Convo-Graphic: The Truth About Men and Sexual Violence



As someone who was sexually abused by both men and women and who has very close relationships with male survivors of sexual violence, I am both fascinated and troubled by the themes about gender and sexual violence in traditional media, blogs, and general conversation. All too often, sexual violence is viewed as something that takes place between men and women not something that impacts men and women alike.

First and foremost, we’re stuck on the term rape, which is still a very gendered term. Until last year, the federal definition of rape only covered the forcible penetration of a man’s penis in a woman’s vagina. So when we talk about rape – the Steubenville rape, the gang rape in India, or even the rape problem in general – it evokes male perpetrators and female victims.  Rape leaves out other forms of sexual violence that are equally troubling, like child sexual abuse, fondling, or being forced to engage in sexual behavior against one’s will.

The overuse of the word rape and the gendered associations that go along with it leads us to conclude one of two things:

  • Rape is a women’s issue because women get raped. This comes in many forms: Don’t get drunk. Don’t sleep around. Take Back the Night. Cover your drink.  Women are under attack, so learn how to fight back. Travel in packs. Don’t be alone at night. Wear rape prevention underwear.
  • Rape is a men’s issue because men are the rapists. We need to stop raising our sons to be rapists. Men get away with rape. Men should stop raping women. Men rape women because they are men. There was even a recent meme that turned rape prevention tips on its head, but it was still all about men raping women.

Some of these perspectives are subtle. Others are overt. Both of them are actually mis-informed. Here are some facts that can’t be disputed:

  • Men and women are both survivors of sexual violence.
  • Men and women are both perpetrators of sexual violence.
  • Men and women are both bystanders of sexual violence.

Sure, we can argue about who gets assaulted more frequently or more severely. We can talk about how who commits a larger percentage of certain types of sexual violence. We can talk about how sexual violence impacts some worse than others. It’s a lot easier to discuss, debate, and become irate about these differences (some of which are important), rather than focusing on how a gendered conversation shuts out the potential to work together to call an end to all types of sexual violence.

I founded The Enliven Project to begin breaking down these myths, and creating new ways to engage in dialogue about sexual violence. Today, we are releasing The Truth About Men and Sexual Violence convo-graphic to spark discussion about the ways in which men are—and aren’t—impacted by sexual violence.  (You can read about the data behind it here.) This convo-graphic is designed to drive home two important points:

1. The average man is NOT a rapist. In a room of 100 men, you are more likely to run into a male victim than you are a male perpetrator. The most recent study on male perpetration found that in a group of 1882 men, 6.5% of men self-identified as rapists. This group of 120 men committed 1,225 acts of interpersonal violence, including 483 acts of rape. This means that there are far fewer perpetrators than victims. There are multiple other studies that confirm that most sexual perpetrators are serial perpetrators, many of which are listed in David Lisak’s paper.

There has been a lot of discussion of the accidental rapist or the nice guy rapist—the person who just doesn’t know enough about consent and rapes without being aware of it. With this line of thinking, we may assume that while Pete is leaving a party this week with an obviously drunk girl (gender deliberate here to illustrate myth), it might be Ben or Steve or John next week. Why speak up if we assume it’s the norm?

What Lisak’s research suggests is that it’s Pete this week, and Pete next week too. And maybe the week after that too. We can argue about whether Pete is a nice guy who doesn’t know about consent or whether he is a sociopathic predator, but I’d like to think that a better focus is on the majority of people—men and women—who stand by and see behavior like this without stepping in.

2. Men are victims of sexual violence. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Study, 22% of men have experienced some form of sexual violence. Some studies suggest the number is a little lower or higher, depending on how sexual violence is defined. But the truth is that men are impacted by sexual violence because they are victims, not just because they are perpetrators. This ought to be a central discussion, not an afterthought.

Male survivors of sexual violence face an overwhelming amount of shame and stigma as a result of our gender lens on rape. Because of that, they are less likely to report, less likely to seek help, and less likely to speak about their experiences.

At its core, sexual violence is not a men’s issue OR a women’s issue. It’s a community issue. It’s a public health issue. It’s an economic issue. It’s a human issue. We need to create space for conversations about sexual violence that allow men and women to bring their whole selves. Everyone feels vulnerable when talking about sex, let alone sex and consent. If we are all worrying about saying the wrong thing, we might not say anything at all. And then the silence continues.  The shame continues. And men and women suffer equally.

The remaining men in the graphic are labeled as bystanders. I’d like to think that these 72 men believe that sexual violence is horrific whether it happens to men or to women, and whether men or women commit the crimes. All humans have a fight or flight instinct when it comes to scary and horrible things. We freeze instead of offering a hand. We look the other way. My hope is that more men and women will stop standing by, and start speaking up and standing up for both male and female victims.

Just last week, a male friend reached out to me. He wanted to better understand consent, and the ways in which he could be more responsible in his sexual relationships. He told me that he contacted me for three reasons: I was candid about my own experiences, I was intellectual, rather than emotional, and I was open to his perspectives, even if I thought they were wrong. I believe there are millions of more men and women like him who are hungry for substantive, non-judgmental conversation about sexual violence. Like my friend, they are tired of standing by, but don’t know what to do.

At The Enliven Project, we are committed to a country where men AND women can speak the truth about how sexual violence has impacted their lives and communities. We believe this is the only way that survivors can seek the justice and healing they need to reach their full potential. You don’t need to be a survivor to care about sexual violence—you just need to be a human who wants to learn more. Let’s work together to create a space for deeper conversations, which is the only way that real change will take place.


To learn more about the data behind this ConvoGraphic, please visit The Enliven Project.


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About Sarah Beaulieu

Sarah is the founder of The Enliven Project, a campaign to bring sexual violence out of the closet and more truth-telling to the world. Sarah has over 15 years experience in managing complex relationships and partnerships, fundraising, and systematic approaches to change. She is a sexual violence survivor and a truth teller, a poet, an intuitive, wife, mom, and a loyal friend. Views expressed here are her own. For more, visit or follow her on Twitter: @sarahbeaulieu. 


  1. Adam Blanch says:

    Great article. Great to see some rational responses to this issue. Well done Sarah.


    G8 announces initiative to tackle sexual violence in conflict – Did I just see MRAs Getting A Result? He said “…Women, Children & Men can be raped…”

    I know It’s revolutionary but until only 08 October 2012 – Last Year – 3.5 Billion people on this planet did not Count – The UN Said So!

  3. THANK YOU for this article! It’s encouraging to see that there are others willing to have a real conversation about sexual violence. I definitely relate to the friend mentioned: “I believe there are millions of more men and women like him who are hungry for substantive, non-judgmental conversation about sexual violence. Like my friend, they are tired of standing by, but don’t know what to do.” I think it’s crucial that we find common ground and work towards sincere change. Without a doubt many of the sound bites out there are narrow and distracting.Sexual violence has a way of taking away our words, halting conversation and disempowering all effected – I’m not just speaking about victims, anyone who’s sat with a friend or family member trying to process/work through this kind of trauma will understand. It’s so hard to find the right words and I think there’s a well-intended but misled sentiment that conversation only creates more trauma. The truth is that we need to have this conversation center stage in broad day light as frequently as we can with as many people as we can. Advocating for change when something’s impacted us personally is hard – I understand why it’s met with fear, resistance, and distractions – but it’s still crucial. I’m confident that real conversation generates empowerment, the kind of empowerment that turns would-be bystanders into proactive advocates. I’m confident we can move past the divisiveness of framing this as women vs. men, women vs. women, men vs. men, us vs. them. That framework’s oversimplified. The truth is the odds are better when it’s all of us (armed with information, an open mind and resources) vs. sexual violence.

  4. Its funny when an article about men being a victim like this being published on this site, almost no woman and feminist here….. lol . Suddenly all those feminists who are very vocal on women issues seems vanished ( cough cough Joanna, Julie, Heather, Erin, Leia, cough cough ). So feminist care about men issues right? lol

  5. J.A Drew Dias

    Google “Erin Pizzey” and read her wiki, then maybe “Thirty Years of denying the evidence by Murray Straus”.

    What the public believes about the nature and pattern of domestic violence has been constructed through deliberate, mass false accusations against men and masculinity via. whoozles and covering up and distorting data on domestic violence perpetrated by women. Same goes for child abuse, we think its mainly men … its not, the opposite in fact.

    • Erin is fantastic and her book “This Way to the Revolution: A Memoir is well worth reading for both it’s historical perspective but also it’s Sociological and Psychological ones.

      I know many from the political spheres here in the UK who were supporting Erin directly in the 70’s and who went onto set up DV shelters/refuges. Alarmingly there has been a progressive clean the house pattern, where Equality Feminists have been pushed out of the DV field and work with charities such as Women’s Aide and Refuge. I’ve even personally witnessed via electronic communications Women In Refuges being abused, threatened and attacked by employees of these bodies inside the refuges. Worse still they were all Disabled Women Suffering Domestic absue from employees inside supposed safe places called Shelters/Refuges.

      One of the few people who gives such event credence and does not flinch is Erin P – because she has seen it before, and she has seen male victims of DV, IPV and even rape … and she has not been denying the reality for 40 years!

