Rape Counseling Sees More Male Victims, New Medication

Local Centers Talk To Traumatized Males

October 14, 1990|By Maria Archangelo | Maria Archangelo,STAFF WRITER

The single young man was uncomfortable when he arrived at his female friend's house to find a group of women rowdy and high on drugs.

But that was nothing compared to the horror he felt when they raped him.

"That man told me it hurt, and I believe him," said nurse Christine Frey, a volunteer coordinator and counselor at Carroll's Rape Crisis Intervention Service for the past three years.

Frey said that women in Carroll County report sexual assaults far more often than men do -- almost one a day in June -- but the number of men who call the crisis hot line to say they have been raped is on the rise.

Frey said 11 of the past 110 calls to the Rape Crisis hot line were from men, some who said they were raped by groups of woman and others who said they were attacked by groups of men.

Terry Blevins, manager of the Baltimore and Carroll County Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence 24-Hour Crisis Hot Line, a counseling and referral service, said about 10 percent of the agency's calls were from men who had been raped by other men.

Sheila Begg, volunteer coordinator of Howard County's Sexual Assault Center Hot Line, said less than 10 percent of the agency's phone calls are from male victims.

When men are assaulted, it is usually by groups of people, Frey said.

Drugs and alcohol are frequently used, and sometimes a weapon is involved.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that 10 percent of all sex offenders are women. The 90 percent who are men do not choose only females to attack.

"In surveys of men who are convicted of sexual assault, many say they didn't care if their victims were male or female, the most important thing is that the object of the assault can be overtaken," Frey said.

Frey said rapists who attack men have less chance of being caught.

"Women are allowed to say they have been sexually assaulted and they still can feel like they are women," she said. "Men feel that it wouldn't be manly to admit that this happened to them."

Statistics from the National Victims Resource Center show that 366 women were charged with forcible rape in the United States in 1989. More than 30,000 men were charged with rape in the same year.

And while the stigma of being raped haunts female victims, it also is crippling the men who call the Rape Crisis hot line, she said.

The callers use aliases or do not give their full names. They say they can't tell their closest loved ones.

Frey said not all the male victims have been assaulted by women their own age. Some are teen-agers and young adults who were assaulted by their mothers or family friends.

One man told a counselor he was raped by another man while serving time in jail on a traffic violation.

Men are starting to volunteer to counsel rape victims.

But Carroll's Rape Crisis Intervention Service has no method for training men to counsel female victims. The service is, however, taking names of men interested in counseling other men and will call them when the training is available, Frey said. She said that when men start to come in for treatment, they will have male counselors.

Blevins said the Baltimore and Carroll hot line has three male volunteers who answer crisis calls.

Carroll's Rape Crisis is looking for female volunteers who are good listeners to work with rape victims. Volunteers must go through 20 hours of training over four days.

The volunteer training sessions will be held Oct. 25 and 27 and Nov. 1 and 3. Frey said she will take applications until Oct. 24.

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