Effects Of Sexual Assault

Many of the men who come to SAMSSA struggle with thoughts like “Why me?”, “How could this happen?”, “What did I do wrong?” Survivors can find themselves trying to find a reason to explain what has happened, something to explain why they were sexually assaulted or why the offender did what they did. It is normal to have these types of thoughts. A lot of people think about these things because they are trying to understand and explain the abuse.

It is very common for men to believe they were somehow responsible for the abuse, or should have seen it coming, or should have been able to stop it. Even if they don’t believe this is the case, they might think that other people will believe it about them.

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about sexual assault in our culture which can make a man feel he was at least partly to blame. Often offenders try to place responsibility for what has happened onto the victim, or try to minimise the seriousness of what has happened.

It is important to remember that sexual assault and abuse are never justified. If the perpetrator chose to respect you, the assault or abuse would never have happened. Perpetrators can control their actions and decisions.

It is important to remember that even if you made some choices which exposed you to the risk of assault, this doesn’t mean that anyone had a right to assault you. There is a difference between wishing you could have done something to stop the abuse, and being responsible for it.