Hidden survivors of sexual violence : challenges and barriers in responding to rape against men in Eastern DRC
Sammanfattning: Most studies on sexual violence against men focus on forms, causes and consequences of this phenomenon giving little/or no attention to complex challenges and barriers affecting access to care for survivors. Drawing from semi-structured interviews with service providers, male survivors and from focus group discussions with community members in Eastern DRC, this thesis set out to explore challenges and barriers related to meeting the needs of male survivors of sexualized violence. Findings were interpreted through the lenses of ecological and gender theories and through hegemonic masculinity and holistic care model concepts. Generally, findings show that gender beliefs regarding masculinity and rape, lack of information about care programmes for male survivors, a dysfunctional justice system, distance from home to care programs and insecurity were perceived as major impediments to care access for male survivors. While masculinity constituted a barrier to health care for most male survivors, this thesis shows that it can also facilitate access to health care for some survivors. Discussion and analysis of the findings point out to a systemic inattention around the issue of sexual violence against men reinforcing barriers to health care. The thesis shows that existing responses have mainly been designed to address sexual violence against women and need to be re-adapted to male survivors without losing focus on female survivors as they suffer most from sexual violence.
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