A 17-year old boy tells his story of sexual violence

Two women in their mid-twenties invited a drunk 17-year-old to a flat, where they tied him up and had intercouse with him, assuming they had his consent.

Daria Sukharchuk
Daria Sukharchuk NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
A 17-year old boy tells his story of sexual violence - NewsMavens
Pixabay. Teenager writing.

Why this story matters:

This story would sound like yet another account of gruesome sexual violence if the victim were female. But in this case, the perpetrators were women, and the victim- a teenage boy.

Years after this happened, he shared his story with BBC News Russian, in what is a truly rare example of a man speaking up about sexual assault.

But in this case, the young man, who goes by the name of Andrey, couldn't shake off the memories of what happened to him. Hhis friends refused to take him seriously, saying that he should cherish this experience. But the experience kept appearing in his nightmares.

This story bears many hallmarks of a rape account: the power imbalance between the victim and the perpetrators: they were older, more experienced, and on their territory. He was underage and inexperienced. They were two friends, while he was alone. He was very drunk, while they knew what they were doing.

What is also unusual about this story is that the woman, Katja, also talked to the BBC, and told her version of the events.

She said she wasn't proud of what she had done, but didn't see why it should be traumatic. She never bothered with discussing consent -- and thought that any young man would be happy to have such an experience. Later, they went on a few dates, but then she broke up with him, and now believes Andrey is spreading the story out of spite. She would like it to end and says her reputation suffered enough.

It is stories like this that show the pervasiveness of violence in our society, and how outdated ideas about genders harm both sides. While Andrey was left to suffer alone, Katja never considered that a young man could be traumatized by her actions -- because "real men" are supposed to want sex all the time.

Details from the story:

  • Sexual violence towards men is an even bigger taboo than that towards women -- a crisis center worker interviewed for this story believes that maybe 1 out of 100 men talks about what happened to him
  • Most male victims of sexual assault experience it at a young age, and most perpetrators are older, more powerful men. However, women can be the ones assaulting as well.
  • It is harder for men to speak out about sexual violence because of shame -- they are supposed to defend themselves.
  • Typically, men seek help with their trauma many years (sometimes decades) after the event took place.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy