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dascmom
03-26-2013, 08:08 AM
Many of you have helped me with another topic which I have been researching for the book I am working on now. Thank you! This is related, but is less a legal question and is about the incidence of teenage boys reporting underage sexual abuse perpetrated on them(in my novel's case it is incest committed by a step-brother 5 years older than his younger brother, from the time the victim was 14-17 years old).

I wonder if anyone has any idea about the approximate percentage of boys who have undergone sexual assault in their teens who actually report the assaults to the police or to an authority?
I am more interested in the reporting of an ongoing situation that is something that he has been manipulated into agreeing to rather than a single violent rape situation.
If the victim does file a report, generally, is it done during the time of abuse, shortly after the time is over (for example, a year or two after the abuse has ended) or many years later?

Thank you for any information you have on this topic. I truly want to get it right. I have done research, but it is tough to find out exactly what you are looking for.

boozysassmouth
03-26-2013, 04:18 PM
Many of you have helped me with another topic which I have been researching for the book I am working on now. Thank you! This is related, but is less a legal question and is about the incidence of teenage boys reporting underage sexual abuse perpetrated on them(in my novel's case it is incest committed by a step-brother 5 years older than his younger brother, from the time the victim was 14-17 years old).

I wonder if anyone has any idea about the approximate percentage of boys who have undergone sexual assault in their teens who actually report the assaults to the police or to an authority?
I am more interested in the reporting of an ongoing situation that is something that he has been manipulated into agreeing to rather than a single violent rape situation.
If the victim does file a report, generally, is it done during the time of abuse, shortly after the time is over (for example, a year or two after the abuse has ended) or many years later?

Thank you for any information you have on this topic. I truly want to get it right. I have done research, but it is tough to find out exactly what you are looking for.

As far as when it's reported, it can be any of the time periods above. The thing about rape survivors is that their behavior doesn't follow a pattern, or patterns, contrary to popular belief. He can report it whenever is convenient for your story. The issue you run into with reporting is that the longer a person waits, the harder it is to prove rape occurred.

According to RAINN, 1 in 33 males experience rape/attempted rape in their lifetimes, and I would say the vast majority are when they're boys-teens. And most of those are likely the type of situation that you're looking at, the use of coercion over violence. Also according to RAINN, 53% of incidents aren't reported. That's an average that includes women, so I would bet that it could even be a bit higher for men.

I was a volunteer rape crisis counselor and I've read hundreds of rape cases doing volunteer and intern work, so feel free to PM me with more questions.

dascmom
03-26-2013, 05:44 PM
Thanks. Your information helps and thanks for the offer to let me PM you. I will take you up on that soon.

Maryn
03-26-2013, 07:22 PM
Among the many things I like about AW is the frequency with which you can find someone who knows a lot about what you need to research, or can direct you to the best sources of reliable information.

Maryn, glad you two connected

dascmom
03-26-2013, 08:24 PM
I have to agree, Maryn. It helps authors like me to be able to write a novel that rings true to the reader, as well as to get things right, especially in very sensitive subjects areas like this.

ArtsyAmy
03-29-2013, 02:53 AM
Something to keep in mind is that, although there are approximations out there, it's actually impossible to know the percentage of cases that go unreported. We can only know the number of cases that are reported. It's kind of like when scientists claim there are a certain number of species in the rain forest that have yet to be discovered; if they haven't been discovered, there's no way of knowing how many there are.

I used to work in child protective services as a social worker. You say your character was the victim of incest from age 14 through 17. I don't think it would be likely that he'd report the abuse at age 17 when it had been going on for a few years--unless something specific happened that would lead to his reporting the abuse. Why did the abuse stop? Did the step-brother move away? I suppose the victim might feel safe enough to report if the abuser were no longer nearby. Did the abuse stop because the perpetrator lost interest in the victim as the victim grew older? I'm not so sure the victim would report the abuse if that happened. However, if the victim suspected his abuser was going after another victim, perhaps a younger sibling, that might prompt a report that would include telling of his own victimization.

