Sexual Violence Among Men

Understanding Violence Against Men

Sexual Violence against men – Sexual Violence among men, including intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual assault, rape, being made to penetrate someone else, happens far more often than most people may be aware of. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), across United States nearly one in four men have experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. In addition, according to the CDC, roughly one in ten men experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported some form of Intimate Partner Violence related impact. Instances of Intimate Partner Violence included fear, concern for their safety (or someone else’s or a pet’s), and symptoms of PTSD just to name a few. 

Facts about Male Victimization According to the Center for Disease Control CDC

Intimate Partner Violence

  • About 1 in 3 men experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.
  • Nearly 56% of men who were victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner first experienced these or other forms of violence by that partner before age 25.

Sexual Violence

  • Sexual Violence – Nearly 1 in 4 men experienced some form of contact sexual violence
  • Made to Penetrate – About 1 in 14 men in the U.S. were made to penetrate someone
  • Rape – More than 1 in 38 men in the U.S. experienced either rape or attempted rape


  • About 1 in 17 men in the U.S. were victims of stalking
  • Nearly 41% of male victims first experienced stalking before age 25.

Types of Sexual Violence Perpetrated Against Men and Boys

Men and boys are often victims of sexual violence. Here are some common types of sexual violence perpetrated against men or boys.

Intimate Partner Violence

Physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, psychological aggression, and control of reproductive or sexual health by a current or former intimate partner.

Sexual Violence

Sexual activity, actions, or behaviors occurring without consent.

Contact Sexual Violence

Includes rape, being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion, and any form of unwanted sexual contact.


Occurs when someone repeatedly harasses or threatens someone else, causing fear or safety concerns.

Made to Penetrate

Being made to penetrate occurs when the victim was made to sexually penetrate someone without consent. This may have come about by physical force, coercion, threats of violence, threats of withdrawing affection, threats of withholding food, threats of harming someone else if the victim did not comply, and more. Sometimes a victim was made to penetrate someone else without consent by drug facilitated sexual violence in which the victim was drunk, high, or drugged, and therefore lacked awareness or consciousness.

About Perpetrators of Sexual Violence against Men

The sex of the perpetrator often depends on the type of sexual violence being perpetrated.

According to the CDC, perpetrators of rape and unwanted sexual contact against male victims were mostly other men.

Made to Penetrate and sexual coercion against men were most often perpetrated by women.

Women were mostly the perpetrators of intimate partner violence against men.

Both women and men perpetrate sexual violence by stalking of men.

Sexual Violence

  • 87% of male victims of (completed or attempted) rape reported only male perpetrators.
  • 79% of male victims of being Made to Penetrate reported only female perpetrators.
  • 82% of male victims of sexual coercion reported only female perpetrators.
  • 53% of male victims of unwanted sexual contact reported only female perpetrators.


  • 46% of male victims reported being stalked by only female perpetrators.
  • 43% of male victims reported being stalked by only male perpetrators.
  • 8% of male victims reported being stalked by both male and female perpetrators.

Intimate Partner Violence

  • 97% of men who experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner had only female perpetrators.


Some Things to Know if You Are a Man Who Has Experienced Sexual Violence

It isn’t uncommon for men who are survivors of sexual assault or sexual violence to feel shame, embarrassment, self-doubt, and/or symptoms of PTSD.

Because of cultural cues and socialization about how men are and are not supposed to be, feel, and act, some men who are victims of sexual violence feel shame and self-doubt because they believe they should have been able to defend themselves against a perpetrator. Some men feel as if they are “less of a man” after being a victim of sexual violence and struggle in silence trying to find a framework in their mind to assign to being assaulted and not being “strong enough” to prevent the assault in the first place. These are common types of thoughts for male victims to have. If you have, or are, thinking these things, it is important to know that it is not your fault, you are not alone in these feelings, and there is help available.

Confusion often accompanies victims and survivors of sexual assault – especially if they experienced an erection and/or ejaculation during the assault. Because they think to themselves “but what if it felt good?” They feel they may have had a part to play in their own victimization. It is important to know that erection and ejaculation are normal physiological responses to physical stimulation and do not in any way imply that you wanted, invited, or enjoyed the assault. If something happened to you, know that it is not your fault, and you are not alone.

Should I Confront My Abuser

This is a common question among male victims and survivors. It is important to know that there can be danger – sometimes confronting an abuser leads to a repeat of the abuse and can be very dangerous for the victim or survivor. But experience has shown that in many cases, confronting an abuser often leads to nothing at all. The abuser offers no acknowledgement, discussion, apology, or anything else. Often, they just walk away, or close the door. The bottom line is, you will have to decide for yourself if this is something you need/want to do. Only you can decide what is right for you. Just remember to be safe. Maybe consider meeting in a very public place and taking someone with you who can observe you from a distance and make sure you are not attacked again.

Additional resources for men

Help is available

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual violence against men or is a survivor of sexual violence against men and would like support, WOAR is here for you. Please contact WOAR at 215-985-3333.