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#43101 - 06/20/03 05:11 PM Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
"It is important to define sexual abuse clearly because what we call something determines how we react to it. As Finkelhor says, 'What people think
sexual abuse is and how seriously they take it affects how they behave'." ("Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse," by Mic Hunter, p 5).

In other words slowly but surely & to some extent
non-male survivors are going to think sexual abuse
is what we say it is as more & more of us continue
to share our stories (even anonymously). Thus the more seriously non-survivors, especially those of power & influence, will take sexual victimization of males, and the more they will behave in ways that will be of benefit to male survivors and to other men before they can be abused.

Right now if you look up or try to find legal definitions of sexual abuse, especially of males, well lots of luck! Definitions often don't include
males at all; even when they do, they are usually way too narrow & limited, i.e. to "rape" or "sexual assault" perhaps.

What is sexual abuse? Mic Hunter writes, "But I am
not writing about data or evidence in the legal sense. I am writing about people and their pain. My definition is based on what people have told me
hurt them." (Abused Boys, pp 4 & 5).

Bottom line: If someone has been hurt & says they have been hurt by the sexual behaviors of others, they have by definition been sexually abused. Period.

So here is a somewhat lengthy & specific tho not complete definition of sexual abuse. There are other good & similar ones out there. Hopefully this will help to clarify for us that for certain we were sexually abused, and help us to speak with clarity & certainty about just what happened to us, how it affected us, and what we think should be done about it.

Quote:
Sexual abuse involves any contact or interaction whereby a vulnerable person (usually a child or adolescent) is used for the sexual stimulation of an older, stronger, or more influential person.

Sexual abuse is much broader than forced, unforced, or simulated intercourse. It includes any touching, rubbing, or patting that is meant to arouse sexual pleasure in the offender. It may also involve visual, verbal, or psychological interaction where there is no physical contact.

Visual sexual abuse may involve exposing a victim
to pornography or to any other sexually provocative scene (including exposure to showering, intercourse, or various states of undress).

Verbal sexual abuse involves an attempt to seduce or shame a child by the use of sexual or suggestive words.

Psychological sexual abuse includes interactions where a child is regularly used to play the role of an adult spouse, confidant, or counselor. For example, a mother who tells her 12-year-old son her sexual frustrations with his father, and shares her deep thoughts and feelings with him in a way that invites him to a level of adult intimacy, has violated the young man's sexual identity.
(from "When Trust Is Lost: Healing for Victims of Sexual Abuse" by Dan Allendar, available free at http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/cb922/intro (Yes it does have a Christian orientation but there is a lot of good info here for anyone.)

This is not a complete list and the examples could
be virtually endless. You might add something from
your own experience.

A good question to contemplate:
Quote:
In what ways has your definition helped you not to have to
feel the full impact of your (your loved one's) abuse?
Naming the pain is an important first step in facing & dealing with the pain.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#43102 - 06/20/03 05:46 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
godsrabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 98
i think i had a pretty poor definition for years...

mostly because i was determined not to judge another harshly...

rape is rape...that one was easy to put my finger on, but the others were so gray, particularly the last, that it was four years before i said: okay wait a minute, something is seriously wrong here.

since then, i have been more realistic about the level of "victimization" i was under....

i still, however, accept my responsibility for my part in it as an adult. as a child and a teenager i was mostly baffled and frightened, but there was little excuse for my fear as an adult.

i bargained for something i wanted and i used my body as currency...i knew it was wrong and i did it anyway...it was wrong of him and it was wrong of me.

i used to take all the blame on myself, but with a more realistic definition of abuse, i know that this is a shared failure to do the right thing (in this instance)....


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#43103 - 06/20/03 07:53 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Godsrabbit
I get the feeling that your almost there, you're nearly putting the blame exactly where it lies.

You realise fully that your abuse when younger was wrong, you were "frightened and baffled" - I bet we all were.

Carry that on until you were an adult, what changed ?
Did anyone tell you that what happened was wrong and would affect you deeply ? I don't know, but I suspect there was nobody there to tell you.

So why on earth would you think any different when somebody else took advantage of you ?
You were programmed by your childhood experiences into accepting what happened.

I know now that my acting out with strangers was nothing more than my teenage abuse being continued.
Ok, I was an adult - I was 45yo and reasonably educated, married, and heterosexual - but I still went looking for other men to have sex with because I was taught at a young and very impressionable time that all I was good for was being a sex object for others.

I've said here many times before that my abusers led me by the hand to the stinking toilets where I had sex with strangers, and I KNOW that is what happened.
I acted out against all my instincts and ........morals I suppose.

My self esteem was nil, I'd lost most of the normal guidlines regarding sex and relationships because I'd been taught the wrong ones by my abusers, so I knew no different.

From what I've read about you here so far I feel that the difference between us is you entered an abusive 'relationship' and I had sex with strangers.
But the differences aren't so important, it doesn't matter what we do - drink and drugs, severe depression or whatever - go back and look at the causes of what we do as adults and you'll find it's our childhood influences that made us the men we are / were.

Being a Survivor is all about finding our way as adults once again, and to do that we must go back and put right the damage done to us as kids.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#43104 - 06/20/03 10:22 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Thanks Lloydy.. ;\)

WELL PUT!! Plain...simple...accurate...true! \:D

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#43105 - 06/20/03 10:34 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
godsrabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 98
thank you lloydy...

i think the blame is precisely where it belongs...


