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Male Rapes – Some Myths, Statistics, True Incidents and Legal Insight

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Male Rapes – Some Myths, Statistics, True Incidents and Legal Insight


A True Story

Is Rape attempted only on females? I would request you to think again. Male rapes are not fiction created in novels and movies. What happened in Shawshank Redemption can happen to anyone at any place.

Shikhar (name changed) was popular at his college for being a philanderer. He had multiple girlfriends and at age of 22, he had everything a student could aspire for. He shared his room with two of his classmates. His relations with them were not cordial. He had some unresolved issues with them. One night when he was sleeping, he realized that his room mates were tying him to the bed. He was repeatedly raped (sodomised) by both of them that night.

The incident changed Shikhar’s life completely. Even after two years, he hasn’t dated any girl or talked about sex with his friends. The very talk of sex upsets him. He also tried attempting suicide once to get rid of miserable life. Only two of his friends were aware of what happened to him that night, but even they were unable to console him in this situation. Similar to other instances of male rapes, the matter went unreported.

Male Rapes: Some Shocking Statistics

  • About 10% of rape victims are men.
  • Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, US points out that 71% of male victims were first raped before their 18th birthday; 16.6% were 18-24 years old, and 12.3% were 25 or older.
  • U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1999) estimated that 91% of rape victims are female and 9% are male
  • Human Rights Watch Report suggests that 22% of male inmates have been raped at least once during their incarceration; i.e. around 420,000 prisoners each year.

History of Male Rapes

In some societies the victorious soldiers were given a right to rape the defeated enemy. The act demonstrated a total control over the defeated warrior. It was believed that whether consensual or forced a male who has carnal intercourse looses his manhood and is thus incapable of becoming a ruler or warrior. Gang Rapes of a male as a punishment was awarded for crimes like adultery in Rome and Violating the sanctity of Harems in Persia and Iran.

Who are the Victims?

Most of the people believe that males are victims of rapes only in jails, prisons and hostels but statistics reveal that these are not the only places where males get traumatized. A large number of males become victim of sexual assaults and forced sodomy in their own houses, pubs and armed forces.

The perpetrators avail the benefit of their victim’s vulnerable condition. A popular notion prevails that a male is supposed to protect himself and if he fails, he has lost his manhood. Like most of the rape victims, these victims also start holding themselves responsible to the injustice done to themselves. The thought that “they have lost their manhood” results in their continuous victimization. Most of them start doubting themselves and may even fail to have healthy sexual lives with their spouses. A very few cases of male rapes are actually reported. The offense is considered difficult to prove and the perpetrators are often acquitted. Out of 852 cases that were reported to police in the UK, only 44 perpetrators were prosecuted. Ironically, the victim who confesses that he had been raped or sexually assaulted is punished by the entire society. The feeling of guilt and shame makes him detest himself and his very existence. The rape is not only committed on his body but also on his mind, soul and spirit.

Indian Penal Code and Male Rape

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is the only section that criminalized all acts of carnal intercourse. The section penalizes both consensual and forced sodomy. The minimum punishment awarded of such crimes 10 years which may extend to life imprisonment. The Delhi HC in its leading judgment of Naz Foundation v. Government of NCT and Ors stated that the provisions of Section 377 I.P.C will continue to govern non-consensual penile, non-vaginal sex and penile non-vaginal sex involving minors. Even if the judgment is upheld by the honorable SC, the section can be evoked to punish sodomists, pedophiles and zoophiles.

The only laws that remotely address to the problems of child assault in  the country are sections 376, 377 of Indian Penal Code and some sections  of the Information Technology Act, 2000.  But there is no specific law that can punish pedophiles or can compensate the victims of such events.

The Section 375 of Indian Penal Code does not include males as rape victims. Recently the government decided to amend the definition of rape and replace it with sexual assault instead. They believe that the amendment would give the section a wider jurisdiction and scope. But it is criticized that the proposed amendment would further harm the interests of the rape victims.

Conclusion

It is unfortunate that till now people associate manhood with sexuality. Manhood is not lost by a victim who was sodomized but it is lost rather it does not exist in the perpetrator who committed this heinous act.  It is a myth that only gay men commit such crimes. The offender can be bisexual, straight or homosexual. India definitely needs separate laws to deal with male rape or forced sodomy and child assault. Majority of such crimes remain unreported and therefore awareness must be spread in this regard. The benefits availed by female rape victims under the Cr.Pc must be also extended the male victims. Helplines and Online-help can be provided which may prove helpful in providing psychiatric help to them.

Ignoring Male Rapes won’t change anything but accepting it would surely make a difference.

The post is a duplication of the article already published on www.legaldrift.com

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Comments

  • Vikramaditya
    Vikramaditya Friday, 14 May 10

    Congratulations!! You have chosen an interesting and revolutionary topic and very happy that a female has done that. However, as the need for law is concerned there is really a need to revise the penal code to make it more broader to include assault and these offences into its ambit. Congratulations once again.

