A dedicated trauma clinic for male victims of rape and other kinds of sexual assault was opened at Sweden’s Sodersjukhuset Hospital in Stockholm on Thursday and it is believed to be the first facility of its kind in the world.
The hospital already runs a 24 hour, seven days a week, walk-in service for female victims of sexual assault which treats around 700 patients a year.
But now the hospital will also provide around the clock care for male victims of sexual assault.
The initiative was championed by Sweden’s Liberal Party and party spokesman Rasmus Jonlund told TheLocal.se he was proud for Sweden to be the first to support male victims of sexual violence in this way.
‘We are happy that we now can finally open the first rape clinic for men following the rape clinic for women,’ Jonlund said.
‘It is the first in Sweden … we think it is the first in the world. We haven’t found another from our research on the world wide web.’
According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention there were as many as 370 cases of sexual assault against men and boys reported to the authorities across Sweden in 2014 – though it is recognized that many male victims do not come forward due to fear of being stigmatized.
‘We don’t know how many people will use it … but we know that there are many who experience these kinds of assaults but don’t currently seek care,’ Jonlund said.
‘Our hope now is that many more of these hidden victims will also be able to get help now.’
Sodersjukhuset Hospital is Stockholm’s main hospital and the largest medical facility in the Nordic region.