I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Why Then?

Why did I suddenly open up about my sexual assault at age 51? (And I've since learned that many men don't deal with their rapes until they're in their late 30s to early 50s.) I fit that pattern.

Perhaps it's because we reach a level of maturity that we no longer have to be afraid; maybe we're tired of being tortured with flashbacks and recurring dreams.

Early in my healing journey, I heard others speak about feeling safe. That's probably the best answer for me: I felt safe enough to open up to my wife and my best friend. Because they were safe—and expressed their loving support—that gave me the courage to speak out to others.

No matter when we open up and no matter how painful, it seems to be because of one of two reasons: We feel safe or we can't take the pain any longer. Or perhaps it's a combination.

And those of us who have taken the step of telling others are the ones who truly find acceptance, understanding, and love.


Andrew Schmutzer said...

Another reason I see for men outing their stories is a friend or high profile case of a male survivor. This seemed to be the case when a few young men came forward in the Penn St scandal...then others followed! I'll never forget a Dallas news anchor, shortly thereafter--in his mid 50s--tearfully telling his loyal audience that he, too, was a survivor. It was very moving.

The other reason I see is a greater social freedom for young men to talk about their abuse, as young as their college years, or even late High School. So while I was about 13 years into marriage, I'm so glad young men (and women) approach me as their professor, willing to talk about their story.

They talk because I've talked.

Cec Murphey said...

"They talked because I talked." That's a powerful--and empowering--statement, Andrew. Beautifully said.