      Erin is not just a Good Woman she’s an Amazing one – the difference is easy to see. You can get that label of good by going along with the status quo – Greatness comes from standing against the status quo because the Staus Quo is wrong. And as a great mind said:

      “Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.”
      Albert Einstein

      Erin had simply been saying the truth for 40 years and not covering anything up. The people who attack or deny her are the one’s who can’t be trusted with any truth.

  6. This article is great. Thank you!!

  7. Sarah will you be publishing companion pieces to this or maybe breaking it down further?
    The truth about women & sexual violence would make for an interesting read as well- but maybe not GMP fodder; women on women, women on men, female bystanders vs male bystanders, I love figures…

    I don’t know about false accusations- but I do recall when the ERs of America were filled with women on Super Bowl Sunday and the Monday after who were beaten by their spouses & beaus.

    When my sister came out I researched the subject, pre- wiki & google and a lesbian relationship seemed pretty damned dangerous…. I understand that, perhaps with growing acceptance and lessening of shame, the incidence of violence within gay relationships seems to be falling…

    Only that wasn’t the case- it was a great apocryphal story passed off as fact by some misandrist.
    So me unless the cops are called, the doctor is visited or retribution taken I’ll remain a bit skeptical.

    • Yes, The Enliven Project will continue producing both posts and graphics that encourage men and women to have conversations about sexual violence prevention, intervention, and recovery. We know these are challenging issues to discuss, and encourage healthy dialogue and debate. Thanks for participating in the conversation!

    • J.A Drew Diaz

      What you actually remember is the Super Bowl Sunday Domestic Violence Hoax

      Which was in itself a mass false accusation.

      • In re Super Bowl- No that started bouncing around closer to 83 than 93….
        Seems to me it may have been current in the late 70s..

        • Interesting J A – I keep seeing references and sources which can and do place the orogin very Squarely as Thursday, January 28 1993. The whole Super Bowl Sunday Domestic Violence Hoax is a massive Woozle and a clear example of the Woozle Effect – where a claim supposedly supported by evidence becomes a factoid – a meme and then is found to be false and no evidence exists.

          The 1993 window correlates with other similar Woozles linked to Domestic absue such as the false claim laid before congress that DV was the “..leading cause of injury to women from age 15 to 44”. Major Woozles in DV all seem to cluster around 1992/3 (It’s almost as if it was a campaign), so if you have any sources or information at all pointing to earlier manifestations in the 80’s or even 70’s I would like to know.

          I do keep finding that there are a number of negative claims such a the Super Bowl Sunday Domestic Violence Hoax which have, prior to media attention in the 90’s, been linked to racial abuse with such claims being used exclusively against none whites in the USA. That would agree with your references to the 70’s and especially the 1980’s.

          • Another great WOOZLE effect is the whole “rule of thumb” thing. I got that recently in a sensitivity training session at work.

            • The Rule of Thumb Wife Beating meme is not a True Woozle. The earliest recorded references are in fact from the USA – one being 1881… but there were earlier recorded legal cases with US Judges stated it was acceptable to whip a wife. All made reference to common law, and to British Common Law.

              This is when the woozle gets into trouble. There is no record in British Common law which can prove the assertion one way or the other. If the US legal cases said they relied on an actual recorded legal president and then you checked and it was false… then it would be a woozle. As it is as there in nothing but an assertion and no record to verify one way or the other … it’s woozle like but not a true woozle.

              Maybe a Woozlette?

              It can bet Ever So Woozley when people mistake their personal desire for certain reality and then get reality mixed up. Caught a massive Woozle in Canada only last week – government report (2011) saying that Almost 1.2 million women reported having been Domestically Abused/Assaulted sometime in the previous five years. When the report was checked it was 1.86 Million of which 585,000 were men and 601,000 were female – so That is a Woozle becasue the source says one thing – the citation says another and the citation creates false Evidence which then gets reported over and over – a meme – an urban legend – a factoid ( facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper: Norman mailer 1973).

              Aint it terrible when you can;t even trust Government reports because the people writing them get carried away with Agendas, see big numbers, and then act like Pavlo’s Dog and a Bell – see big number and suffer a Woozle moment – create a false reality and cause havoc!

              • I am from Canada, and I remember that ‘report’, it was all over my facebook page, I also remember when I posted a direct link from the report about how approx half were men and half were women, OMG, you would have thought I just murdered a 1000 kids the way people reacted and some of these people are actually friends in real life.

                I stated that the link I posted came directly from the report, no one wanted to hear it.

                • @Saitek – Yes you are reporting what so many others have seen and also experienced. The Rabbid Teeth Gnashing Woozle in progress as it infect the brain stems of supposedly sane and rational people. P^))))

                  It is actually disturbing and beyond statistical error that so many Woozles and the effects from them are linked to gender, gender studies and negative stereotypes.