  • Jayani Shah
    Jayani Shah Friday, 14 May 10

    A very well written informative work

  • legaldrift
    legaldrift Friday, 14 May 10

    thanks Vikram.. I'm truely honoured..

  • legaldrift
    legaldrift Friday, 14 May 10

    Thanks Jayani..

  • Guest
    Anonymous guest Friday, 14 May 10

    Sandeep

    Quite evocative... It is a pertinent need these days to bring forth such cases which go under reported. The classical definition of rape which focuses mainly on the female victims needs to be extrapolated to include male rape cases. Your notion regarding manhood is exactly to the point. Frankly speaking I don't even know if the majority of the Indian public understands the concept of male rape. Anyways the stigmatization associated and conferred (irresponsibly, I must add) by society regarding female rape is bound to scuttle any attempts to bring to justice the perpetrators of male rapes. I think we need an exhaustive and statistical study of male rapes to fully quantify the problem in the Indian context.
    It was a very nice read.....keep up with such articles which can at least spread awareness about such under the carpet issues....

  • Guest
    Anonymous guest Saturday, 15 May 10

    Harish Iyer

    I am a male survivor of child sexual abuse. I should applaud you for writing such a wonderful post. well researched and the need of the hour. Kudos.

  • legaldrift
    legaldrift Saturday, 15 May 10

    Thanks Sundeep... your analysis stands correct on various grounds.. I'm glad that at least some people have started accepting that this heinous crime exists and needs to be addressed. Thanks for the appreciation.

  • legaldrift
    legaldrift Saturday, 15 May 10

    Thanks Harish... I think I must applaud and salute your spirit.. I have seen even girls denying their sexual abuse in most of the cases, it is great that a guy has the courage to challenge the injustice done to him. Thanks for sharing your experience, I'm sure with determined people like you we will surely punish all rapists and pedophiles sooner or later.

    Regards
    Meghnawww.legaldrift.com">http://www.legaldrift.com" rel="nofollow">www.legaldrift.com

  • Guest
    Anonymous guest Saturday, 15 May 10

    There was an incident which took place in Pakistan an year ago ... three women raped a hotel bearer after kidnapping him in their car .... can anybody throw some light on incidents where women (in a group) rapes a guy ... I mean what will be the legal implication on such incidents ?, Is there any case law which has imposed punishment to women for such incidents ?

  • ps902
    ps902 Saturday, 15 May 10

    hii

    hello meghna..i would like to congratulate you for choosing such a bld topic and showing the real picture so aptly.

  • legaldrift
    legaldrift Saturday, 15 May 10

    thanks ps 902..

  • john2010
    john2010 Saturday, 15 May 10

    Doubt

    Hey. I had a small doubt? So as far as I understand there is no provision in the IPC to punish those who rape men. Am I correct? However, we need such laws to be gender neutral at the end of the day.

  • Guest
    Anonymous guest Sunday, 16 May 10

    Mrahi

    There was recent stats exposed by pune police which reveal 75% rape are actually consensual sex and are false while 94% of so call victim and accused are acquainted with each other. The media which only wants the sensational news portray different story all together.

  • legaldrift
    legaldrift Sunday, 16 May 10

    John.. There is no specific provision in IPC which deals with male rape but Section 377 can be evoked if carnal intercourse takes place. The law definitely needs to be gender neutral and it must be included in Section 375 of IPC

  • Guest
    Anonymous guest Sunday, 16 May 10

    Stats about India?

    Dear Legaldrift
    the article is very impressive and deals with a very sensitive issue but you have given a situation which does not highlight the real scenario in India. In countries like UK and US, same sex relationships are not denied and so, even issues like men's rape are recorded and some statistics are available. but in india, we still have a lot of time to reach that acceptance levels.
    At the same time, men being raped in India, are there any statistics available?

  • attorneyindia
    attorneyindia Sunday, 16 May 10

    Ravi

    Well researched work and debatable topic, I appreciate it, carryon.

  • legaldrift
    legaldrift Sunday, 16 May 10

    Stats about India :-

    Thanks... Unfortunately I couldn't find any relevant statistics with reference to India.

  • legaldrift
    legaldrift Sunday, 16 May 10

    thanks Ravi.. I try to live up to ur expectations..

  • legaldrift
    legaldrift Sunday, 16 May 10

    Mrahi.. thanks for providing these enlightening statistics but I personally doubt the credibility of statistics provided by the police. Again many a times a rape is proved consensual sex by the perpetrators quite easily in courts.

  • Guest
    Friday, 23 Sep 11

    Hi legaldrift,

    I am very happy to see this article. It reminded me of my teen age. I was raped by my own uncle not once but quite a few times. When I gatherer my courage to tell my mom. She just said..." SHhhhh....its ok it happens forget it..." Although she was a psychologist. Today I am a man of 28 but yes still I am afraid. Still that fear lingers in my mind. I am happy to see at least someone thinks about us....

    Keep it up....

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