This week’s recommended read is a deeply troubling report by The Guardian‘s Will Storr published a couple of years ago. It discusses – in some graphic detail – the appalling rapes suffered by many thousands of men during wars in Africa and elsewhere.
The article quotes Chris Dolan, British directory of Makerere University’s Refugee Law Project:
The organisations working on sexual and gender-based violence don’t talk about it. It’s systematically silenced. If you’re very, very lucky they’ll give it a tangential mention at the end of a report. You might get five seconds of: ‘Oh and men can also be the victims of sexual violence.’ But there’s no data, no discussion.
Storr also talks to a victim of male rape, who at the time of his attack was studying electronic engineering at a university in the Congo:
Eleven rebels waited in a queue and raped Jean Paul in turn. When he was too exhausted to hold himself up, the next attacker would wrap his arm under Jean Paul’s hips and lift him by the stomach. He bled freely: “Many, many, many bleeding,” he says, “I could feel it like water.” Each of the male prisoners was raped 11 times that night and every night that followed.
This article is undeniably disturbing and reading it feels a little uncomfortable – but perhaps it is altogether more disturbing that we hear so little about topic, and that there is seemingly so little support for victims. It is certainly thought-provoking.