09/04/2012 02:06 pm ET

Boys Assaulted By Women Sometimes Seen As Unharmed

All things are not equal when it comes to assault.

Boys who are assaulted by women often get a very different reaction from law enforcement, prosecutors and the general public than girls assaulted by men or other types of abuse victims, according to several legal professionals and abuse prevention advocates.

The Post's story comes just days after a former "Teacher of the Year" was arrested in New Jersey for allegedly having sex with one of her 15-year-old male honors students.

Christopher Mallios of Aequitas, a District-based sex-crime victim advocacy group, told the Post that, during his 16 years as a Philadelphia prosecutor he had seen police and prosecutors “high-five” teenage boys who had been sexually assaulted by women, saying that the boys were “lucky.”

The Post's sources also said prosecutions of adult women sexually assaulting boys are extremely rare.

Dr. Jonathan Stillerman with notes that most research suggests 10 to 20 percent of all males will be sexually violated at some point. "That translates into tens of thousands of boys and men assaulted each year alongside hundreds of thousands of girls and women," Stillerman writes.

One study cited by Stillerman found that about 86 percent of those assaults on men are perpetrated by other males.

"That is not to say, however, that we should overlook boys or men who are victimized by females," Stillerman writes. "It may be tempting to dismiss such experiences as wanted sexual initiation (especially in the case of an older female assaulting a younger male), but the reality is that the impact of female-on-male assault can be just as damaging."

Dr. Stillerman provides some advice for helping male victims of assault:

While there may be some differences in how rape impacts a male versus a female survivor of sexual assault, the basics of supporting survivors are the same for men as for women. Believe him. Know what your community's resources are and help him explore his options. Don't push and don't blame. Ask him what he wants and listen. Be cautious about physical contact until he's ready

Hat tip: Fark



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