                  The Violence and absue that people encounter for presenting reality and correcting error is fascinating. That I have been threatened, abused and even been told I will be killed because I have pointed to a 1974/5 Film With Black Men In Prison – Lorton Prison Virginia – and the men working with the Black Women of the DC Rape Crisis Centre – and the name of that film is?

                  The denial of reality as to where a term such as rape Culture comes from has shown the extent of political and psychological aberration that is connected and implicated in the creation of Woozles.

                  I made it clear some time ago that I do not support affirmative action – but in light of what I have been seeing and finding, I now believe that it is necessary to be very affirmative in looking at men and men’s rights because of the Tsunami of illogical, irrational, emotive and abusive behaviour being forced upon men. I come from a decades long background in Queer Politics /Advocacy/Getting laws Changed – the same on Disability – and I’ve been operating under the banner of Equality and Human Rights from Day 1.

                  Some people have a lot of catching up to do – and it’s Ironic that they dismiss that simply because I have a penis and they do not! I keep wondering what that effect should be called – Sexism evidently has been Branded and taken over and now only means what men do. It used to be about equality, but now it’s about denying equality.

                  Marx was right about them bourgeois types!

  8. John Schtoll says:

    I should also add that reported rapes are a number that can be verified , whereas unreported can not. They are SWAG at best.

  9. In the infographic showing false accusations, the little black figures are in the wrong spot. They should be in the area that shows reported rapes NOT in the area showing ‘all’ rapes. If a rape is not reported , it can’t be a false accusation by definition. I realize that this info graphic is a blatant attempt to downplay false accusations but still, if you are going to present a fair and balanced picture, at least get the comparisons right.

    • Huh? In the top graphic I believe doesn’t have any false accusers? It is Victims, Perpetrators, bystanders and the grey n lime ones are perpetrators who are also victims afaik.

      • John Schtoll says:

        Archy: that post confused me too, but I went to the website where this all originated and they have another infographic that ‘highlights’ false accusations, it shows false accusations as a comparison to ALL rapes, including those not reported. Saitek is right, the false accusations should not be in comparison to ALL rapes (including non reported) but in comparison to those reported.

        • Ahh. Yeah that’d be far better.

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Yes, but to be clear, there are NO references to false accusations on this chart.

          • …but I went to the website where this all originated and they have another infographic that ‘highlights’ false accusations,

            So the comment is about the infographic else where – and even so the one here is … graphic but does have issues with NONE EXPERTS getting the right message.

    • Adam Blanch says:

      The only thing this article is blatantly doing is trying to present a balanced and male positive view, and still you scream conspiracy. Save your anger for the feminists who really are trying to mislead and give the people who are trying to correct them some support. If you allow your chronic anger to guide the way you see everything you end up just like the feminists.

      • Adam – maybe if you have a valid background in the subject area and also grasped how both statistics and Info Graphics worked, your claims as to others “chronic anger” may have some validity.

        If you are having issues, don’t displace onto others in the hope that people won’t notice.

        We are Big Boys here and a great many have expert status in such arcane subjects as rape – counselling – psychology – research – statistics – law!

        Don’t it just want to make you scream!

  10. Sarah & MediaHound
    Perhaps you can answer the question I’ve been posting around the web for the past month or so…
    What percentage of rapes are Steubenville/Torrington type assaults, ie rapes committed by semi-organized team affiliates?
    Has anyone any idea?
    And please whoever is poised to type “too many”- enough.
    Pls & thx

  11. anonymous says:

    I don’t fit anywhere on this chart. Never been a perp, never been a victim, never been a bystander.

    The one time I saw something happening, I wasn’t a bystander — I intervened. The woman thanked me and left the area safely.

    This chart says NOTHING about me.

    • Based on your actions, it sounds to me like you are an engaged and empowered bystander, so thank you!

      • anonymous says:

        Based on your actions, it sounds to me like you are an engaged and empowered bystander, so thank you!

        LOL, I’d never use that terminology to describe myself. “Old fashioned conservative Christian” is more like it. Either that or just an overconfident 20 year old whose Walter Mitty complex suddenly met a chance to manifest in the real world.

        More seriously, though: Reading your post, I took the term “bystander” literally, as someone who stood by — and, by implication, did nothing BUT stand by. Thus it appeared to me that the chart was intending to implicate ALL men somehow (the old, tired, rape-culture lie again…. ), and I started typing an angry rant about how most men are utterly innocent, utterly uninvolved, that it was spiteful, vile, vicious, and above all, just plain UNTRUE to blame good men for things we don’t do and aren’t around to see or stop…

        Then suddenly. mid-sentence, I remembered that incident from 30 years ago….”Oh wait, I almost forgot — I DID see sexual aggression once!”… And I stopped it.

