Friday, October 16, 2015

Sweden opens first clinic for male rape victims

In a bid for gender equality, Sweden opened its first rape center specifically for male victims Thursday, Metro reported. The clinic opened at Södersjukhuset, one of the largest hospitals in Stockholm. The new clinic is understood to be the first emergency department devoted solely to male rape victims.

Sweden has the highest rate of rape in Europe, and the hospital already operates a 24-hour, walk-in clinic for women and girls who have been sexually assaulted, treating between 600 to 700 patients a year.  Roughly 370 cases of sexual assault on males were reported in the country in 2014, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention. The opening of the rape center was hailed by multiple political parties in the country.
"Emergency medical care for raped men will be free of charge, and offered around the clock, all year," local Moderate party politician and council representative on emergency care in a statement, Marie Ljungberg Schöt said in a statement, the Local reported. "So far there has been no specific place for men who are victims of rape to turn to. Therefore we in the Alliance have decided to change this."
A study conducted in 2014 by the sexual education organization RFSU proposed that men across many municipalities in Sweden were uncertain about where they could get emergency help prior to a rape.
"There are myths about masculinity that make it difficult for men who have been sexually traumatized to talk about their experiences," said Inger Björklund, a spokesperson for RFSU, the Local reported. "A clinic focusing on men who have been sexually abused will contribute to the awareness of experiences of sexual abuse among men and make it more possible to meet men's needs."

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