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 Do I Have to Talk About It?

One reason for murky statistics about male survivors of sexual assault is that many of us aren't forthcoming. That is, we don’t want to talk about being molested. It still hurts and we feel less like real men if we admit our pain.

I never want to force anyone to talk about their abusive past. And yet, I know that until we do bring the dark secrets into the light by talking about them, the pain stays inside. We try to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t hurt. But we know differently.

Speaking about our pain-streaked childhood isn't easy. Shame often holds us back, even though we were innocent, pliable children.

But those of us who have the courage to speak out—even when fear and self-loathing keep trying to pull us back—have learned an invaluable lesson. When the truth comes out, it's no longer a secret. When another human being—a person with whom we feel safe—hears and understands our anguish, the healing process becomes operational.

We were abused in secret; we lived with our secrets.
Now we're ready to bring the truth into the open.

(This post was adapted from Not Quite Healed, written by Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe.)


Andrew Schmutzer said...

While it is true that many male survivors don't speak of their abuse due to shame (which female survivors can also have), this is more of an effect than a cause and it really doesn't explain the extreme Delayed Admission more common to men.

After some years of thinking and writing on male sexual abuse, I believe this delay is a result of several issues. For example, men are not socialized to speak of their pain or seek help for PTSD symptoms. How many male survivors have even told their Doctor?! Until recently, society was largely concerned that male survivors not re-victimize...that was considered male "healing." So numerous stereotypes have been tacitly "sanctioned" when it comes to abused boys. Somewhere between patriarchy and proportionality arguments, society needs to shoulder this blame. Sadly, it has taken scandals like Penn State, the Citadel, and the Catholic Church to help people see how epidemic abuse of males can be. Until society gives men permission to feel, not just work, we will wonder if 1 in 6 men is not actually closer to 1 in 4. But will we invite them to speak?

Roger Mann said...

I agree, well said Andrew.