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#43106 - 06/21/03 10:00 AM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Rabbit:

Quote:
You were programmed by your childhood experiences into accepting what happened.
Also, many of us got stuck at the emotional age of our abuse. So tho we are physically adults we may still be emotionally children, acting & dealing with things accordingly. We know no other way.

Which means it's not our fault.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#43107 - 06/21/03 01:58 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Guys - Just a quick jumpin here about "Why define sexual abuse?" IMHO most people don't realize that only one-third of sexual abuse is really hands on. They believe if no one touched me, then nothing happened :rolleyes: ...on the contrary!!! In order for these folk to understand, acknowledge and accept their abuse, there needs to be a somewhat standard/universal definition of sexual abuse. BTW did you know those who were physically abused demonstrate about the same symptoms as those sexually abused?

Good thread!!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#43108 - 06/21/03 02:09 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
godsrabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 98
i appreciate what you all are trying to say and i really am not trying to be difficult, i apologize...

but right and wrong are black and white...

i knew it was wrong. that is what i accept responsibility for...even if i was trapped emotionally at the age of eight, i still knew it was wrong.

i do not think there is anything wrong with understanding one's part in cooperating with their own abuse...how else do you prevent it from happening again?


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#43109 - 06/21/03 06:46 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
TRIGGER WARNING

Godsrabbit
when I was at boarding school and the abuse was happening ( 11 to 16 yo ) I was 'trained' by my abusers to initiate sex sessions with them.

They did this by initially engaging me in some mutual masturbation, which on a scale of 1 to 10 is pretty low ( but still abusive )
When I showed resistance at going further I was forcibly raped by the gang of about 5 or 6 older boys. From then on resistance was futile, especially as the headmaster discovered what had happened and did nothing about it.

From then on all the two ringleaders had to do was catch my attention across the dining room and I would wait outside for them and ask "what do you want to do, can I suck you off or do you want to fuck me ?" ( hell, that's still hard to write ! ) but that's what I did, If there was just one of them I'd ask if the other one was going to join us.

Was I cooperating ? did I really want to do those things ? was I responsible ?

Well, for over 30 years I believed the answer was "yes" - I was convinced I was just as perverted as they were. Actually I didn't even think "we" were perverted - I thought it was just something I did.

And it's no surprise to me now that I acted out with other men as an adult. And it's less surprise that I asked the same kind of questions to the strangers I met either.

It's taken therapy, hard work, and a renewed belief in myself to finally put those lies to rest.

I had NO RESPONSIBILITY for what happened, I was persuaded, bribed, pushed, coerced and finally beaten into doing what they wanted.
They made me ask them for sex to ease their conscience at the time.

They were liars.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#43110 - 06/21/03 07:44 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
godsrabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 98
dave,

i know you mean well and i understand what you are saying, truly...

but if you know it is wrong to kill someone and you do it anyway, you are still a murderer. all i am saying is that i chose (for whatever reasons) to do this thing.

i think what you are saying is important and i think it applies to many people here and in the world. and i am going to stop pushing this issue because i do not expect anyone to understand what i mean when i say i accept responsibility for cooperating with an abusive situation....


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#43111 - 06/22/03 05:39 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Me, I make a distinction between cooperating in a sexually abusive situation and being sexually abused. The two can become easily confused even with adult hindsight many years later. Most perps will try to convince their victims that they cooperated, trying to salve what conscience they have and deny their responsibility if caught. This
is psychological & verbal sexual abuse.

Sex can be mutually abusive but not abuse of one by the other becuz it is mutual & consensual. Consensual is the key. IMNSHO a child cannot possibly be in a consensual sexual relationship with an adult.

It is important that we remember that SA, as Allender says, is not only physical sexual contact
of any kind, but is often also (or only) visual, verbal, or psychological.

According to Mic Hunter, sexual abuse (of children; also applies to anyone in a position of relative powerlessness in relation to someone else) can include:

  • The adult sexually touching the child
  • Having the child touch the adult sexually
  • Photographing the child for sexual purposes
  • Sexualized talk
  • Showing the child pornographic materials or making them available to the child
  • Making fun of or ridiculing the child's sexual development, pereferences, or organs
  • The adult exposing his or her genitals to the child for sexual gratification
  • Masturbating or otherwise being sexual in front of the child
  • Voyeurism
  • Forcing overly rigid rules on dress or overly revealing dress
  • Stripping to hit or spank, or getting sexual excitement out of hitting
  • Verbal and emotional abuse of a sexual nature
  • Having the child be sexual with animals
  • Engaging the child in prostitution
  • Witnessing others being sexually abused

("Abused Boys" pp 8 & 9)

Perhaps first we need to have a working definiton of SA so that we can know that we have in fact been sexually abused. From there maybe we can begin to take responsibility for any acting out by cooperating in a sexually abusive situation, while not blaming ourselves for any sexual abuse perpetrated against us.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#43112 - 06/22/03 07:27 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Victor - Isn't it interesting that of the 15 items you listed, only 3 (as I count) engage the perp physically touching the victim sexually? So many victims feel if the perp didn't touch me nor I him/her, did sexual abuse occur? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry I got carried away...wait a minute...!!!!!
I had 5 more !'s left!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

Top
#43113 - 06/22/03 10:43 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Howard,

I think the big thing about sexual abuse for society is the sexual part. As you pointed out, the symptoms of physical abuse are very similiar to those of sexual abuse. Trust issues, lack of confidence in your own perceptions, difficulty recognizing and expressing your own feelings, difficulty expressing any feelings appropriately are all symptoms of simply having an actively drinking alcoholic parent, too.

