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macho men: Sexualised violence against men by men
Kudakwashe Chitsike, Research and Advocacy Unit
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is seldom about the sexual act itself but about power and humiliation
regardless of whether it is performed against a woman or a man.
It is acknowledged, but not well documented, that men suffer from
sexual violence perpetrated by other men during conflict, be in
armed conflict or low level political conflict as the Zimbabwe context.
Men and boys
are reluctant to report sexual violence because of the stigma associated
with it that makes it very difficult to accurately assess its scope,
but, despite these challenges, a small study was undertaken to establish
whether there are cases of politically motivated sexual violence
in Zimbabwe, particularly in the last 12 years. This report is based
on the results of this study, which was done through the administration
of a questionnaire prepared by RAU.
The study revealed
interesting findings some of which are detailed below:
- Men were
uncomfortable and unwilling to speak about their own experiences
with sexual violence, but more open when asked whether their wives
were victims and the consequences of this;
- Only one
man admitted to being a perpetrator of sexual violence; he stated
that he held down a victim while others raped her;
- Almost all
stated that women are affected differently by violence because
of the physical differences of the sexes; men are much stronger
than women and can withstand the violence;
- They stated
that sodomy, forced to have sexual intercourse either with a woman
or another man, forced to gang rape women, having their genitalia
touched, forced to strip in public and any indecent sexual act
without consent were all forms of sexual violence than men can
- The violence
occurred either at a base or at home in front of other people.
- Further research
needs to be done on politically motivated sexual violence focusing
on both male and female victims, looking at the prevalence and
mechanisms need to be set up for victims of sexual violence to
enable them to receive treatment and counseling in safe spaces.
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