Salisbury University students on campus

Why Men Should Care About Rape

  • Because men know survivors. At some point in every man's life, someone close to him will likely disclose that they are a survivor of sexual violence. Men must be prepared to respond with sensitivity, compassion and understanding. Ignorance on the part of men can only hinder the healing process and may even contribute to the survivor feeling even more victimized. A supportive male presence during a survivor's recovery, however, can be invaluable.

  • Because men rape. Men commit the great majority of all sexually violent crimes. Even when men are sexually victimized, other men are most often the perpetrators.

  • Because men are raped. We don't like to think about it, and we don't like to talk about it, but it's a fact. Studies show that a staggering 10-20% of males are sexually violated at some point in their lives. Men are not immune to the epidemic of sexual violence. Nor are male survivors safe from the stigma that society attaches to survivors of rape. When reporting the assault, male survivors are often doubted, called gay, or blamed for their own victimization. Frequently, they respond, as do many female survivors, by remaining silent and suffering alone.

  • Because rape confines men. Taking into account that the majority of victims know the men who raped them, it becomes virtually impossible for women to distinguish "safe guys" from men who are dangerous and therefore a "potential rapist." The result is a society with its guard up. Relationships with men are approached with fear and mistrust. Intimacy is limited by the constant threat of violence.

  • Because men can STOP rape. Rape is using sex as a weapon for power and control. For rape to stop, men must be empowered to make different choices. All men can play a vital role in this process by challenging rape-supporting behaviors and by raising awareness about the damaging impact of rape.

Every time a man's voice joins those of women in speaking out against rape, the world becomes safer for all us.

Citation: "Why Should Men Care About Rape" handout created by Men Can Stop Rape