Friday, June 22, 2007

Gay Rape, Something That Must Never Be Tolerated


SAN FRANCISCO

Campaign to raise awareness of gay rape

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, Supervisor Bevan Dufty and Police Chief Heather Fong unveiled on Wednesday a new public awareness campaign intended to shine a light on a rarely discussed yet increasingly common crime: gay rape.

Posters will start appearing on Muni buses reading, "I thought he was a great guy until he raped me." A hot line -- (415) 333-4357 -- is available for reporting the crimes, and a new Web site is up at http://www.mensurvivingrape.org/. The campaign comes just before people converge on San Francisco for gay pride weekend.

City officials gathered on the steps of City Hall to discuss the importance of reporting gay rape and sexual assault to authorities -- and doing so quickly so physical evidence can be preserved.

"Rape is wrong not matter the gender, no matter the sexuality," Dufty said. "Our city is prepared to come forward and extend a hand."

Jovida Guevara-Ross, director of Community United Against Violence, said most gay rape goes unreported and that victims' trauma typically lasts well beyond the time of the actual attack. They often experience panic attacks, flashbacks, physical pain and stress.

"We're here for you," she said. "Please call."

Nine cases of gay sexual assault were reported in the city in 2006, but in the first half of 2007, that number is already up to 18. Officials said they believe more attacks are happening this year, but that increased awareness of the importance of reporting the crimes may also contribute to the higher number.

The attacks are almost all happening in the Castro. Anti-crime volunteers began patrolling the neighborhood last fall wearing orange clothing and carrying whistles after two men reported being raped in the area.

One of them, Mark Welsh, spoke up at the press conference Wednesday. He said he was raped by two men on Sanchez Street in September, reported the crime and worked diligently with police -- but that his case went nowhere. He said he had no idea 18 sexual assaults have already happened this year, and that city officials need to do a better job of alerting Castro residents of danger spots.

"I'm appalled and astounded that I'm unaware of all these," he told Harris during the press conference. "There is a lack of communication."

Fong said the Police Department provides maps of where sexual assaults take place, but does not break them out by gender. She said the department will start providing crime maps by gender this week so gay men can see exactly where and at what time of day other men have been assaulted.

Under no circumstances can gay rape ever be condoned or tolerated. Gay male sex is always consensual. Never can a gay guy think that he can force himself on another guy to have sex. If a guy isn't interested in sex, that must be the final word. There is no grey area.

9 comments:

raindog469 said...

Rape becomes more complicated, but no less traumatic, in the context of the leather scene, where we do things to each other that, once in a while, one party thinks is consensual and the other doesn't.

Not quite 16 years ago I went to play with a guy I met on a bulletin board system.

I thought I could write the details here, but I just erased them so I guess I still can't. But the upshot is, I believed at the time that no one would take me seriously because, after all, I'd consented originally to visit him and let him dominate me, right? It's like a permanent "but she was wearing a red dress" excuse for predators. "But he was totally asking for it."

I would say that all we can do is make each other aware of predators, but when I did that on the boards back in the day, it was me who got labeled a troublemaker, not him.

Ed said...

I am a small framed short guy. I fear going out with big muscle men even though I find them to be quite a turn on because I know I wouldn't be strong enough to prevent them from doing whatever they wanted to me.

Lemuel said...

I wonder how communities that are less tolerant react. I wonder how many gay rapes occur in "peoria" that never get reported nor investigated.

Ed said...

I look at GAy Porn and much of it shows young men tied and bound hands and feet. I think you can even buy bondage stuff and F*ck tables to tie another guy down so you can have sex at will. I wonder how many dungeons there are around. Some guys might like being bound and gagged but I suspect they only like the idea and when it actualy happens they get more than they bargained for.

TOS said...

Yeah I agree with a lot of the guys commenting here - you never know what you are in for with a stranger. What might start as consensual could easily escalate out of control because one people get into the act suddenly the argument of "no means no but it also means yes" comes into play. It's pretty sad that people of any gender/community are still committing rapes. I wonder if that is something that can really be changed or if it is just something that we need to police more - rape has existed throughout human history. It's an interesting philosophical question, but I need to get back to my homework (booring) and use my braincells for the day there. I get easily distacted in Bufftown! :-P

Peace out men!

Steve said...

You Won

http://gaymenrule.wordpress.com/2007/06/24/thinking-blogger-award/

RearBear said...

This has been and still is a hot debate in South Africa of late. Despite its very progressive constitution and Bill of Human Rights, we just don't seem to get this right. A man cannot be raped!? that seems to be the view of our constitutional court.

Follow these links for some background:
http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2111719,00.html

http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2111719,00.html

Shaney said...

Authorities have a legal obligation to assist all crimes not matter the gender involved...but I often wonder what the community thoughts are behind gay rape...Eg:Would a hetrosexual man intervene if he came across a man being sexually assaulted by another? Being mindful that hetrosexual men can rape another man also...We have LGBT trained authorities to help the gay Community in such issues but we dont often hear of gay rape in our city, however gay bashings are more & more frequent now-a-days.
The most important thing is that the crime is reported, and many choose to stay quiet...Which is a tragedy itself.
Interesting topic...Thankyou

Leonard said...

Hey Buff, do you have an email link...wanted to do that. I'm gonna speak up tho...been there, yeah...have been in this situation. It really is nobody's fault, in my situation, I was drugged. Thanks for bringing this to peoples attention.
;-) peace