, or 1 in 12.
The above, lifetime stats do show a lower percentage of male victims (1 in 12) than female victims (1 in 5) although it is far more than 1 in 71. However, if you look at the report’s stats for the past 12 months, just as many number of men were “forced to penetrate” as women were raped, meaning that if you properly include “made to penetrate” in the definition of rape, men were raped as often as women.
August McLaughlin says
Thank you for clarifying!