Gender norms compound the trauma for men who are victims of rape and sexual abuse. It’s time to give them support Callum Hancock was 10 years old when he was raped by a long-standing bully in a den in his back garden. “They made it sound like a game, they said it’s like smoking, something you do when you’re older, that if you tell your parents you’ll be in trouble.” Speaking in a broad Sheffield accent, the well-built 28-year-old recalls a happy childhood and loving parents – “plenty of holidays, lots of laughter” – punctured by trauma. Later, as puberty crept along and girls caught his eye, he wondered if the attack meant he was really gay. He started to ask himself if maybe he’d dreamed it: anything to suppress what had happened. He took up boxing because it “was my way of proving that I was a man, that I was going above and beyond to prove I was a man”.
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