Actor Shia LaBoeuf recently gave an interview to “Dazed” magazine writer Aimee Cliff. Within the interview transcript, he alleges that he was raped by a female visitor during his performance art run earlier this year at Los Angeles’ Cohen Gallery.
Men getting raped isn’t discussed nearly as much as men instigating rape, so I was curious to see if there were any stats available on the subject.
According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) website, men comprise around 10% of sexual assault victims. (In this case, sexual assault refers to anything from “unwanted sexual touching to forced penetration”). Other stats on the site say that about 1 in every 33 American men (about 3% of total men) will go through “an experienced or attempted rape in their lifetime.” The page also notes that one out of every 10 rape victims were men in 2003.
But there are more recent stats to dig into. In 2013, the National Crime Victimization Survey found that 38% of sexual violence in households was directed towards men. (To put this in perspective, sexual violence and rape against men had accounted for 5-14% in past years.) Researcher Lara Stemple had wondered if the stats had previously been underreported, and it certainly seems they had.
Maybe LaBoeuf’s coming out as a victim will embolden other victims to come out and be counted. Culturally, it makes sense that these numbers have been traditionally underreported, as men wouldn’t want to look like they’re “less than” a full man. But hopefully this will make some progress.