It is undoubtedly more common to hear of the sexual assault and abuse of women in Washington and elsewhere in the U.S. That said, the fact remains that men are victims of sexual assault, too.

RAINN answers some of the questions you may have about the sexual assault and abuse of men. Men who think (or know beyond a shadow of a doubt) that they may have been sexually assaulted deserve clarity on the situation.

Unique challenges

If you think you were the victim of sexual abuse or assault, there can be special challenges to overcome, ones uncommon to female victims. For instance, you may have had certain bodily reactions during the assault, which can lead to a great deal of confusion about your role in what happened. You also may feel that you should have been physically strong enough to defend yourself.

Those who commit the sexual assault of men

It makes no difference what the perpetrator’s gender, age or sexual orientation is, anyone can commit the crime of sexual assault. Perpetrators use both physical force and mental manipulation to commit their crimes. Also, it does not matter what kind of relationship victims have with their perpetrators.

Sexual assault and sexual orientation

Men who were sexually assaulted or abused may question their sexuality. Touching back on uncontrollable bodily reactions that can happen during an assault, a man may wonder if having such a reaction sheds a light of truth and realization on his sexual orientation. It is important to bear in mind that sexual orientation has nothing to do with sexual abuse or assault.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.