A call for a change in the law to class men, forced to have sex with women, as rape victims has been made in a new study by Lancaster University researchers.
Men have added their voices to a ground-breaking study – the first of its kind to interview men in the UK – which examines their experience of non-consensual sex with women (known as ‘forced to penetrate’ cases or FTP).
The term ‘forced-to-penetrate’ has been coined for these cases because, while they involve non-consensual sex, they do not fall under the offence of rape.
The majority of participants interviewed in the study labelled their forced to penetrate (FTP) experiences as rape, even though this is not reflected in current UK laws.
Reform of sexual offences legislation was important to participants to ensure male survivors’ experiences were appropriately acknowledged and labelled.
The in-depth study, which breaks the silence around men being sexually violated by women has been published by a research team led by Dr Siobhan Weare, of Lancaster University Law School, in partnership with Survivors Manchester.
“These new findings have provided a far greater insight and understanding about this ‘hidden crime’,” said Dr Weare.
“These men were incredibly brave sharing their stories. By ‘breaking their silence’, we hope that the findings from this research study can help to shape policy and practice in this area.
“This is a hugely under-discussed issue and so services must make sure that their staff are trained appropriately to support male survivors. We must also make sure that this issue is adequately and accurately addressed in national policies and law.
“That is why we are calling for law reform in this area and the introduction of a national ‘Ending Intimate Violence Against Men and Boys’ strategy.”