There are sexuality issues which don't necessarily come from the other kinds of abuse. But many things are in common in victims of all these various "flavors" of abuse.

Society needs to learn how to treat children. I was a kid when I read an interview with Gene Roddenberry where he said that "children's rights" would be the next big issue for society. That guy was onto something.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#43114 - 06/22/03 10:46 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Victor

Your link is not functional?

Quote:
(from "When Trust Is Lost: Healing for Victims of Sexual Abuse" by Dan Allendar, available free at http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/cb922/intro (Yes it does have a Christian orientation but there is a lot of good info here for anyone.)
Ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


Top
#43115 - 06/22/03 10:58 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Victor and all,

You bring us an important, thought provoking topic for our discussion.

So many good things being said, and lots of challenging things, too, which is even more positive.

I know that there are, fortunately, those among us survivors who have careers directly involved with the social tragedy of sexual abuse. Lawyers, doctors, counselors and the list goes on. Their contribution is invaluable as professionals but probably even more so as survivors.

I am in none of these professions, though I am in a teaching position, so I guess I have to rethink that one.

Nevertheless I believe that my most important contribution to the definition of SA is what I have to offer in my role as a survivor of sexual abuse. The word survivor says it all.

I was there, it happened to me and only have made it this far with great difficulty. I have survived.

For me as a survivor, the primary focus of my interest is in recovering from the sexual abuse.
My personal recovery is the greatest contribution I can make to the recovery of others. I suspect this to be true of the doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs (me) among us.

Just as doctors focus on the medical aspects of sexual abuse, and lawyers on the legal ramifications, my 'training' by experience is focussed on healing the damage inflicted by the abuser.

This is not a task to be taken lightly. None of the other highly trained professionals can offer the direct experience, personal, one-on-one contact of one survivor sharing with another.

Medical, legal and social organizations without exception recognize this personal identification with one another as an indispensable first step in recovery from the injurious effects of the abuse.

Let's face it. If we did not continue to suffer long after the abuse was over, by acting out, harming ourselves, our marriages and society in general, our abuse would not be of any great concern to anyone but a few us. If it didn't hurt so goddamned much we could have forgotten it.

But it does hurt that much. Enough to make us willing to speak the unspeakable truth; the truth that most people including us do not want to know.

We do not want to know it either and I personally went to great lengths in trying to damage my brain enough to erase the shame and guilt.

Other people have a choice. They can choose to ignore or diminish or attenuate all they want.

I can't. It has almost killed me more than once.
I don't want to look down the barrel of that loaded gun again to see if it still has bullets.

The reason society, through legal, medical and other agencies is concerned with child sexual abuse is because they have become aware of the tremendous cost in human life; the wasteful spending of human resources that comes as the result of the abuse.

Society has begun to act against abuse, because abuse is robbing society of some very valuable assets--us.

This site is such a great resource. I am so glad to have found it. I could not understand my own life; it made no sense. Putting the information
supplied by the professionals (all of which by the way comes from informants, patients, clients, like us) to bring light on my own experience is the only way that it has started to make sense.

So I would suggest that we as survivors can make an invaluable contribution to the coming to believe process that is occurring in society at large.

Without survivors, there would be no data for the experts. Without men brave enough to bear witness there would be no moral outrage. Without the tragic loss of youth and life, counted in bodies and psyches lost and damaged, society would NEVER act to recognize, prevent or help heal the sad legacy of male sexual abuse.

All of our efforts, when joined together will begin to banish this blight from our midst.

But it is the voice of the survivor that is the wake up call to the society at large, professionals or laymen. I was silent for too long. It is so good to have this safe forum to speak from.

So I would propose that one way to focus our efforts in this forum towards a definition of male sexual abuse specifically is from our own personal experience, strength and hope.

What happened to us, what it did to us and what we are like now is the most powerful tool for bringing the plight of the male sexual abuse victim to the forefront of public conciousness.

Our bodies, our psyches and our spirits corroded by the perfidious, corrupting attack of sexual abuse, become powerful exhibits, undeniable evidence in the calling to account of the sexual abusers and their enablers.

For me that would mean that I begin to recognize that my mother's boy friends who talked to me about screwing women when I was 7 or 8 was the early types of abuse in my life.

It is only now that I can see the germ of sexual abuse being introduced into my life by this talk. When later as a teenager, I was seduced by a man 4 times my age, I have to recognize in all justice that as a continuation of the talk of the man when I was 7 or 8.
The sex continued until I was over 21. That fact of going back for it, of wanting it after I was the age of majority is one false belief that kept me isolated and alone for so long.

So I reject that as a definition of abuse. No one should be abused--no matter what age, sex, orientation, state of inebriation. That after the fact of this recognition we as individuals may find it well advised to review any aspects of our conduct that might lead us to that abuse, does not negate the primary culpability of the abuser--whatever his age, status or state of mind.

Of course the law recognizes all manner of mitigating circumstances, but for the purposes of assigning responsibility these are not our primary concern.

If you expect me to go back to believing that because I was 21, that it would be helpful for me to take responsibility away from him, then I would refuse as a survivor. Since I was the one he seduced and molested for 5+ years, he must also take the responsibility then. I was his creature. He was the creator and must take the blame for his creatures.
Even if the legal, social or medical opinions
differ, for the sake of my own health, sanity and
life I must assert this fundamental protection.

For me, the ongoing nature of the problems caused in my life by the experience of sexual abuse, should be an important part of any definition.

