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Reynhard Sinaga case: why male victims and survivors need their own support system

The crimes of Reynhard Sinaga described by prosecutors as “the most prolific rapist in British history” have shocked and horrified many people. But the case has also highlighted that rape doesn’t just happen to women.

While the scale of Sinaga’s sexual offending and the way he specifically targeted men who had been drinking, is shocking, the fact that his victims were men should not have been.

There are many myths and stereotypes around men as victims of sexual violence. The central myth being that men are not and cannot be victims of sexual violence – this is simply not true.

The British system fails to recognise how masculinity and gender stereotypes can prevent men from disclosing their experiences or seeking help for fear of being disbelieved, emasculated or humiliated.

The terrible crimes of Reynhard Sinaga have highlighted the experiences of male survivors. Government policy must now do more to reflect the fact that rape isn’t just something that happens to women and girls.

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