When a Boy Gets Raped

When a Boy Gets Raped

“I got raped once,” Adam laughed nervously, like someone confessing that they still pick their nose and eat it. I laughed nervously too, a laugh that said, “You didn’t get raped you joker, you’re a boy.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right,” confirmed his long-term travelling buddy. The Irish accent can make just about any sordid topic sound jolly.

Turns out Adam wasn’t joking. His story was strikingly similar to the kind you hear female rape victims tell, with details that people pounce on, dividing responsibility, not-so-subtly shifting blame. He had been staying in a hostel in Vienna, where he had hooked up with one of the female staff members. A few nights later, he woke up with her on top of him. He was being raped. She had used her staff key to enter his room while he slept. Adam later found out that the girl’s last relationship had ended because she would force her boyfriend to have sex, waking him up by jumping on top of him just as she had jumped on top of Adam while he slept.

Adam was telling this story to a group of his mates, people he had travelled with, partied with, cooked and shared meals with, lived, hung-out and bonded with. We, the mates, like to think of ourselves as progressive and open-minded, young left-leaning gals who like traveling and eating vegetables and not being racist or sexist. But when Adam recounted his rape, we were exposed as frauds via our responses.

“So it was a girl you’d hooked up with before? …Not that that makes it any better.”
“You were obviously awake enough to get hard.”
“No, you can get a boner in your sleep.”
“Oh yeah, that’s true.”

Let’s imagine if those comments were made about a girl, by a group of her male mates.

“So it was a guy you’d hooked up with before? …Not that that makes it any better.”
“You were obviously awake enough to get wet.”
“No, you can get wet in your sleep.”
“Oh yeah, that’s true.”

I don’t think they would be mates anymore.

I insisted it was awful, and we all agreed. Adam shrugged and said, “It was my birthday, so…” followed by another nervous laugh.

Apart from this awkward admission, he never reported it.

*Names and locations have been changed to protect the identities of the people involved.

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