If a report is made years later, there would probably be some prompting event--maybe the victim became a drug addict, and he realizes that reporting the abuse that contributed to his addiction will be an important step toward recovery--something like that. There's also the issue of repressed memories; a victim might report the abuse after the memories of it surface years later.

Hope all goes well with your story.

Chasing the Horizon
03-29-2013, 09:01 AM
Something to keep in mind is that, although there are approximations out there, it's actually impossible to know the percentage of cases that go unreported.
Exactly. I believe the statistics are *much* higher than generally stated. I believe this simply because I've had 14 friends, family members, and lovers admit to me that they were sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, and of those a grand total of ONE was reported. I realize my method is far from scientific, but I can't believe real experience would be that dissonant from a true statistic, especially since I'm in a comparatively low-risk community where people have higher-than-average trust in the authorities.

Really, doesn't the very definition of unreported mean we can never know or even reasonably guess at a number?

Though I'd still sooner believe there are dragons breeding in my backyard than that 53% of sexual assaults are reported.

Nawlins
03-29-2013, 09:18 AM
Is fourteen is a bit late onset for sexual abuse for a male? My understanding is that it generally begins when they are much younger OR when they are in some kind of control by someone more powerful/idolized/etc. I didn't research this, but if I were writing the story, I'd check that. The older children get, the more is needed to gain their compliance and trust/fear. My sons by fourteen were far too into their adolescent 'I know better than anyone' stage to have comlied with pretty much anything that they didn't want to do (or that I couldn't head-game them into thinking they did/should/would be sorry if they didn't, lol). YMMV

Chasing the Horizon
03-29-2013, 11:02 AM
No-one is ever too old to be raped or to fall into an abusive dynamic with another person.

Nawlins
03-29-2013, 11:49 PM
Well, yes, that seems obvious to me. However, I was speaking of averages. As it turns out, from what I've read this afternoon, the median age is around age 9-10 for boys, and it seems that the highest percentages for onset were prior to grade 8, which would be around age 12. Note: the most recent stats I found in a quick search were far less recent than I'd have hoped.

I'd imagine that if I were making my victim an older male, I'd have to make my characters either extraordinarily powerful or powerless.

Chasing the Horizon
03-30-2013, 01:37 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by 'exceptionally powerful or powerless'. Rapists, especially the type who prey on people close to them, are experts at making their victims believe they deserved it. I guess this is a special 'power' in some ways. They're certainly very manipulative.

Obviously some people are going to be more vulnerable to this type of manipulation than others. Age is a factor, but self-esteem and other strong supportive relationships are even bigger ones. A lot of 14yos lack the confidence and support to withstand a concerted psychological campaign to break them down, especially when it's being made by a family member with constant access who can pull the "if you tell, you'll destroy the family" card, as is the case in the OP's story. I would seriously object to the idea that this in some way makes them extraordinarily powerless.

Men are also heavily conditioned by society against reporting (they must've liked it, why didn't they fight, such things don't happen to men so they must be lying/gay/crazy, etc.), which makes them feel even more powerless than women in these situations.

Nawlins
03-30-2013, 05:18 AM
What I meant by exceptionally powerful/less was a greater than usual power or lack thereof. It seems to me that a child or adult who complies due to a threat or warning that the family will be harmed would indeed be feeling extraordinarily powerless to prevent the abuse. I suspect we all see power differently. ;)

dascmom
03-30-2013, 07:17 AM
The situation is that the older brother's mother marries the younger brother's father when younger brother is 13, and within a year of the marriage, older brother (who has many of his own issues and has been put in charge of younger) begins abusing younger. Younger has been alone a lot in the past, a kid who largely raised himself. His father has always been very distant and he is very vulnerable to the manipulations of the older man. And, the abuse originally stopped when younger bro was in his junior year of high school because older brother lost interest as he met a woman who he became serious about. But, as this relationship was less-than-healthy, it eventually ends and older bro comes back, looking to Jamie to control and manipulate.

Nawlins
03-31-2013, 03:49 AM
Thanks for the additional information. I think the story will be a tough one for readers to put down. Luck!