For me as a survivor, my definitions of abuse must be in the context of what helps heal and what doesn't. The definition must be practical as well as true.

The way I understood what happened in my life
when I took all the responsiblity for the abuse,
DID NOT WORK. It almost killed me. A more humane and sane definition of abuse that allows me to feel, to become aware and to lay down the burden of guilt and shame the abuser piled on me
is what I have found here in the powerful testimony of my fellows.

I love you guys so much. And I just found you and perhaps I'll never even meet you. But I love you because of the way you let me feel about myself.

That love for one another, that way of understanding the way no one who hasn't survived sexual abuse can, is what must shape our contribution to a definition of sexual abuse.

It's in a way rather ironic. The story of our salvation is contained in the stories of our perdition.

So my definition continues to evolve as more of my life story becomes revealed to me. And for that reason I hope to continue to come back and listen and learn and continue to grow.

My definition of abuse and recovery will continue to grow. And so will I.

Victor, you really got me going on this one--the blood's pumping and I'm ready to testify.

But here, I know that I am "preaching to the choir"...you guys already believe. And with your support we can contribute our stories, show our scars, justify our tears and sorrow by helping others and society as a whole.

In my faith, I am taught that justice is more important than forgiveness.

What do you think? Is justice or the lack thereof a part of the definition of abuse?

Thanks for giving me the compassion and love I was unable to give myself. I hope I always remember to be grateful.

Your brother refusing to be defined by but willing to contribute to a definition of abuse, \:\)

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#43116 - 06/23/03 10:15 AM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Friends, [>>>>>>TRIGGER WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!]

We need to share the details of our abuse most especially in arenas such as these where concerned parties are watching and gathering info for use in support of our progressive recoveries.
These parties, our saviors, have the power to help us change the course of events which transpired from our having been victimized, and to take that info, synthesize it into a public plan of action, and credibly establish a platform from which the stories of our emotional, psychological and spiritual devastation might be recounted. Our lives as survivors can be changed, the lives of future victims might not be aborted so tragically and with such far reaching results as we have known.
In light of this I respond to Victor's list and propose to supply the specific details of how each of the points in the list have occured for my experience. Perhaps this could become a new thread that might be better placed in a different forum, but if moderators choose to do so, then so be it. A tip of the hat ( yeah, I got the hat AND the T-shirt) to Mic:


  • The adult sexually touching the child; An older brother who was placed in charge took advantage of me and nearly all my 7 brothers and sisters, by initiating us sexually before our time. The abuse continued until he graduated from high school and left the home. Unless someone helps unpacks this, how will the world ever asses the extent of the damage that this caused?
  • Having the child touch the adult sexually;.....This occured as an ongoing part of the abuse
  • Photographing the child for sexual purposes.....N/A
  • Sexualized talk;..........My mother once said to me in a conversation "I never turned your father down". Another time she told me that she had discovered evidence that one of my younger brother's had been masturbating.
  • Showing the child pornographic materials or making them available to the child........N/A
  • Making fun of or ridiculing the child's sexual development, pereferences, or organs; Being gay, I always lived in fear of being discovered; it was the society in general that ridiculed my preferences. When I later came out, the parents further ridiculed this preference by being vacant about it and refusing to acknowledge it.
  • The adult exposing his or her genitals to the child for sexual gratification;...... Don't know what to make of this, but once as a small child I remember that my mother's mother came into the bathroom while I was drying myself off after taking a bath. Without knocking she came in, lifted her dress and prodeeded to use the toilet!? What the F***!
  • Masturbating or otherwise being sexual in front of the child;..... Older brother used to sit in my father's recliner when the parents were not home and masturbate through his jeans while the rest of us were sitting watching TV
  • Voyeurism; No incidences to report, but surely it follows that there was a lot of covert "watching" going on in this family.
  • Forcing overly rigid rules on dress or overly revealing dress;...... We were not allowed to be seen in public areas of the house in our underclothes. However, my father would sleep nude and leave the bedroom door open just a crack............. This was confusing and seemed incongruous to the puritanical rule of enforced modesty.
  • Stripping to hit or spank, or getting sexual excitement out of hitting;..... This was the parents favorite form of punishment. First, of course you had to fetch your instrument of torture, then you were told to drop your pants. there was a lot of cruelty involved.
  • Verbal and emotional abuse of a sexual nature;.....
    I found out about a romantic fling my mother was having one day when I discovered cards from her "lover" in her dresser drawer, I knew the guy and confronted him, and said it was "pure". Hell, I was only 15 and here I am asking about this.........
    Also, my younger sister was abused by a neighbor and the parents did absolutely nothing about it!
  • Having the child be sexual with animals;..... n/a
  • Engaging the child in prostitution;..... n/a
  • Witnessing others being sexually abused; ..... I frequently walked in on my older brother having sex with other siblings. It freaked me out.


I want to see the effects of abuse publicized to all the world, so that unhealthy shame around this issue might begin to subside. It will not be until we become vocal, and let out the BIG secrets, that we will begin to establish credibility, initiate a new consciouness around the whole subject of sex, and create new legislation that will cause people to think twice before thinking that they can get away with these and other types of behaviors. Once others begin to understand how they have been sexually abused then true healing can begin.

I have to admit that in this post I have triggered myself, so I need to slink off and lick some wounds. Thanks for the opportunity to share,

Ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#43117 - 06/23/03 11:18 AM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
OK, guys, I've had some time to digest some of this stuff, so I'm going to make a real effort to be concise: \:D

Topic: Why Define Sexual Abuse?

