Letters: Supporting men as survivors of sexual assault

Guest Author

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.

Dear editor,

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This letter is in response to The Collegian column “Society needs to recognize male sexual assault victims” by Arisson Stanfield published Oct. 14.

The column expressed the need to acknowledge male victimization from sexual assault is something we are working on here at CSU. It is brave of men to come forward as victims of sexual assault since it often means directly countering the messages men receive growing up about gender and sexuality. Men are supposed to be tough, strong, and not let anything get through an armor of masculinity. The pressure to be this type of man means limiting expressions of vulnerability. And admitting being a victim of sexual assault is a very vulnerable and brave thing to do.

We at the Women and Gender Advocacy Center (WGAC) would like to take this opportunity to let students know that we believe we are a place for all survivors and victims of sexual violence to seek resources and be a starting point for healing. We recognize that men face unique barriers to seeking service and we are constantly working to remove those barriers. In fact we know that 1 in 6 men will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. 

You can call the Victim Assistance Team at (970) 492-4242 or you can drop in at any time from 8:00-5:00 Monday-Friday at 112 Student Services Building to speak to an advocate.

One way to both prevent sexual assault and encourage survivors to seek resources is to redefine masculinity. There is a community of men working to do just that here at CSU. Men in the Movement is actively working to counter harmful messages of masculinity that encourage survivors who are men to stay silent. If you identify as a man and want to get involved, check out the involvement tab at wgac.colostate.edu.

If you identity as a male survivor of interpersonal violence confidential advocacy services are available to you (and all victims of interpersonal violence).

In solidarity, 

The Women and Gender Advocacy Center staff

The Collegian’s opinion desk can be reached at letters@collegian.com. To submit a letter to the editor, please follow the guidelines at collegian.com.