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Canadian Man Sexually Assaulted By Four Women, Showing Rape Goes Both Ways

A 19-year-old man has come forward and reported his own sexual assault that took place March 30 in Toronto. The report singles out four women as the assailants, highlighting not only the brutality of the assault, but the bravery of the victim to come forward in a world where sexual assault against men is rarely reported.

Allegedly, the victim was alone the night of the assault until he met the women at a nightclub. They offered him a ride home, drove a few blocks away to a parking lot, and sexually assaulted the man. When they were finished, they drove him a few blocks further and let him out of the car.

While it took the victim a week to report the assault, the stigma he faces as a male victim could have prevented him from doing so altogether. According to a 2003 report, 8% of all adult sexual assault victims in Canada were men, but the number is probably much higher.

"Other men will say for example, 'Oh, he’s so lucky,' like that was actually a positive thing when it wasn't," said Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres coordinator Nicole Pietsch. "I think that that just feeds into the myth that sexual violence is something the victim wants."

Rape culture persists across the gender spectrum and presents in the same manner. Victim-blaming runs rampant, as it did in the Steubenville case. But take a look at a few Twitter posts, and you may see something a little different arises when the victim is male (trigger warning):

While several people may find the assault funny or be calling the victim names for not seeing it as a "fantasy," Detective Constable Thomas Ueberholz with the Toronto Police Sex Crimes Unit has a truth bomb for all:

"Although the majority generally is females that are victims or complainants, it is not completely unusual for a male to be the victim of a sexual assault," he said.

Stateside, 10% of sexual assault victims are male, with the percentage potentially higher due to underreporting. And while sexual assault in the military is generally seen as a male-on-female act, the majority of the victims may actually be male.

The Toronto victim did not sustain any physical injuries, which may have been his only stroke of "luck" considering the nature of the assault.

All sexual assault is wrong, regardless of who perpetrates it. This situation is especially troubling considering the number of assailants involved. It doesn't matter at all the gender of the criminals or the victim; all that matters is that a horrible crime was committed and we need to take this seriously if we want to educate people on the nature of sexual assault. Any sexual advances against one's will are cause for concern, and singling out victims who "should have enjoyed it" is almost as disgusting as the crime itself.

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