Vicki Polin
Social Justice Activist

Support for male hostages who were sexually assaulted by Hamas

One of my goals in this series of articles is to break the myth that professional and survivor organizations, along with women’s groups don’t care about those who were sexually victimized by Hamas in both Israel and Gaza – on and after October 7, 2023.

Over the next few weeks my goal is to interview as many professionals, organizations and individuals as possible, so that those who have been violated (and their family members) know there are people and places they can find support.

Sadly, during wartime sexual violence is a common theme, even though according to the 4th Geneva Convention, article 27 – “Women must be especially protected against any attack on their honor, in particular against rape, enforce prostitution or any other form of indecent assault.”  

Thinking back to October 7th and since then, I don’t know if anyone has kept a record of the numbers of those who have been beaten, tortured, raped, beheaded and murdered, using various barbaric forms of torture.

There is also the reality many individuals don’t want to acknowledge, members of Hamas also desecrated the bodies of the deceased, by raping corpses. The truth is that Hamas not only sexually victimized adult women, they also sexually assaulted adult men and children and those they murdered.

Though many people believe the myth that rape is about sex, it is not. It’s about taking power and control away from those who are being victimized. We also need to be reminded that those who have been victimized by rape do not become less of a woman or man because of the assault. 

When an individual is sexually assaulted by individuals of the same sex, it will NOT make the person who was victimized gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. That myth is not only untrue, but harmful to those who have been dehumanized in this case by members of a deadly cult.

Over the years I have been connected with several survivor groups. There’s one survivor group that I’ve always supported, and in which I never encountered any form of antisemitism. The organization is MaleSurvivor (formerly known as the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization).  

MaleSurvivor was originally formed in 1995, as an international nonprofit organization. MaleSurvivor is dedicated to providing personalized support to men at every stage of the healing process. They facilitate dialogue among survivors, as well as between survivors and mental health professional. 

Nathan LaChine served as volunteer and board member of MaleSurvivor for over 20 years. He is also a professional speaker, trainer, published author, community advocate, and long-time specialized foster parent.

Nathan LaChine stated that “it is not uncommon in wartime for sexual assaults on both females and males to take place (of adults and children). This truly is a crime against humanity – and the perpetrators and their enablers need to be held fully accountable.” He went on to say: “Sadly, according to research findings, one in four females – and one in six males – suffer sexual assaults during their youth or adults years. It’s a crime that happens in both times of peace and times of war. It truly is horrible, wherever and whenever it happens. Sexual assault victims – and those around them – typically suffer long-term or lifetime trauma/negative effects – physical, emotional, and social.”

If you or anyone you know is a male survivor of sexual assault feel free to contact MaleSurvivor.

About the Author
Vicki Polin is a feminist who has been a Social Justice Activist since her childhood. Vicki is also an award winning, retired psychotherapist who worked in the anti-rape field for just under forty years. For fun Vicki is an artist and nature photographer.
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