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.


I recently read a powerful novel called Beartown, by Fredrick Backman, translated from the Swedish. Maya, age 15, is raped by Kevin, age 17. At the end of the chapter, the author writes this powerful statement: “For the perpetrator, rape lasts just a matter of minutes. For the victim, it never stops.”[1]

What does that mean for us—the survivors of sexual assault? First, as I’ve pointed out previously, we were raped. That’s a strong word, but we were molested before we were able to make our own choices. Chosen. Groomed. That’s also the reason I often used the term sexual assault.

Second, those words state the situation well. For perpetrators, it’s another conquest. I assume they feel satisfaction afterward; I hope they also feel guilt and shame. Regardless, they have the ability to push away such emotions and move on to the next victimization. To them, each of us was just another means to a temporary satisfaction.

But what about us—the victims? As Backman says, “it never stops.” Call it PTSD flashbacks or recurring memory. For us it never stops. At least not for a long, long time.

For Backman, the end seems hopeless. For some, that’s exactly what it is. But to those of us who are able to face our rape, pain, and humiliation, our stories can end in triumph.

For us, it’s not too late to have a happy ending. 

[1] Beartown by Fredrick Backman (Atria books, 2016), page 177.


Roger Mann said...

This comment was supposed to belong to this post but somehow got put on the previous one. I am re posting it here where it makes more sense.

I can so relate to that statement. For my dad it seemed like it was over and everything went back to normal. Looking back, I know now that was not completely true. He couldn't stop but I can see now from distance that it bothered him. I sent him an audio tape once as an adult confessing my problem with same sex attraction. He listened to it and then burned it. My mom asked me what was on it because he was physically ill for three days after listening. I never told her what was on that tape but I suspect she had an idea.

But that's only because my dad had a conscience. It bothered him what he did to me.

For me, it's still here. I have dreams about it sometimes. It's always in the back of my mind but not far. I can't stop thinking about it. I'm here, on this blog posting and commenting and reading books. I'd still be in counseling if I could afford it. I've wanted to write about it; tell my story but I know it would hurt a lot of people and open old wounds if I told the whole truth. Some would think I was lying. Some would know I'm not. And once again like at the funeral, the focus would be back on me.

But now, I want the focus on God and how he can give courage and strength to overcome. So maybe thinly veiled fiction?

There once was a little boy who loved Jesus...

Cecil Murphey said...

Roger, again, thank you for your transparency. What courage that must have taken for you to confront your father who was also your perpetrator. Cec

Unknown said...

This is the closest to hell that I have ever been. I find it hard to trust just about anybody, including God. I wish there was an escape from this dark hole I am in. I can't fix myself nor anybody.