Almost half of gay and bisexual men in Britain have been sexually assaulted, a survey has found as more LGBT+ rape survivors around the world speak out.
The rate of sexual assault among gay and bi men is 45% – 10 times that of the general male population, according to the survey of 505 gay and bi men by SurvivorsUK, a charity supporting male survivors of sexual violence.
“Because we’re socialised to see rape as something which happens to women and is perpetrated by men, I think it can often be more difficult for men to identify their experiences as sexual violence,” Alex Feis-Bryce, head of SurvivorsUK, said on Thursday.
Following the #MeToo movement, where women shared experiences of sexual misconduct by powerful men in business, entertainment, media, and politics, many French gay men broke their silence on Twitter this year with the hashtag #MeTooGay.
The UK survey found that only 14% of gay and bi victims reported sexual assault to the police, with many fearing they would be judged or disbelieved.
Feis-Bryce said he was raped when he was 18, on his second night out after starting university, at a house party by his host after being given what he believes was a spiked drink.
“I couldn’t even think about what happened to me as a rape, because I almost didn’t think that was something that could happen to men,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Data on gay and bi men’s experiences of sexual assault is relatively rare, but U.S. government data from 2010 to 2012 found almost 40% of bi and gay men said they experienced sexual violence, more than twice the rate of straight men.