Vegas mom searches for support after son's rape - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Vegas mom searches for support after son's rape

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

When it comes to rape, women are not the only victims. A growing number of girls and boys are reporting sexual assault. Yet, when a Las Vegas mother tried to find a group therapy session for her 13-year-old son, she was turned away.

"He was having nightmares at night, and all he could do was think about it all day long," said Nicole, who asked FOX5 to withhold her last name for privacy reasons.

As a parent, Nicole had no idea at first why her son was acting strange. He was 11 years old, depressed, and starting to use drugs.

Four months later, she found out why. Her son had been raped by two older boys in the neighborhood.

"Sodomized him, and forced him to give them oral sex, and to touch their genitalia," she recalled.

Nicole's son, now 13, is at a treatment facility in Utah, partly because of what she couldn't find in Las Vegas - a support group for young boys.

"They need people that understand what they've been through, and not just a therapist talking to them until they're blue in the face - telling them everything they should be feeling or thinking," Nicole argued. "They need to be able to express and have people who understand them."

She also tried the Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas which, last year received 6,084 calls.

"Whether that's male or female, boy or girl, we're here to help," said Rape Crisis Center Board President Bill Thomas.

Most clients who seek out services at the Rape Crisis Center receive one-on-one counseling. For women, there is a support group available - but not for boys. The Center says it currently serves more than 280 women, but only four boys.

"The numbers don't even substantiate for us to have a support group for men - or even young men," Thomas said, adding that the organization will not give up on the idea entirely.

The low numbers are due mostly to the fact that many boys and men never report that they've been assaulted.

"Boys don't disclose. Unless they're in a situation like my son's been put in, or they're in the deepest pit of despair, they typically don't disclose because of the fear of being considered a homosexual," Nicole said.

The number it would take to have a support group for boys - according to the Rape Crisis Center - only 10.

"I think it would be great to have a group like that, but unfortunately it's been a challenge not just for us but other counseling centers, other agencies - there's not one out there. There isn't," said Wendy Losada, volunteer coordinator at the Rape Crisis Center.

The Centers for Disease Control released the findings of a survey conducted in 2011, which found that roughly 5 to 10 percent of high school boys in the United States said they have been forced to have sex against their will.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of rape, you can get help by calling the Rape Crisis Center hotline at 1-888-366-1640 or visit www.therapecrisiscenter.org.

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