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Sweden hospital to open emergency center for male rape victims

Sweden hospital to open emergency center for male rape victims
A Stockholm hospital will soon become the first medical center in Sweden with an emergency department for male rape victims. The move is to ensure “gender equal” care for victims of both sexes.

Södersjukhuset hospital's newest addition will open in October, and will admit men and boys who have been sexually assaulted.

"The general perception is that men cannot be raped," Lotti Helström, a senior physician at the hospital, told Sveriges Radio, as quoted by The Local.

Helström added that men can suffer even more than women.

"In studies, the health effects are shown to be greater for men, both in terms of physical health and mental health. There is a greater risk of a raped man getting post-traumatic stress disorder," she said, adding that the subject of male rape is "extremely taboo.”

She also said that men are much more likely to be raped by other men than by women, which could lead to “sexual identity” problems for male victims.

The new clinic has been welcomed by the gender equality organization RFSU.

"There are myths about masculinity that make it difficult for men who have been sexually traumatized to talk about their experiences," a spokesperson for the group said.

According to a 2014 RFSU study, men in most municipalities across Sweden did not know where they could get emergency help following rape.

"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 a very exposed situation,” the RFSU spokesperson said.

READ MORE: ‘Horrific statistics’: Male rapes common in UK army, MoD data reveals

The new clinic will be in addition to Södersjukhuset's department for female rape victims, which treats between 600 and 700 patients a year.

Around 370 cases of sexual assault on men or boys were reported across Sweden in 2014, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention. However, experts believe the real figure to be much higher.

Sweden has the second-highest incidence of rape worldwide, according to Gatestone Institute research published in February. The research referred to Sweden as the “rape capital of the West.”

The issue was brought into the spotlight in May, when India's Women's Minister publicly stated that Sweden had a worse rape problem than her home country – despite India's public struggle to rebuild its reputation following a number of highly publicized rapes.