        • anonymous says:

          Reading your post, I took the term “bystander” literally, as someone who stood by — and, by implication, did nothing BUT stand by

          Actually… looking again, you DID say…

          “…I’d like to think that a better focus is on the majority of people—men and women—who stand by and see behavior like this without stepping in….”

          This is unreality. This does NOT describe the majority of people at all. The majority of people ARE NOT THERE when this sort of thing happens There were no good guys at the Steubenville drinking party, for instance. The good guys of Steubenville were all at home, doing their homework. They didn’t “see the behavior without stepping in”, they were NOT THERE.

          As for my incident, there were other people on the street but nobody else saw or heard what was going on; I intervened alone. I don’t fault the college campus full of tens of thousands students, only yards away — they were NOT THERE.

          That’s about what my original rant said. More or less.

          • Ah, I see where we are missing each other. You are right, there are far fewer people who will be physical witnesses to sexual assaults as they are actually taking place or about to take place. But it does happen, as you learned by experience, and again, kudos for taking action. I think there are many more men and women who could do more to prevent sexual violence by simply talking about it and men and women who could be better allies in helping survivors recover from their experiences. As you can see from the data, if you have more than five guy friends, chances are that one is a survivor or sexual violence (gender of perpetrator irrelevant). How can we all help these people instead of letting them suffer alone?

            • How can we all help these people instead of letting them suffer alone?

              First off that attitude gets dumped. The person who has been abused owns their experience and any status – or expression on the status. It’s a shocking idea but quite a few people who have been sexually abused have no Suffering issues and they have moved on.

              The language which keeps getting used indicates a fixation on people having to be victims – and given that i work with people in that situation It’s not one that I even allow to be promoted or allow to be left carelessly lying around.

              If it said “How can we help those who seek help” it would show some balance, but Sorry I’m smelling rats and there are very wrong attitudes here towards people who have experienced sexual violence – and I’m saying that from the portion of Victim – Advocate – Councillor and just plained concerned Joe Public!

              • “If it said ‘How can we help those who seek help’ it would show some balance”

                So you’re on board with anything that helps people who ask for it, but against all attempts to inform anyone else that help might be available? No, that would be a really stupid, narrow, and calculatedly insulting interpretation of what you’re saying, right? Right!

                So why make equally stupid, narrow, and calculatedly rude interpretations of the word “outreach” here? Because I’m… pretty sure Sarah’s not talking about tracking down anonymous subjects of sexual violence one by one and saying “did you know you’re a poor, damaged victim and you should feel really bad about it unless you let us help you.” Because, really, a less sour (and in my estimation accurate and correct) interpretation would be that if, say, 22% of men have been victims of sexual violence but fewer than 3% have ever come forward and reported it to anyone or otherwise dealt with it then maybe it would be a good idea to educate the public in general about a) the fact, b) evidence that there’s some degree of impact and c) that there are resources available that are underutilized.

                I’m pretty sure you’re not going to object to something like that… oh wait! You’re evidently (and repeatedly!) objecting to exactly that!

                Oh, and this is me speaking as one of your nominally “no Suffering and moved on” guys. Because, really, what could possibly go wrong with me having inadvertently gotten the impression that some of the things that happened to me weren’t really “bad” but just…. scary, uncomfortable, unwanted, but “oh, it’s just always that way, you’ll get the hang of it yourself when you’re older?”

                Incidentally, like you I happen to agree with you that some victims really do move on, really don’t pick up ideas about “normal” sexuality that verge or even cross the line into follow-on abuse, and in particular don’t drop into “bystander” mode when they see someone else doing it or having it done to them.

                But for a very large number of the rest? Including a lot of people like me and my peers? For a lot of us, as they say, DENIAL is short for “don’t even know I’m a liar.”


                • So you’re on board with anything that helps people who ask for it, but against all attempts to inform anyone else that help might be available?

                  What a silly question – and such a bad use of Thought-terminating cliché to quell your own cognitive dissonance.

                  Also – I do have to wonder why you are indicating that Sarah Beaulieu indicates that her work is aimed at just survivors? Maybe a big picture and less parochial view of the subjects may be to your advantage.

                  Evidently me privilege is showing – from 3 decades of dealing with sexual assault victims and survivors, counselling, training police, kicking ass on human rights violations of victims/survivors …. and of course I happen to be a survivor me self.

                  Today, I was listening to the BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour and listening to how they address sexual abuse of children by females – mothers – incest – and noting the dismissive tone of some experts who were more about minimising matters….. and evidently that will give the wrong message to people. … oh and not just Survivors. I think I heard the negation of sample size (including the word minuscule) 7+ times in less than a minute. Shocking and bizarre from a supposed Prof and expert who was there plugging her book.

