Social networking sites and online forums are becoming a safe space for people to find supportive online communities where they can self-disclose sensitive matters anonymously without fearing an adverse reaction. These platforms have also become top use for sexual assault victims who turn to using online forums and social media for self-disclosure, community building, seeking support, and interacting with people similar to them. Online forums support and help users, which traditional sources fail to do. Therefore, considering these features of online sites, this study's objective was to use online networking sites to gather insights to understand what could be learned from posts made by sexual assault victims. Therefore, this study aims to explore mental health issues male victims of sexual assault experience by using thematic analysis on self-disclosure stories made on Reddit. The results of the findings include 5 main themes and 11 sub-themes that highlight different factors attributed to male victims. These themes are: 1. Mental health, 2. Family, friends, and perpetrator response upon disclosure; 3. Navigating post-assault dynamics: Experiences and responses, 4. Victims' wants and desires, 5. Social media as a platform for victims. The findings highlight different perspectives, issues, and struggles victims come across and how impactful assault could be on victims' mental health.

By Sidiqullah Shinwari