‘I’m a Survivor of Rape and Intimate Partner Violence–And I’m a Man’


The topic of campus rape has been making its way to Congress and the White House, and coverage of this issue has increasingly been making headlines. But conspicuously absent from the conversation is the narrative of male and queer survivors.

My name is John Kelly, and I’m a survivor of rape and intimate partner violence. I was raped twice while in college, but one of my experiences doesn’t fit into traditional definitions of rape. While incapacitated, a male former intimate partner performed oral sex on me. The amount of pain and anguish that rape caused me was no different than that of my other rape, a more widely accepted iteration in which I was forcibly penetrated.

It took me a long time to come to terms with my experiences, in large part because I didn’t have the language to articulate them. The confusion, fear and shame I felt, coupled with…

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