                  Sorry if I happen to be a pedant with languages from English through Italian and German to Fluent Body language and Semiotics too! Oh the trials and tribulations of fighting to get a message across and having to deal with The Woozles and Obstacles … and of course the Confirmation Bias that so many have no interest in addressing, because of course it is their own and precocious (Gollum).


            • The bystanders were the ones who received the video, I think some reported it or I hope they did. I haven’t got much clue about this case though apart from utter disgust at some of the people involved, and absolute shame n pity towards those (if there were any) who were in a position to help but couldn’t from fear or whatever.

            • anonymous says:

              As you can see from the data, if you have more than five guy friends, chances are that one is a survivor or sexual violence (gender of perpetrator irrelevant). How can we all help these people instead of letting them suffer alone?

              Well… back in my single days, I had a total of 9 women whom I dated, volunteer their rape stories I also had one male friend who was the victim of male-on-male rape. The only thing I could do, was just listen to them.

              One of them, who broke down sobbing on the first date — “My father’s a pedophile….” — really needed some professional counseling, which I do know that she got through our church. She also needed to kick the meth, which she finally managed to do about 2 years after we broke up.

              I think there are many more men and women who could do more to prevent sexual violence by simply talking about it

              Disagree, in that good men don’t need to be told, and bad men will never listen. How can I be so sure of this? “My heart – I need no other’s – showeth me the wickedness of the ungodly.” — CS Lewis

              Utilmately it’s a law enforcement problem, and a self defense problem. I will sternly warn my 3 boys not to go to those sorts of parties, and would tell my daughters the same thing if I had any.

              Rape is never excusable, but of the stories I heard, in some cases it was clearly preventable by avoiding certain venues and substances. A couple of the girls even told me of inner voices that said, “don’t go there” or “skip that party” and they didn’t listen.

              • As you can see from the data, …

                Lesson 101 in dealing with getting your message out – (I do know about it from Queer Politics – HIV/AIDS – Disability Advocacy … all Global) – If you are serious you ask people what they see, you don’t tell them.

                Telling – that convinces you that you are right – asking allows you to see if you are effective and it provides Quality feed back to build upon.

                When it comes to social change you get two types of people – the ones with Vision and those who see what they want – they may sound the same but they sure as hell aint! I love people with Vision, and it’s always the ones who can’t see reality who cause delay and drag everyone down.

                • anonymous says:

                  I think you’re responding to the wrong post. I don’t understand how what you said, connects with what I said.

    • I think she means bystander as simply people who are not rapists, or rape victims. Bystanders can intervene.

  12. wellokaythen says:

    “In a room of 100 men, you are more likely to run into a male victim than you are a male perpetrator. ”

    This part really jumped out at me as a central fact of the whole article. I would just add that in many, many cases, there’s an overlap. Very often the male perpetrator is also a male victim. Even the simplistic split between “victims” and “rapists” may be missing a huge part of the story, because sometimes a person can be both throughout his/her life. Reducing the number of victims of sexual violence in the short term will probably do wonders for reducing the number of rapists over the long term.

    • Dear god, is that right?

      That’s horrifying both from a “we’ve been fed wrong numbers” and a “holy shit this is an issue” standpoint.

  13. Great article. Do you have a sister graphic to show side by side with this?

    As for me being a bystander and victim I have helped quite a few friends where I can with giving them access to information about DV and rape, letting them know that the behaviour of their partner was beyond bad and that it was abusive. I haven’t seen a rape actually happen and hope I never have to but I do advocate for awareness of abuse in all forms. These are basic things we can all do.

    • Thanks, Archy, for raising awareness about sexual violence and helping victims get the help and healing they need. For now, no sister graphic. I wanted to focus on what we can all do together to help male and female survivors alike, rather than compare and contrast their experiences.

      • Ah, I ask cuz I like to have a mix of material available. One of my pet peeves is one sided studies, I like to see a comparison to get a better understanding of the world but also because each gender needs a loottt of coverage on their issues. I realize though that it would also be used to try prove who has it worse which is annoying, but on the flipside it might get the genders to realize they really aren’t as different as they think. I feel many women feel helpless n weak compared to men, that men don’t get raped much/if at all by women so they feel women are far less capable but to know that women do rape n abuse men also means that women are capable, strong, sadly used for bad by some but that all good women shouldn’t feel like men are this completely separate being who doesn’t experience violence like women do.

        I don’t think many women realize that they have enough strength to knock out a man, break his arm, etc since they don’t involve a lot of strength if it is used correctly. But men are not invincible, you hit us, it hurts, you can rape us without even threatening violence. I recently read something like 47% of rape has alcohol involved so that further reduces the strength difference but also people should know that a man (or person with a penis) can get an erection when scared, when their bladder is full, hell I get them just after waking up when I’m not thinking about sex and so it’s not very difficult for a woman to force a man to penetrate them especially if he is unconscious. The erection = consent myth is probably worst of them all, I’ve gotten an erection when scared before, doesn’t mean I was ready for sex…. I really hope our children learn this before they’re even sexually active so we can help the next generation lower sexual abuse.