1) Because others are busy already defining sexual abuse, constantly, everyday.

2) It is vital to my recovery and others that the VOICE of the survivor be the primary source of knowledge informing all efforts at definition.

A definition of sexual abuse must: (tentative only)

Be as inclusive as possible.

Be seen above all in the context of recovery/healing for victims and then society.

Be informed primarily by the story of those who have survived.

Be such that no further harm be caused any victim.

Be always mindful that the definition of abuse is of utmost importance to survivors.

Be concerned more by justice than by poorly defined personal concepts of forgiveness.

Victor, you've really put the focus where it can do a lot of good.

My suggestion would be that as male survivors of sexual abuse, we continue to record and post out own personal histories (thanks for that Ron); using these stories as a knowledge base from which to extract patterns, commonalities etc.

Working from that incredibly powerful resource, create OUR, the survivors definition of abuse.

People can argue over theories and contend about interpretations, but our experiences form an unassailable base from which the SURVIVORS definition of abuse can help heal and comfort those affected.

Let others in the world who help define sexual abuse have access to our 'definition by experience': let this be what shapes others attempts at more narrow (legalistic, medical etc) definitions.

It's like I have learned that "minor surgery" is only "minor" to the people not having it!

Simply, our definition of abuse, whatever form it may take, should/will be the FUNDAMENTAL, PRIMARY, GENERATIVE locus from which the world at large understands (defines) the sexual abuse of males.

Otherwise, we risk cutting off parts of our lives that don't happen to fit the definitions imposed by those for whom it is but a theory.

Ron, what a great idea.

Victor, what about making a list of characteristics, traits, general impressions gathered from our own personal experiences here on this site?

We could form a data base which we could be very sure of. Then begin to extrapolate
parameters and exclude some false beliefs.

This is a good topic; not just for discussion, but for action.

Back for a second cup, Joe.

Have a good one, y'all

You're the best.

ONWARD TOWARDS THE
"SURVIVORS DEFINITION OF ABUSE"!!!

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#43118 - 06/23/03 07:13 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
TRIGGER WARNING

Quote:
I am writing about people and their pain. My definition is based on what people have told me
hurt them.
This much comes from Mic Hunter's book. The stuff that Victor quotes is based on things from real survivors, so we're off to a good start.

Injustice is very much part of any definition I could devise. I knew what happened was wrong. To me Justice deals with questions of right and wrong, and justice, Dept of deals with legal and illegal. Two very different things to my mind.

Pain is part of the definition. Physical pain, emotional pain, enduring pain.

Obviously, the victim has to see the abuse as something which involves or affects his sexuality to be sexual abuse, as opposed to something else. When he grabbed my balls I knew there was something sexual going on. When he dragged me around like a f****ng rag doll, no, like a blow up sex toy doll, I knew something sexual was going on. But it wasn't sex, it was abuse of sex. Damn, I got so confused. I'm still confused.

Fear is part of the definition. Fear of losing a relationship, or the fear that comes over a boy who wonders if the night cap will be his own death in a squalid apartment. Then no one can tell what just happened.

I don't know why this is all coming out now, but it is. I'll try again later to post something more constructive. Maybe it's just too much caffeine. \:\)

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#43119 - 06/23/03 07:26 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
There's mentions here of some things that might well be considered "side issues" by many of us, the sort of parental behaviours, peer behaviours etc that might not seem terribly important in the big picture - but maybe they were.

For me my first sexual experience was when I was about 4 yo and standing wide eyed looking into a toy shop window, my parents were close by looking in another shop window and keeping an eye on me.

A man stood alongside me wearing a long coat, took my hand and placed it inside the coat and on his penis.
My dad saw that 'something' was going on and came rushing over and the man fled. So far so good.
But I don't remember having anything explained to me, maybe they did, but knowing my parents I somehow doubt it. They protected me, but failed to prepare me for any future instances by their silence.

And the silence continued, they never mentioned sex in any shape or form in my presence, not to this day.
So the next older boy who engaged me in sex games when I was about 7 or 8 yo went unchallenged.

The abuse when I started boarding school at 11 yo was probably a foregone conclusion, and it was only my resistance ( why or how I resisted is a mystery but I did ) that led to a brutal gang rape that convinced me that resistance was futile, and the abuse continued until I was 16.

Possibly my 'resistance' was all my own doing, because I had no idea of good or bad sex, I had no idea of sex period !
The early, pre rape, experiences I have never really counted in my history of abuse, I mentioned them in therapy but didn't dwell or work on them. They've never featured in my many and varied sexual fantasies.
But they were abuse, I know that. But was my ignorance, and lack of education, also an abuse ?

I think it might well be, I apportion 'blame' on the cold and unemotional upbringing I had, even though I know I was loved and cared for - it was never shown and demonstrated.
It wasn't a deliberate abuse, and I'm loathed to call it that really, it was just the way my parents were. It was all they knew, and the life they lived at the time didn't tell them any different.

I guess I'm asking "is the ignorance that allows sexual abuse, abuse in it's own right ?"

