The U.S. Justice Department says one in every 10 rape victims is male. According to a national study, about three percent of American men (2.78 million) have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. Around 60 percent of these men identify as gay or bisexual.
Despite the sobering figures, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network says male victims are less likely to file a crime report. Much of this has to do with the myths attached to male-on-male rape.
These fictions are commonly used to re-assign blame (getting an erection proves a man wants it), downplay the crime’s severity (it’s not as bad for a man as it is for a woman) and outright deny the existence of male same-sex rape.
For instance, North Carolina law does not recognize that a man can rape another man. Therefore, when both parties are male, cases that would be considered rapes elsewhere are prosecuted as sexual assaults in North Carolina. When they are prosecuted, that is.
One man who asserts that he is a survivor of male rape contacted Q-Notes recently because he wanted to share his harrowing ordeal. He also wanted to shine a spotlight on the unsatisfactory response he feels he received from medical and legal professionals following the crime.
The story of this 25-year-old, identified here with the pseudonym “Brian,” will be told in two-parts. Part one, presented here, is a narrative detailing the events of the crime as alleged by the victim. Part two, appearing in the next issue of Q-Notes, will be an investigative piece on the treatment Brian received when he approached the agencies charged with assisting victims.
Note: This story contains graphic material that might be upsetting to some readers.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Brian was busy getting ready for a night at the club. Music playing in the background, he quickly dressed his slender frame, shaved, brushed his teeth and threw a little gel in his hair. It was already past 9:30 and he had to meet his friends around 10. “I’ve got to go — like now,” he told himself.
He finished his evening routine and picked up his wallet, checking for cash, his debit card and I.D. He ran back to the bathroom, checked himself in the mirror one last time then bolted out the door.
Like countless times before, he made his way to his favorite club in Hickory. Once there, he found his friends and bought a drink. “It’s going to be a good night,” he thought.
Later in the evening, he ran into Wayne [not his real name]. The large, middle-aged man looked different tonight — he wasn’t in drag. Brian was surprised by his clean-cut appearance and glasses.
“Thanks for last night,” Wayne said.
The previous night, Wayne approached Brian at the club and introduced himself. “You have one of the most attractive faces I have ever seen,” Wayne said. “Can I take your picture?” Brian was flattered and posed for a few snaps. “Will you be back tomorrow?” Wayne asked hopefully.
Tonight, Wayne was being equally friendly, buying Brian drinks. After downing a couple, Brian felt strangely dizzy. As his vision and thinking became increasingly hazy, Wayne led him out of the club. Brian was so unsteady he had to be carried the last part of the way to Wayne’s car, where he was laid in the backseat. It was around midnight.
Wayne drove to a local motel and rented a room. After parking the car, he carried Brian inside and pushed him down onto the bed. He removed Brian’s pants and began to perform oral sex on him. “You’re pre-cumming. I like that,” Wayne said.
The words pulled Brian’s mind into focus. He pushed Wayne off and stumbled into the bathroom. He forced his fingers down his throat and made himself throw up, rationalizing that the physical evidence would prove he had been in the motel. He also removed one contact and left it for further proof.
While he was bent over the sink, Wayne came in and attempted to sodomize him. Brian was able to struggle enough to prevent Wayne from penetrating him and both men ended up on the floor. Wayne forced his penis into Brian’s mouth.
“I’m going to get sick again,” Brian spluttered, leading Wayne to get up and walk out. Brian braced his foot against the door to keep it closed. He gagged himself and threw up again. It was the only thing he could think to do to keep Wayne off of him.
A couple minutes passed while Brian pulled himself together. After building up his courage, he cracked the door and said, “You have to take me back.” Wayne nonchalantly assented. “Okay.”
No words were spoken between them in the car. Wayne stared intently at the road, while teary-eyed Brian sat motionless in the passenger’s seat. Back at the club, Wayne pulled over in front of a man standing on the sidewalk.
“Where have you been?” the man asked.
“We fucked,” Wayne told him.
“Here,” Wayne said, as he scribbled his name and phone number on a scrap of paper. “Let’s do it again sometime.” Brian’s shaking hand took the slip of paper as he exited the vehicle.
He walked slowly to his car, got in and headed for home. He arrived there around 3 a.m. and went straight to his bedroom. He fell onto the bed and was overcome by feelings of anger, fear and grief. “At least I’m home,” he thought, as he cried himself to sleep.
— In Part Two of this story we examine the responses of the local hospital, police department and district attorney’s office to this alleged crime.