        Thanks for helping us all out 😀

  14. John Anderson says:

    So the infographic shows men as victims of rape. Society has always known that men were sometimes victims of rape. Every prison rape joke was an indication of that. How does the infographic challenge societal expectations when it only shows men as perpetrators. It also doesn’t compare male victimization with the level of female victimization so it doesn’t challenge the notion that men make up a small percentage of victims.

    • John, this convo-graphic is designed to get away from comparing men and women, and framing sexual violence as an issue that impacts all of us. Though it would certainly be interesting to know how different types of sexual violence impact different victim communities. Maybe I will work on that next!

      • John Anderson says:

        That would be interesting to see. I think that a large part of the way I feel is that ir seems that many organizations will take on the appearance if trying to help men, while simultaneously taking steps that are inadequate at best and injure men at worst. It seems that the desire isn’t really to assist men, but to deflect criticism that they’re ignoring men.

        One DV advocate had pointed out that in the organization where she volunteers 3% of the clients are men. She noted that every time they went into the community to inform men of their services, men were shamed for approaching them. I pointed out that they needed to advertize to men if they wanted them to come in. I read about another DV organization that decided to advertize toward men. Their male clientele jumped from 3 to 19%. The director seemed ambivalent on whether it was good to help men or whether it diverted too many resources from helping women. The solution isn’t to deny your brothers a piece of the pie, but to strive to bake a bigger pie.

        When I looked at the infographic and it didn’t directly challenge any of the stereotypes that I grew up with concerning rape, my instinctive thought was this is a CYA. I look forward to seeing what you come up with in the future.

  15. It’s interesting to see some attempts at balance around the subject of rape (sex neutral variety) and facts and reality being presented with some neutrality. No detectable manifestation of the Woozle Effect to further any false memes, urban myths and factoids. There is a first for everything round here!

    On the other hand – it’s not likely to impact upon people for a simple reason – the damage is already done, and has even been done deliberately due to the fear inducted to a certain section of the US Women’s caucus when they saw the CDC report on Intimate Partner Violence finished in 2010.

    It finally got published in 2011 over a year late – the delay caused by the Political need to have rape redefined at a a federal level. It’s odd by the definition from 1923 was fine and there was no hurry to get it updated – until of course the CDC findings showed PARITY in the number of sexual assault victims male and female – and even more shocking the PARITY of the number or perpetrators.

    There was quite a battle up on that capitol hill about whether Rape By Envelopment was the same as Rape By Penetration. In the end the FBI were obliged to fudge the issue, under political pressure, so only women get raped, but sodomising a guy with a Pitch fork is just sexual assault. Sticking the same pitchfork or any object in any female orifice is rape – it has so many scratching heads and wondering why of why were the FBI so unable to get with some modern ideas – and who got what as a reward for all that fudge?

    The whole false rape picture and landscape propagated in the USA since the advent of that Woozle ridden Ms Magazine monstrosity of 1985 has been running wild and headless to the degree that Academics have been writing about it in such Publications as the Encyclopaedia Of Rape and wondering why there is a cultural love affair in the USA with the Ideas of rape and a rejection of the reality.

    Ms Magazine hit pay dirt in 1985, and have been boosting sales with rape ever since. It’s a bit like The National Enquirer and other Tabloid lurid press sold near the checkout and cancer. mention cancer on the front page and boost sales by 12% – do rape and it’s the same.

    I’m not one for equality that pushes agendas – but when you have had a systemically created false view of a whole group the American model of oppression relief and promotion of Equality is called Affirmative Action – and from where I’m sitting outside of the Goldfish Bowl what I’m seeing is the need for that on the whole sale abuse of the rape meme and the stigmatisation of men.

    Since the advent of the Clery Act 1990, there has been a systematic and even federally mandated indoctrination of men and women of college age into negative views of men and women and rape. If some think that being nice and a few Info-graphics will imapact that …. they may benefit from studying Social Psychology 101, Sociology 102, History 103 and also reading up on such things as “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism”.

    The Cult of Rape has had it’s day! But as with all Religions and Cult movements dealing with the aftermath of the collapse takes time. You need to be clear to stop those “Rape Cult” followers falling back in to old damaging ways!

    • Joanna Schroeder says:


      We have to try.

      This WILL impact people. People want to learn more and want to change. People want to help end all forms of sexual violence and they are listening.

      • Joanna – people all too often need to know first that change is required.