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#43120 - 06/23/03 10:28 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Dave,

Quote:
Originally posted by Lloydy:
There's mentions here of some things that might well be considered "side issues" by many of us, the sort of parental behaviours, peer behaviours etc that might not seem terribly important in the big picture - but maybe they were.
I find this statement to be unsettling. This smacks of the same type of remarks that I have heard all my life; remarks which basically have served to reduce the systemic responsibility, and attribute it solely to the deranged imagination or perception of the victim. Who is to say what constitutes abuse for another? I bought into that all my life and suffered as I tried to refrain from vomiting out their "truth", like a bad meal on Fear Factor. In finally accepting that I was not "crazy" I have received a whole lot of freedom.
Older "in charge" males [whether they are brothers or not] are not peers, and in the system in which I was reared authoritarianism and power ruled with an iron fist. The older abusing brother was dubbed "The Captain" by the parental unit and their parents. My remembrance of a few details [however hazy and incomplete] does not in any way begin to denote the scope of this horror factory. And any rape is not about sex, but about power. We're talking about this issue of the sexual abuse of boys as if it somehow exists in a vacuum. I would venture to say, and I dislike absolutes, that in all probablility all sexual abuses contain the element of a lack of balance of power. That is not an original idea, but I know from personal experience that this is the real issue. Sexual abuse is but one possible result of a power hungry ego wielding its unrelenting scabbard, but it is one that has effected all of us who have found our way to the forum. And it is the one that is the original focus of this thread.
Where we find an obstacle is in the discussion of it outside of the vacuum as a stand alone issue and placing in the context of its relationship to personal experience. We need to talk about the general, but we can't shy away from the specifics however unpalatable or seemingly insignificant they may be from our own personal viewpoint . Sure, when Vic first introduced his groundbreaking work, its ideas were so fresh that it needed to be focused as an issue that stood on its own. Discussing it as adjunct to other issues would have made the work far too cumbersome, and the value of it would have been diluted. His putting it in terms where the common person could begin to comprehend its subject engaged the culture in a discussin of its best kept secret.
However, with the hindsight we now have, we must begin to synthesize all of the knowledge and work that has been accomplished since its inception. And in that synthesis we must include generalities but also the detailed specifics of real people and their personal experiences. What better place to do that than here?

I suppose the statement from which I quoted could have been miscontrued by me as meaning something you did not intend. I apologize if that is so, but just to be on the safe side, and to exercise my right to speak, as as well exorcise my own demons as they emerged, I felt compelled to speak in support of the last words:

Quote:
- but maybe they were. [/QB]
Sincerely,

Ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#43121 - 06/24/03 01:55 AM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
One common element in all the discussion so far

IMHO, is that the definition of sexual abuse must

come from the experience of those who have

suffered from it.

Imagine a triangle--wide at the base, narrow at

top.

The base is the support, the foundation.

In matters of defining sexual abuse, the means of

supplying meaning comes from the bottom up to

the top.

It is very atypical of most common hierarchies.

This definition should not and must not be imposed

from the top, experts, saints, preachers, well

meaning do-gooders. It must flow upwards from the

strong base of survivor experience, strength and

hope.

This is the repudiation of the abuse of power

where the higher up, the older and more powerful

dominate and control those below and beneath.

If our experience as survivors is contradicted by

expert opinion or authoritarian edict, then it is

our responsibility as survivors to refuse such

limits and claim our right to our own lives.

With time and effort, the Survivors definition

will come to be the most widely held, accepted

standard of judgement. Consider the example of

alcoholism. Today it is the definition of the

alcoholic himself that informs most modern

thinking and policy regarding that social problem.
(esp. in the US.)

We can create the atmosphere for this type of

change in the way sexual abuse is seen only if we

are willing to speak out and demand justice for

ourselves and for all those who have

suffered and continue to suffer in silence.

THIS IS NOT A THEORY FOR US! Others may have

the luxury of debating fine points of circumstance

or variations on degrees of respective culpability

but these will be of little solace to those

seeking relief or like me who have reached the

end and do not know where to turn.

Joe, you are so right on the money, sex abuse is

about the use of sex as a weapon of

domination. We must resist any attempt, however,

well-meaning to diminish the truth of our own

lives. We've all tried that strategy before....

Thanks for a stimulating and very real thread...

With much affection for my fellows,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#43122 - 06/24/03 11:39 AM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
godsrabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 98
the problem is most people do not have the capability to discern for themselves...

though there has been much abuse in my life, i am better now discerning what was abuse and what was circumstantial or growing up sort of knocks.

i am NOT minimizing for ANYONE ELSE. i am saying we can all fall easily into a trap of self-victimization if we listen too much to the wrong sort of influences.


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#43123 - 06/24/03 03:08 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
Victor - Isn't it interesting that of the 15 items you listed, only 3 (as I count) engage the perp physically touching the victim sexually? So many victims feel if the perp didn't touch me nor I him/her, did sexual abuse occur? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Howard, I hadn't noticed that specifically. You make a very good point.

As painful as the physical incest was for me the visual incest was worse becuz it went on almost constantly. As did the psychological aka
"emotional-sexual incest" which was perhaps the worst of all, being made a surrogate husband, and father as well. \:\( Many other survivors have said the same kind of thing right here.

Oh yes, it was abuse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Borrowed some of you exclamation points Howard!)
:p \:D

Ron:

Thanks for the dead link tip. This one seems to be working:

http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/cb922/intro

Quote:
In my faith, I am taught that justice is more important than forgiveness.

What do you think? Is justice or the lack thereof a part of the definition of abuse?
No doubt in my mind, Danny: abuse by definition includes a lack of justice, or injustice. So our advocacy & activism is vital, if justice is to be served as part of our healing, whatever that means
for each of us.

Quote:
Your brother refusing to be defined by but willing to contribute to a definition of abuse,
Amen to that Danny!

