Male Rape – Issues of Reporting and Accessing Services

Back to all Motions

2009 National LGBT Conference
29 July 2009

This Conference expresses its disgust at all forms of sexual assault. Victims of such crimes deserve to be fully supported, treated with dignity and respect, and to receive the full protection of the law.

Conference notes that sex attacks on men could be reported inconsistently; therefore male rape victims often remain invisible and unsupported. Conference notes that not all victims of male rape, or their attackers, identify as gay or bisexual.

Men can suffer appalling sexual assaults, injuries and humiliations, but rarely does a victim report this. Feelings of shame and perceptions of the victim often result in this being kept a secret.

The effects of sexual abuse on men, both physical and emotional, are in many ways similar to those experienced by women, but the response of society is markedly different. Many victims do not report acts of sexual violence because they see this as a sign of weakness.

Being both mentally and physically strong is something that society seems to expect of males from a very early age. Some men will feel that they should be able to physically protect themselves and, when they cannot, they find this hard to accept.

Conference feels that male rape is an issue for the whole of society, however the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community may be particularly vulnerable to predatory attacks and opportunistic non-consensual sex.

Conference therefore urges the National LGBT Committee to work with the National Executive Council and colleagues in appropriate Service Groups, including Health and Police Staff, in order to:

1.Campaign for uniform and consistent local services for male rape victims and raise awareness within UNISON’s LGBT membership;

2.Promote and encourage the timely reporting of sex crimes by male victims; and

3.Collate and disseminate examples of good practice in these areas.