Men: Are they an endangered species?
By Rolando A Hyman MA, CCC, CT.
Today my article will be specifically addressing men who are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Do men really experience these scars or is it only a thing that affect females? According to the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS), ten to twenty percent of males will experience some form of sexual assault or sexual abuse. The article further reiterated that our culture sees invulnerability as an asset along with the denial of pain as an “important asset” when you are a man. This is yet another detrimental psychological mindset that is very disabling and destructive to healthy masculinity. Men are constantly bombarded by this fallacy and if it continues to permeate more men will become less functional and continue to struggle with severe mental health and self-esteem issues. For a man to disclose this kind of treatment would make him a “sissy” a misfit to the male population. One man disclosed that he was told directly by an RCMP officer that if they ever receive a call from a home about domestic abuse they do not hesitate to arrest and charge the male without question or proof. This substantiates the lack of sensitivity and denial in the public sector about the possibility that men are just affected by domestic abuse as do women but there seems to be denial and ignorance from the highest level in our society. The above-mentioned article continued to reiterate that our law enforcement and judicial system are not properly equipped to address issues related to male sexual abuse and or domestic violence. Men are not perceived as a good fit for these issues while on the other hand women and girls are always more susceptible while men are immune. It is time for the Canadian society along with the judicial system and law enforcement to revisit their outlook and approach to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault as this is not a male female specific occurrence but an occurrence that affects human beings men and boys included.
What is a resolution to this male pandemic?
Every functioning organization and mental health providers that are currently offering services to women and girls should seek to have programs for men who are affected by these traits so that there can be more balance in our community. Men need to have more safe places to disclose these incidents and get supports to regain their mental wellness and self identity. Most men resort to bars, garages, womanizing, verbal and physically abusive displays and depression. All men in our community gay or straight are an endangered specie if they continue to suffer sexual and emotional abuse, struggle to meet the societal “norms” and experience marginalization because they are lacking in supports. The cry continues to be the same that is we are going to lessen the struggle for true authentic masculinity the face of what it means to be male must be challenged, revisited and restructured with a better model. This model will not become a reality until all the resources and skill sets come together and realize that if we can work together to restore hope and real identity in one male it is the beginning of a change. Are men an endangered specie? Absolutely and this trend will not be resolved until there is more awareness about what we can do next.