        Your language of people wanting to change is very limited because you assume that people share your views. I don’t – I look at the patterns of why people think and even have been thought to think. That shows you where the Rail Tracks have been laid and where they are going.

        If you want change you will need to stop the train – have it turn back – lay new track to send it in a better direction. Social movement has inertia and just as occurs in Newtonian Mechanics a body does not move in an new direction until acted upon.

        Telling people to listen is acting on the ears from a distance. If you want to affect the body to don’t stand at a distance and speak – you get up close and maneuver it into a new direction. I’d love to see some real action come the next US Rape Season starting in September – I’d like to see a campaign telling men and women that Men are not ALL rapists and that the last 20 years of Propaganda should not be swallowed …. and here’s the Truth and how you can use it.

        Given how so many young men and forcibly manoeuvred under mandatory anti rape programs to sit and be lectured at and given all the wrong messages …. It may have some impact and may even cause change in a reasonable time scale. Time to stop the fearmongering and abuse of others. If people are serious about people they need to get serious in how they get those messages across.

        • Thanks, Media Hound, for your feedback here. I think we need to recognize that sexual violence is an issue that impacts our community health, and prevents men AND women from living lives to their full potential.

      • Oh and PS – If people think they will “End” Sexual Violence they are fools! They may as well just want to end the common cold or teenage acne. Magical thinking is of no value.

        They may have the capacity to change attitudes “To” Sexual Violence, but if you start of believing you can achieve the impossible you set off an a fools errand and end up being distracted by all the things you can’t change…. you change nothing and end up making a bigger mess!

        Call me a pedant, but it’s shocking how the big words are used to gloss over the pronouns – and it’s the pronouns that provide the direction.

    • The Cult of Rape? Seriously?

      • The Cult of Rape? Seriously?

        Deadly Serious! You got the spheres top have it covered on your radio show? Your not dealing with a rube or anyone who’s afraid of those with Hit and run mind sets.

        Maybe you need to learn about the nature of Cults, Cult Thinking and the nature of Thought Control and Undue Influence. You seem to know little of the US Centric Cult Of Rape and it’s propagation – so here’s some references:

        1) Researching the “Rape Culture” of America – Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers from “Who Stole Feminism?” (Simon & Schuster Inc., New York, 1994)
        2) The Campus Rape Myth Heather Mac Donald, City Journal Vol 18, 2008.

        I also point you to the work of Steve Hassan, Margaret Singer, Philip Zimbado, Norman R. F. Maier and quite a few others who have written widely on the subject of how people end up thinking and behaving in ways that they can’t account for…. but just keep on doing it. “Reaching consensus in a group often is confused with finding the right answer.”

        The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces. – Philip Zimbardo

        Some questions which no-one has yet bothered to address and answer (they do all run away), but maybe you will be up to the job and the challenge.

        1) If Rape Culture as a concept has been about and so important since 1974/5 – some 37 years – why do the US government not use it or recognise it as even existing?

        2) They are happy to discuss and even mention the Higgs Boson which is still only theoretical – yet Rape Culture gets no mention, and most interestingly interest groups giving evidence to Congress and The US Government in general all avoid using the term. WHY?

        3) Are the National Organisation for Women involved in a conspiracy with successive US Governments from Nixon to Obama Via Ford, Carter, Regan, 2 Bushes and a Clinton to Cover Up Rape Culture? ….. and they really conspiring against American Women?

        4) Do you even know where the term Rape Culture comes from and the issues of both Sexist and Racism in so many feminist and gender studies scholars avoiding the Truth?

        How is it possible that so many massive holes and glaring issues are just glossed over – and if Cult Thinking is not a valid explanation for the Bizarre Effect – what does explain the behaviour and how?

        It’s so odd that some keep demanding there is this massive culture of rape and even rapists – and how so many with Power are silent and colluding with it all. I do wonder why so many Media femms with Bloggs and Twits keep failing to take the Powers in Government to task but prefer to go nutty over any media titbit they can find – even the media nuts with supposed degrees in Politics and Law keep missing the big targets. They just keep their readers in a mixed up sate of fear and anxiety and yet can’t think past that to get them to sign a petition to anyone?

        Maybe they just aint got the ability to see the big picture? What do you think – a statistically improbable congregation of the visually and cerebrally myopic … or do they look like they are acting and thinking like cult members?

        Want to do some push back now – have the Back Fire Effect for free and also you will no doubt you’ll need some Motivated Reasoning and Belief Armor.

        Cheers P^)


  1. […] What this ignores is the fact that men and women are both perpetrators and survivors of sexual violence and that as Sarah Beaulieu of the Enliven Project says: “in a room of 100 men, you are more likely to run into a male victim than you are a male perpetrator.” […]

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