Quote:
I want to see the effects of abuse publicized to all the world, so that unhealthy shame around this issue might begin to subside. It will not be until we become vocal, and let out the BIG secrets, that we will begin to establish credibility, initiate a new consciouness around the whole subject of sex, and create new legislation that will cause people to think twice before thinking that they can get away with these and other types of behaviors. Once others begin to understand how they have been sexually abused then true healing can begin.
Ron you are so right, and putting Mic's list (which anyone can add to as needed) in a separate thread for us to make personal responses to as you have is a good idea. So I'm going to copy Mic's list and your response to a separate thread where I'll post a response of my own & encourage others to do likewise.

Quote:
I have to admit that in this post I have triggered myself, so I need to slink off and lick some wounds. Thanks for the opportunity to share,
Ron one reason we survivors--and others--don't want to define, name and talk specifically about SA is that it can be so triggering. Thanks for your courage in being ready to take that risk
and I hope you get to feeling better.

Quote:
Victor, what about making a list of characteristics, traits, general impressions gathered from our own personal experiences here on this site?
Danny, another great idea. Perhaps you can get us started with this in another thread? \:\)

Quote:
I guess I'm asking "is the ignorance that allows sexual abuse, abuse in it's own right ?"
Gosh Dave ask a simple shallow question why don't you?!

My answer, in a word: YES.

Is it sexual abuse? Depends on what exactly
is done but I think often it is. Not being taught & modeled a healthy view of sexuality seems to me to be SA, an abuse of power at least by neglect.

Quote:
the problem is most people do not have the capability to discern for themselves...

though there has been much abuse in my life, i am better now discerning what was abuse and what was circumstantial or growing up sort of knocks.

i am NOT minimizing for ANYONE ELSE. i am saying we can all fall easily into a trap of self-victimization if we listen too much to the wrong sort of influences.
Good point Rabbit. My thot is that we must together learn to discern for ourselves, or we will surely continue to victimize ourselves & be victimized by others as well. For me, defining my SA specifically & clearly out of the knowledge available and my own experience is key to this.

Men thanks for your great contributions to this thread so far, and to it's "spin-offs!" ;\)

Certainly this all can contribute greatly to our cause as male survivors...

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#43124 - 06/24/03 05:09 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
I'd venture to say, possible >>>>TRIGGGGGERR<<<<
Superb thread,

One of the things that has encouraged and strengthened me to "conquer" the next "ism" in my chain of addictions [alcohol, drugs promiscuity, relationships, nicotine, food, etc] that were a direct effect of the abuses of my youth, resulting in me as "boy, interrupted", has been the desire to find out who I was "beyond the crutches"

It has taken many many years to climb this mountain, and each time I beat one and another showed its ugly face, the passion to "be" rose up within to overtake as surely as morning light overtakes the darkness. Funny, but it does not work the other way around. Darkness never overtakes the light, rather light submits to the darkness and always returns victorious.

What the abuse [and possibly the simple dysfunction of growing up and through the circumstances] afforded me was a very clear focus of how my life was to be designed. While the earliest years of my existence were the ones that "made" me, I have been given the will and desire to "unmake me" as i see fit. How do i see fit? I wish to be made in the likeness of my creator, with the unlimited ability to celebrate all of the components of my being, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, all unencumbered by the extra restrains imposed by manmade codes of ethics. This is what true freedom means to me, and what true America means to me.

When our ancestors came to this country to excape religious persecution [and other persecutions], did they come here to say what freedom would NOT be? Somehow in the process of our becoming a nation a new form of persecution has arisen in the form of legislations, religious and judicial, that seek to control the rights of individuals to determine their fate [pursue happiness]. I am neither a historian nor a politician, but this seems to me to be the same thing that original settlers were trying to flee from.

How does this factor into the current thread? We have simply created mini societies [families] that subscribe to these determinations of propriety, and use whatever degrees of covert or overt technique they deem necessary to enforce their strictures. Evolutionary consciousness created a vision nearly 2 centuries ago for the fledgling government to learn how to free its subjects from the crippling effects of sanctioned control of ethical standards, but its seems we have just succeeded in learning what NOT to do. Unfortunately, of the two roads that stretched before them, material opportunism and spiritual freedom, we all know well which was chosen.

It is marvelous to see the whole unveiling of the BIG secret, right before our very eyes at this moment in history, what with the current scandal in the church. The very mouth that proclaims such superfluous, sanctimonious, supercilious, self-righteous platitudes ends up with a young child's di*k in it!!!!!! Huh!

At any rate, I am a subject of a government who has conditioned its members to behave against their own instincts; and in the process fostered an imposed artifically contructed morality that replaces a natural inclination toward justice, mercy and humility.

Which brings me to my point: I can't change how my immediate family responded to the mandate to "behave" or "believe" in a certain manner, which impacted the way in which they "raised" their progeny. I can't change how they bought into the silent mandate to keep the BIG secrets. But I can unpack the circumstances to see how I was affected by their unwitting attempt to build me "properly".

And I can also say, if you would have JUST LOVED ME, with all my faults and imperfections, I would not have to have taken the detour to "me" that I found it necessary to take for 40 years. I would have still made mistakes just like the rest of the human race, but I would not have made them from a fabricated sense of self. This is what I miss the most: all of the years that I lost in fostering the growth of the "naturally occuring Ron", a phenomenon that could never be duplicated. That is what I protest.

