Sweden has the highest rape rate in Europe, with 370 of recorded cases involving the sexual assault of men or boys.
Many experts believe the actual number is even higher.
The severity of rape against one gender can’t be measured against that of another, of course, but rape against men, usually by other men, can be just as damaging. It mostly goes unreported, for one, and legal services are often ill-equipped to deal with such cases. Male victims of rape are also at great risk of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and developing “sexual identity” problems in the future.
All of this is accelerated by a lack of services and care, which is why a hospital in Stockholm is set to become the first in the country with an emergency department specifically for male rape victims.
A study last year determined most men in Sweden are uncertain where they could get emergency help following a rape, so this definitely offers an answer.
“There are myths about masculinity that make it difficult for men who have been sexually traumatized to talk about their experiences,” said Inger Björklund, who’s a spokesperson for gender equality organization RFSU.
“A clinic focusing on men who have been sexually abused will contribute to the awareness of experiences of sexual abuse among men and make it more possible to meet mens needs in a very exposed situation.”