This article out of Lincoln, Nebraska throws out this statistic, in an interview with the Child Advocacy Center. It does not provide an explanation of where it came from, but I am very curious to know if anyone has seen it before:
“Only about 16 percent of men with documented histories of sexual abuse consider themselves to have actually been abused, compared to 64 percent of women with documented histories of sexual abuse.”
The reason I am fascinated is that we know sexual abuse is under-reported by male and female victims, and I think many of us have always assumed it might be slightly more under-reported by male victims, because of the many people who still, somehow, believe that boys can’t be victims of sexual assault, but I have not considered how many male victims may not even see themselves as victims in the first place.
Growing up, I didn’t consider myself a victim of sexual abuse, mostly because I didn’t know what that was, or rather that it wasn’t being snatched by a stranger and raped, because that’s what I was taught to protect myself against. A family member molesting me was not that, it was something different, something I didn’t have a name for. A secret.
I wonder how many people are walking around with their own secret, not even knowing they were sexually abused?