Stock­holm rape clinic to open doors to male and trans­gen­der vic­tims

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A Stock­holm rape clinic will open its doors in Oc­to­ber to male and trans­gen­der vic­tims in ad­di­tion to the women it al­ready treats, a sexologist at the clinic said Wed­nes­day.

“What’s new is that the clinic will now be open to any per­son, re­gard­less of what gen­der they are, need­ing help con­cern­ing sex­ual abuse and/ or rape,” sexologist and pro­ject man­ager Karl Nor­wald at the Soder­sjukhuset hos­pi­tal, where the clinic is lo­cated, told AFP.

He said he hoped the clinic’s new pol­icy would help des­tig­ma­tize male rape and en­cour­age more male vic­tims to seek both phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal help.

Cur­rently, male and trans­gen­der vic­tims of sex­ual abuse must go to the hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency room, and not the rape clinic which is re­served for women.

“We hope and will work for all the ma­jor hos­pi­tals to treat ( vic­tims of) sex­ual abuse re­gard­less of gen­der ... Men and women should be treated equal- ly,” said Suzanna Bo­man, a psy­chother­a­pist at the Swedish As­so­ci­a­tion for Sex­u­al­ity Ed­u­ca­tion ( RFSU).

“In 1977, the first rape clinic was opened ( in Swe­den). In nearly 40 years of strug­gling for the rights of ( fe­male) vic­tims of sex­ual vi­o­lence to re­ceive care, ( the is­sue) is more open for women now. For men, it is still 1977,” she said.

The sub­ject re­mains taboo lamented.

“It is very hard for men to of male rape in so­ci­ety, she speak ( about lieved.”

In the past three or four years, RFSU has helped pro­vide treat­ment for around 40 male vic­tims of sex­ual abuse.

Ac­cord­ing to Bo­man and Nor­wald, stud­ies show that men are more trau­ma­tized than women by sex­ual abuse.

“It’s very com­pli­cated ... it has to do with our im­age of mas­culin­ity and male sex­u­al­ity,” Bo­man ex­plained.

That im­age “has deep roots in our cul­ture. If you are a man,


to be be- you are strong, a fighter and you can’t be raped.”

But “the fact that we be­gin to talk about it is one way to kill the myth,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Swedish Na­tional Coun­cil for Crime Preven­tion, around 370 of the 6,700 vic­tims of re­ported rape in Swe­den in 2014 were men or boys.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion said the data was prob­a­bly only the tip of the ice­berg, es­ti­mat­ing that only 10 to 20 per­cent of sex­ual as­saults were ac­tu­ally re­ported to po­lice.

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