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Sexual violence: Why men need to talk

Isabelle Henkens, sexual violence
Isabelle Henkens on YouTube

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Sexual violence: Why men need to talk

“150 : this is the number that blew my mind.

I am a lawyer and a psychologist and I was reading research on sexual violence.
I came across that study, unique as far as I know, whereby 377 non-incarcerated paedophiles were asked about the number of victims they made.

When they molested girls, the average number of victims was 20.
For those who molested boys, the average was 150.

I kept on researching and read the investigations made on sexual violence in the Catholic Church
In every country where investigations were lead, the majority of victims are boys.
They make up for 70% in Germany, 80% in the United States, 63.7% in Australia (addendum : it is 78% in France). And so I wondered, where are those men?
How come, when the public is asked whether they have been sexually assaulted, women are more numerous than men?
But when perpetrators are asked, men are more numerous than women. How can we explain this ?
I read all the research I could put my hands on and asked experts and I came to this conclusion : we don’t know.
And we do not know because men don’t talk. The few men who do talk do it on average 40 years after the end of the assaults.

The reasons why men don’t talk are the same as those that prevent any victim of sexual violence from talking.
On top of those reasons, there are specific ones
Men do not know who they are, as they have learned, early on, that they are there to serve the desires of others.
The second reason is that they wonder whether they are ‘true’ men, as they think that surely, there must be something wrong with them that triggered the desire of the predators.
And the third reason, is that they wonder whether they are gay or hetero, as while they were assaulted, they might have had physiological reactions during the assault.
Men need to speak now, to get out of their devastating isolation, and to stop the predators. And to get men talking, we need role models such as Sébastien Boueilh, the rugby champion, to come in public and talk about what he was submitted to.

This is what society needs to understand that sexual violence is not a woman’s issue, it is a societal issue”

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