The Hidden Slice Of Sexual Violence

January 13, 2022

Did you know that more than one in three US survivors of rape is systematically erased from legislation, data collection and academic study, because of their gender?

38% to be precise (2015).

That’s a large chunk of the pie – hundreds of thousands of survivors ignored – and sometimes it’s even more.

Sometimes half the pie is erased, sometimes more than half, all made invisible, and unpalatable by our highly gendered academic and legal definitions of rape

A slice of the pie that has always been there, but deemed ‘impossible’ or politically unpopular by our narrow and ideological social attitudes toward sexual violence.

In this hidden slice is a group that we only ever see as perpetrators, and never as victims who are equally deserving of compassion and protection too.

Well in 2014 Professor Lara Stemple, former Executive Director of the human rights organisation Just Detention International, current co-Vice Chair of the UC Global Health Institute, and founding member of the Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment, decided to have a taste of this forgotten and forbidden slice herself.

And her controversial work revealed a shocking number of male survivors that are systematically erased within data collection, within legislation and by academia – not just in the US but across the world.

So is it time we talked about the full picture?

Is it time we removed the highly gendered language in sexual violence legislation and academia?

Slate article, Stemple

Stemple Study,


Illustrations by Nubaia Karim Barsha from the Noun Project


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