Justice

Man's Sexual Assault Story Exposes a Devastating Misconception

September 24th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

A New Yorker's story about allegedly being sexual assaulted by his Uber driver has brought a disturbing myth about victims of sexual violence to light.

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In a Facebook post, Kevin Ko alleged that his driver grabbed his hand and forcibly used it to touch his erect penis twice during the duration of the trip, Gizmodo reports.

"I was #sexually #assaulted, advanced and forced without consent by the Uber driver to touch his erect genitalia during the ride," Ko wrote on Facebook. (ATTN: has declined to link the post because it identifies the driver in a photograph.)

"He grabbed my left wrist with physical force, out of nowhere and placed my hand on his genitals- not once, but TWICE," the post continues. "The first time I yelled, 'what the fuck!' in a disgusted and blatant tone. I was scared, I didn't know who he was or what he was capable of. I froze in fear, but I look around the car to see what I can do in the event something were to happen. I imagined the worse."

Ko further claimed that the driver had his home address and asked if he lived alone before the alleged assault occurred.

He said he eventually jumped out of the car and called both the New York Police Department and an Uber helpline.

“There is no excuse for the behavior described," an Uber spokesperson told ATTN: via email. "The driver has been removed from the platform.”

Ko went on to describe his attempt to report the alleged assault to Uber's “Critical Safety Response Line."

During the call, a representative of the company allegedly laughed at Ko three times told him he was "not being professional" before reportedly hanging up on him as he tried to explain what happened.

In his post, Ko also thanked the NYPD and the detective assigned to his case.

The NYPD told Gizmodo Friday that no arrest was made.

ATTN: reached out to the NYPD for comment and will update this post when we receive a response.

Ko's story brings up the misconception that men cannot be victims of sexual assault.

In actuality, 1 out of every 10 rape victims is male and millions of American men have been sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

rainn male rape

Various factors contribute to the stigmatization of male sexual assault survivors, the University of Michigan's Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center points out.

These ideas include the basic social constructs of what it means to "be a man," homophobia, and the stereotype that sexual assault is simply a "women's issue." These notions can make male victims of sexual assault hesitant to come forward.

The attitude that Ko claims to have encountered on the Uber helpline is not an uncommon one.

Popular movies and films often joke about prison rape and portray male experiences of nonconsensual sex with levity. But sexual assault is never a laughing matter — and can happen to anyone, regardless of gender.