On the March 30 a 19 year old young man went out to a nightclub in Toronto and ended up meeting four women. As the night wound down they offered him a ride home, which he accepted as an innocent and well-meaning.
The four women took him to a parking lot in the Queen Street West/Spadina Avenue area of Toronto where they all proceeded to sexually assault him.
Because we do not know any of the details of the sexual assault it is hard to know what the women actually did to the young man, but the term “sexual assault” is one of those vague terms that, when applied to a male victim, comes off to the general public as nothing more than innocent groping, or perhaps some unwanted kissing because of the faulty assumption that men cannot possibly be raped by a woman.
The term “sexual assault” is a blanket description that could mean anything from an unwanted touch of the leg to forcing a man to penetrate a woman against his will. And for those who can’t seem to wrap their heads around it, yes, men can become erect even when they are not sexually aroused, just as women can unintentionally orgasm while being raped.
The police reported that the young man thankfully did not require treatment in hospital.
Detective Constable Thomas Ueberholz with the Toronto Police Sex Crimes Unit said that his division does get complaints of sexual assaults on males by females:
“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.”
Det. Const. Shannon McParland praised the man for coming forward in an interview with QMI, saying
“It is often hard for a male victim to approach police about a crime of this nature.”
In a report from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (2003) showed that men made up eight per cent of the adult victims of sexual assaults which were reported to police.
According to the 2003 report, male victims of sexual assault are just as likely as female victims to report the crime to police, but I have a hard time believing this to be the case since there is such a stigma attached to men who are victims of sexual assault. In fact, when interviewed by the National Post, Nicole Pietsch, co-ordinator of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, said
“Male victims, like female victims, can encounter stigmas when seeking help. It is not completely unusual for a male to be the victim of a sexual assault. Other men will say for example, ‘Oh, he’s so lucky,’ like that was actually a positive thing when it wasn’t. I think that that just feeds into the myth that sexual violence [against males] is something the victim wants.”
Her comment confirms my suspicions that the majority of men who are sexually assaulted are not reporting these crimes to the police, nor are they talking about them openly with others. These men become silent victims because men who report being sexually assaulted are at risk of being ridiculed by others who just don’t understand the fact that a man is not always interested in sex, especially with those that force themselves on him against his will. Nor is it understood that men, when trapped in a situation such as this young man was, have been taught that it is wrong to ever hit a woman, even when she is sexually assaulting him.
The fear a man has of being arrested for assaulting a woman, even in self-defense, is so crippling that he cannot even afford an attempt to defend himself should the female perpetrator turn around and claim he was attempting to rape her just so she can escape any accusations.
On Twitter there were numerous users who posted nasty and ignorant statements ridiculing the young man.
It is a sad view of how many in society negatively stereotype men who come forward to seek help for sexual assault. It’s an attitude that needs to be changed to reflect the reality that men are just as capable of being sexually assaulted as women, and that they deserve the same compassion and understanding that women do.
I personally would like to commend this young man for his strength and courage in reporting this crime to the police, and for standing up for his rights as a human being.
As for the women who sexually assaulted this young man, police say they were all white, approximately 5’4″ in height, roughly 190-200 pounds and somewhere between 30 and 36 years old.
The driver spoke with what sounded like a British accent and had a tattoo of wings on the back of her neck. Another woman had longer, dark hair with red dye at the bottom.
After the suspects let go of the man, they were seen leaving the area in a vehicle that resembled a silver Honda SUV.
[box]Anybody with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).[/box]