Dear Annie: Male rape is a subject that is seldom mentioned. A close and dear male friend (in his late 40s) was severely raped twice. He was kidnapped from his residence, drugged, sodomized and left naked on the first occasion, and then his residence was broken into, and he was tied up and raped a second time. The general public may think this is rare and unusual. Not as much as you'd believe.
After the attacks, my friend was examined in a hospital, and a rape kit was done. He then began attending support groups sponsored by different church organizations. He was surprised to learn that hundreds of other men have undergone similar experiences.
My friend later saw one of the perpetrators shopping in a well-known store and immediately called his local investigating officer. The officer told him, "He has the right to shop in that store just as you do." The local authorities have no sympathy for male rape. The FBI has a division to cover violent crimes, but they mainly focus on female rape. Somehow, male rape is an untouchable subject.
I am writing you to ask that you refer victims of such crimes to a protection agency that will go to bat for them. Will you publish this letter to generate responses for other victims? This sort of crime needs to be explored, publicized, exposed by news agencies and brought to the attention of someone who cares. — California
Dear California: It is estimated that 10 percent of all sexual assault victims are male. And while that is a lower number than for women, it is still considerable, and the victims should receive the same respect from the authorities. All rape victims, male or female, can find support through RAINN's website (rainn.org) or by calling their hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (ohl.rainn.org/online). For advocacy in bringing this subject to the attention of the public, please contact MaleSurvivor.org.
Dear Annie: I have been hurt many times by men in my life. I am now ready to find one good man to love forever. I've been looking online, and a man on one site caught my attention with his looks and his profile. The problem is, he doesn't seem to be checking his emails.
Do you know how I could find him? I listed what little information I had on Craigslist, hoping someone would recognize him, but no luck. This might be my lost love. Do you have any suggestions for finding him? — Betty
Dear Betty: It is quite possible this man isn't responding to your emails because he is not interested. You are dangerously close to being a stalker. Please stop searching for this particular guy — or any "lost love," which is too great an expectation to place on someone. Consider other men who might have more potential if you back off and give them time to get to know you.
Dear Annie: I had to weigh in on the letter from "Joe Not-So-Cool," who asked whether he should travel in Europe for a while or be a "hardworking loser in a loser job." That phrase told me that what might be necessary for Joe to achieve his desired goals is an attitude adjustment.
The millions of low-paying and less than glamorous jobs being done by Americans throughout the country are not "loser jobs." They are an integral part of our economy and are being done by honest, hardworking people to the best of their ability. There is dignity in this, period.
If Joe took one of these entry-level "loser jobs" in his field, he might eventually achieve his dream. This is what happened with me. I started on the lowest rung possible in my field, and now I have a position I could only dream about. I am set up perfectly in my career because I worked hard and took pride in the job I was doing. — Been There in Hawaii
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2013. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.