When a man is raped: A survival guide is a booklet from NSW Health. It is a guide for men who have been raped, as well as their parents, partners, spouses and friends. It provides the sort of information which may help and empower people to deal with the trauma of rape.

About the booklet

When a man is raped: Booklet cover

If you have found this booklet, you may be seeking information for yourself following a rape. Or, it might mean that a man close to you has been raped and you wish to understand what has happened to him and how you can help him deal with the aftermath of the crime.

The booklet is designed to aid in the understanding about the rape of men, what professional support services are available and what they do, and what might happen if the rapist is prosecuted.

If you are a man who has been raped

When a man is raped: A survival guide provides facts about the rape of men, and the effects of male rape, to help you better understand the nature of this type of sexual assault and the likely effects on you. If you have been raped, the booklet will help empower you to deal with the trauma and complement information provided to you by professionals helping you after a sexual assault. In particular Part 1 provides factual information for victims and describes a man’s normal reactions to a rape.

If you know a man who has been raped

If someone close to you has been raped, this booklet is also designed to help you. It will help you understand what has happened and assist you to communicate with the man who has been raped. Part 2 is aimed at providing information to help you to assist him. All sections will be useful to the survivor and to those close to him.


When we hear the word “rape,” our mental image is usually that of a male perpetrator and a female victim. But men do get raped. Just as several decades ago, the rape of women and children was neglected and collectively denied, so also has the rape of men. Few people realise how frequently the rape of men occurs, and even fewer know how to respond in a way that respectfully helps the victim.

While some people might acknowledge that some men are raped in prison, most do not think the sexual violation of adult males occurs in the broader community. It is surprising to note therefore that men make up 10 to 15% of all adult sexual assault victims. However this is probably an underestimate as men usually do not report their assaults to authorities. One study involving more than 3000 adults in America found that 10% of males had been raped during their adult years. Another US study of college students found that 16% of men had been forced against their will to have sex at some point in their adult lives.

When men are raped, the person who usually assaults them is another man. It is possible for women to rape men, although this crime is much less frequent and has been documented and researched to an even lesser extent than same-sex rape.

In spite of these figures, very little research has been conducted on the sexual assault of men and some counselling services lack the knowledge and skills to adequately assist male survivors of sexual violence. Unfortunately male survivors of rape have often struggled alone trying to deal with their trauma in isolation. More often than not, they are silenced by the fear that loved ones, police and service providers will fail to support them in their time of crisis.

The aim of this booklet is to encourage those men who have been raped to seek help and to provide information to them, their families, partners and friends who will help them deal with the trauma of rape.

The booklet is divided into three sections

Part 1: For Male Survivors of Rape

  • What We Know about the Rape of Men
  • If You Are A Rape Survivor
  • Facts About The Rape Of Men
  • Facts About The Offenders
  • Common Reactions Men Experience After Rape
  • Unique Issues Faced By Male Survivors of Rape
  • What You Can Do After the Rape
  • The Importance of Safety
  • Medical Care
  • Deciding Whether to Report the Rape to Police
  • Does Talking About a Rape Help You Get Over It?
  • When To Seek Help Through Counselling
  • Financial Assistance
  • Your Rights
  • Facts and Myths

Part 2: For Partners, Family And Friends

  • Do Partners, Family and Friends Have a Role?
  • Addressing The Survivor’s Immediate Concerns
  • Helpful Ways to Support a Man Who Has Been Raped
  • Long Term Communication Strategies

Part 3: Where to Get Help

  • Suggested readings



Download the booklet [ PDF 712 KB]

1 comment

  1. Comment by Matt

    Matt Reply February 18, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Men are even less likely to report it when the rapist is a woman. It happened to me. I was only 7. She was 12. It messed me up for life.

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