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article imageSweden opens its first rape clinic for men, boys and transgenders

By Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi     Oct 16, 2015 in World
Stockholm - Sweden opened its first rape clinic for men, boys and transgenders Thursday. It is located in Södersjukhuset Hospital which already has a clinic for women and girls who experience sexual assault.
The emergency department at the hospital is part of an effort to provide gender-equal patient care. There is already a clinic at the site that treats between 600 and 700 female patients per year.
Rasmus Jonland, a spokesman for the Liberal Party, spearheaded the implementation of the program. He said, "We are happy that we now can finally open the first rape clinic for men following the rape clinic for women."
The clinic is the first of its kind in Sweden, and based on an Internet search, the first in the world.
In 2014, 370 cases of sexual assault on males were reported across Sweden. Experts from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention believe the actual numbers are higher.
The numbers may also appear higher because of the country's method of reporting rape sexual assault. For example, if a victim was raped by a perpetrator multiple times, each incident would be recorded, but other countries would count it as a single incident.
In the past, there was no place for male victims of rape to go to, but the Liberal Party's center-right Alliance partners, the Moderates, in the Stockholm City Council changed this.
Marie Ljungberg Schött, a Moderate Party politician, said "Emergency medical care for raped men will be free of charge, and offered around the clock, all year."
Chief of Södersjukhuset Hospital's Emergency Clinic, Dr. Lotti Helström said the clinic expects to treat 20 to 25 male victims in the next year. She also stated that it is a small number, but it will increase as men become more open to reaching out for help.
In an interview with Sveriges Radio, Psychotherapist Borje Svensson said men often find it difficult to see themselves as victims. Because of this, they feel guilty and blame themselves for what happened.
Along with providing care, another goal of the clinic is increasing awareness. Inger Björklund, a spokeswoman for the advocacy group RFSU said, “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.”
In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one in 71 men said they had been raped, and the perpetrator was usually someone they knew.
Jonland hopes the clinic will help "spread the knowledge" of sexual assault issues in Sweden.
More about Sweden, male rape clinic, Sdersjukhuset hospital, Stockholm
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