‘Hidden crime’ of men forced to have sex

PIC: PA
PIC: PA

Researchers want to hear from men who are victims of the “hidden crime” of sexual violation by women.

Dr Siobhan Weare, of Lancaster University Law School, is analysing cases of men who are forced by women to have sex with them against their will.

“The term ‘forced-to-penetrate’ has been coined for these cases because while they involve non-consensual sex, they do not fall under the offence of rape,” she said.

“The offence of rape can only be committed by men due to the requirement of penile penetration of the victim. In ‘forced-to-penetrate’ cases, the offender is the one being penetrated by a non-consenting victim.”

Examples are a man waking up to find a woman having sex with him, a man being blackmailed to have intercourse or someone being physically, emotionally or financially threatened into sex, according to Dr Weare.

The study, which has received funding from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, will build on research already undertaken in the area by Dr Weare, who in 2016 conducted an online survey on forced-to-penetrate cases which was completed by more than 150 men.

She hopes the findings will improve understanding of the “hidden crime” as well as helping to develop practice and policy in the area, and in relation to men who experience sexual violence.