Rape support services/books/organizations for men?
December 18, 2003 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Anybody know of any rape support services/books/organizations for men? [more inside]

To be clear, I'm not talking about men who have been raped (or who are rapists), but men whose significant other has been raped. My wife and I were discussing this recently, and neither of us could recall hearing anything on the subject. Although it's hardly in the league of the woman's experience, I'm sure dealing with that situation would be traumatic for the guy. I'm thinking of writing something on the subject, and I was wondering what resources are out there now.
posted by GhostintheMachine to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
There's not a ton of stuff out there, a lot of it is wrapped into other rape survivor support. Often the partners of rape survivors are called secondary survivors, in the parlance of the field. Once you know this vocab word, there's a lot of resources out there.
posted by jessamyn at 9:58 AM on December 18, 2003

You might want to contact Lundy Bancroft, a social worker who specializes in treating abusive men. Though I know that's not what you're looking for, I'm betting he'd have a line on it. Depending on exactly what you plan on writing, you might want to read his book Why Does He Do That?, which is an excellent book about men who are controlling. I just finished it for research on a script with an abusive male character and it was of enormous benefit. Saving Beauty from the Beast is also good, with a slant on young offenders/victims.
posted by dobbs at 10:35 AM on December 18, 2003

Thanks for the information. I should have guessed there was a name for it. These sites should help a lot.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:15 PM on December 18, 2003

This is something I went through several years ago.

I found sources support to be somewhat lacking. When I spoke to the staff at the local crisis center where the victim was being seen they looked at me like I had three heads. I got the distinct impression that the male psyche was not an overwhelming concern for them. Asking for referrals to other sources of information/support drew blank stares.

I don't think that this was so much a conscious thing on their parts but rather a lack of knowledge coupled with little demand. I may well have been the first man to approach them in this manner and quite frankly, they didn't know what to do with me. Eventually, by sheer luck, I was grabbed on my way out by a counselor who made some time for me and proved incredibly helpful.

In answer to your question, resources seem pretty few and far between. Obviously this is anecdotal, but I corresponded with a couple of other men in the same situation (geographically spread out pretty well) and they encountered the same problems.
posted by cedar at 2:17 PM on December 18, 2003

Forgive me, but the common British response to this sort of thing is.. 'Bloody hell, why do Americans need a therapist for everything?' Of course, I try to explain that therapists are useful in many situations, but this does seem to be a prevalent attitude!

That said, in this sort of case, I would probably say intuition and common sense would go a lot further than support. After all, this is a situation where you want to be supporting someone else, so need to know how to do that, rather than be supported yourself.
posted by wackybrit at 8:21 PM on December 18, 2003

"After all, this is a situation where you want to be supporting someone else, so need to know how to do that, rather than be supported yourself."

They are not mutually exclusive.

For myself, my biggest concern was wanting to know how best to support her. One tends to walk on eggshells afraid to say anything out of fear of saying the wrong thing. I needed some advice and figured I was better off with a professional than a drinking buddy.

Also, when a loved one is hurt it's only normal to empathise and feel some of that pain yourself. However, like you said, you want to be supportive so your partner may not be the best person to discuss your feelings with. She really doesn't want to hear about your feelings.

I won't go into detail, but believe me, there are a wide range of emotions that arise and a third party can act as a buffer and give all concerned a little bit of breathing room. Things take time and when you share a life and a bed with someone it is foolish not to acknowledge that the emotional repercussions of a rape affect all in the family.

When she hurts, I hurt. I'm a husband and a father, it's what I do.
posted by cedar at 10:56 PM on December 18, 2003

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