A hospital in Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, is to offer round-the-clock care for men and boys who have survived sexual assault. Rasmus Jonlund, a press spokesman for the Liberal Party, which led the campaign for the department in the Swedish capital, told The Local: "We are happy that we now can finally open the first rape clinic for men following the rape clinic for women.
"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," he added.
The opening was also celebrated by the Liberal Party's centre-right Alliance partners in Stockholm City Council, the Moderates, which are the largest group in the capital's coalition, the Christan Democrats and the Centre Party.
"Emergency medical care for raped men will be free of charge, and offered around the clock, all year," said Marie Ljungberg Schött, a local Moderate Party party politician and council representative on emergency care in a statement.
"So far there has been no specific place for men who are victims of rape to turn to. Therefore, we in the Alliance have decided to change this."
The centre already runs a walk-in clinic for women and girls who have been sexually assaulted in the capital city, treating between 600-700 patients a year. In 2014, about 370 cases of sexual assault on men or boys were reported, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention. However, the number of "hidden victims", or those ashamed to seek help, could make the figure much higher.
Inger Björklund, a spokesperson for sexual education group RFSU told The Local that it was looking forward to the opening of Stockholm's new facility. "There are myths about masculinity that make it difficult for men who have been sexually traumatized to talk about their experiences," she said. "A clinic focusing on men who have been sexually abused will contribute to the awareness of experiences of sexual abuse among men and make it more possible to meet men's needs."