A new ad campaign in Europe is encouraging male rape victims to come forward.
Starting Monday, posters reading “Real Men Get Raped” will be featured in 140 London subway stations. The stark ads show a nail piercing a rugby ball, and will remain in place during the Six Nations rugby tournament.
The campaign was launched by SurvivorsUK, an organization that helps male victims of sexual crimes. According to spokesman Michael May, the group chose to run the ads during the rugby tournament to make the point that anyone — even a male rugby player — can be a victim.
“We’ve chosen to use an alpha male sport in our advertising to challenge assumptions about the type of men who get raped,” he said. “It’s just as likely to be a rugby player as a librarian, a suited city banker as a hooded gang member. And we hope that by challenging our innate assumptions about the identity of male victims, we can make it even fractionally easier for a male rape victim to ask for help.”
In London, one man every hour is the victim of a sexual crime, according to SurvivorsUK, but many remain silent. At most, 11% of male victims report the attacks, the website malehealth.co.uk reported.
Not everyone across the pond is so enthusiastic about the message
Blogger Jessica Wakeman…challenged the signs’ slogan.
“Why do we have to call it ‘real men’?” she wrote. “Isn’t that just feeding into the same stereotype that there IS such a thing as ‘real men’?”
What do you think of the organization’s attempt to get men to open up about sexual abuse?
Image via SurvivorsUK