Author(s): Raymond M. Douglas
A personal and moral inquiry into the crime we do our best to ignore: the rape of adult men
When Raymond M. Douglas was an eighteen-year-old living in Europe, he was brutally raped by a Catholic priest. He eventually moved to the United States and became a highly regarded historian, writing with great care about the violent expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe after the Second World War, and parsing the complicated moral questions of these actions. But until now, Douglas has been silent about his own experience of trauma.
In On Being Raped, Douglas recounts this painful event and his later attempts to seek help to lay bare the physical and psychological trauma of a crime we still don’t openly discuss: the rape of adult men by men. With eloquence and passion, he examines the requirements society implicitly places upon men who are victims of rape, examines the reasons for our resounding silence around this issue, and reveals how alarmingly prevalent this kind of sexual violence truly is.
An insightful and sensitive analysis of a type of bodily violation that we either joke about or ignore, On Being Raped promises to open an important dialogue about male rape and what needs to be done to provide adequate services and support for victims. “But before that can happen,” writes Douglas, “men who have been raped will have to come out of the shadows...A start has to be made somewhere. This is my attempt at one.”