Someday I will have made peace with the fact that there is nothing that I can do to undo the damage of the past. But until that time comes I am determined to get to the point where I can begin again, with all ties to the past untied. Where I can say, okay, the playing field is level, and I am prepared to continue the next chapter as a person who is not carrying around, day after stinkin' day, moment after stinkin' moment, unresolved baggage of days, years, decades gone by.

The America that I want to see "become" must first be envisioned in my mind,

America, I know that you are somewhere
Sealed behind these walls of liberty
Ten thousand picks and chisels cannot save you
For only truth and time can set you free...........

It is breathtakingly awesome to watch it all unravel while yet becoming better still.......

Peace,

Ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#43125 - 06/24/03 07:26 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Ron
My use of the term "peer" certainly wasn't meant to include any perpetrator, the group of people I was describing is anyone who should have, could have, protected us, or influenced and educated us, when we really needed it.

I included parents, but many of you were abused by parents I know. So maybe teachers, uncles, preachers and family friends etc could form that group.
I suppose what I meant was anyone who was in a position to unwittingly help. Did the lack of information and guidance make things worse.

I believe they did for me, very drastically.
I knew nothing about what ws being done to me by other people, but at one time my own instincts kicked in and made me back away. I was then beaten into submission and my old 'ignorance' was therefore reinforced.

And I think we agree here -
Quote:
Which brings me to my point: I can't change how my immediate family responded to the mandate to "behave" or "believe" in a certain manner, which impacted the way in which they "raised" their progeny. I can't change how they bought into the silent mandate to keep the BIG secrets. But I can unpack the circumstances to see how I was affected by their unwitting attempt to build me "properly".
We can't undo our childhood influences, and those influences did play a big part in what happened.
Talking with the founder of Axis today ( the Survivors therapy charity I work at ) she said that abused members of families who have always been open and honest with each other, talk about sex in a normal way, very rarely come forward for therapy. The incidence of abuse is no less amongst these families but they are equipped to deal with it amongst themeselves, and generally do.
I was skeptical about this, but I respect her very extensive experience and knowledge and she did convince me.

I still wonder that in the definitions and criteria that we include to define sexual abuse, should we include the failure of those who should have made us more aware of the bad guys in long coats and what they might do ?

I think I'd include it personally, although I would hate to say my parents were "abusive"

Difficult eh ?

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#43126 - 06/25/03 09:46 AM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
To post your own definition of SA, with Mic Hunter's list to use as a guide as much as you want to, go to the thread "Defining Your Sexual Abuse" at http://www.malesurvivor.org/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=002148

Again, this could be a valuable exercise for you & for your fellow survivors. We cannot allow others to tell us what SA is or isn't--we KNOW!
We can use what we know to tell others, to change things for the better for ourselves, for all survivors, and for those not yet victims whom we hope will never have to be...

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#43127 - 06/25/03 11:11 AM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
I still wonder that in the definitions and criteria that we include to define sexual abuse, should we include the failure of those who should have made us more aware of the bad guys in long coats and what they might do ?
Dave,

I think we have to include it. It's too dangerous to ignore it.

Quote:
I think I'd include it personally, although I would hate to say my parents were "abusive"
That has been and remains difficult for me. One man, upon seeing my face, remarked that he would have called the police if he'd seen me getting that particular beating. But I have a hard time accepting that as physical abuse, because it means I have to reconcile the notion that my parents love me with the fact that they did these things.

And I haven't even begun to consider what the perp felt.

Quote:
Difficult eh ?
Yes, it is. For me at least, and it sounds like it is for you, too.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#43128 - 06/28/03 11:17 AM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Why Me:

Maybe you weren't raped. Maybe you were. But you've evidently read this enuf to see how varied the definitions of sexual abuse can be. You've also perhaps noticed some, including me, saying the most traumatic abuse was not necessarily actual instances of intercourse. For me it was the constant touching, exposing, and sexual overtones in the whole relationship between myself
& my mother. \:o

Why Me, you were sexually abused and that is definitely & always traumatic! Don't let anyone tell you it wasn't!

Here we are trying to define sexual abuse for ourselves: not what "experts" say it is, not what the government says it is, not what the legal system says it is. We were abused; we know what it is!

It might help you to look at the thread "Defining Your Sexual Abuse" and maybe even try doing the exercise there using the list if you can at
http://www.malesurvivor.org/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=002148

Quote:
I want to ask God for someone to be a friend to me. But whether I will deem myself worthy to accept that friendship is questionable.
Why Me we are all worthy of friendship & we all need it, especially from other men. This is a great place to find such friendships; I know I have. Just be careful & take your time about who you give personal info out to and do it thru private messages or private chat rather than in public areas like this one. (BTW read or re-read the Discussion Board Guidelines for more about this & other helpful stuff. \:\) )

What you've been thru is traumatic enuf you don't need anything worse. You can find & share comfort & friendship here with your fellow male survivors.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#43129 - 06/28/03 02:44 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
There was no penetration, so I haven't been raped. So what I have is a bad experience that is classified as unfortunate, but it is not considered a traumatic experience. But I still feel traumatized by it.
WhyMe,

Don't worry at all about the "classifications" because they don't matter a whit. What matters is

Quote:
It still hurts inside.
and that is ample reason for you to work on healing yourself. You do yourself no service by trying to compare your experience to a checklist or legal definition.

You said you thought you were raped as a child. That's it. Whether you could prove that in a courtroom or not is absolutely meaningless to us here. It hurts, and we know about hurt.

Thankfully, we know about helping one another. About listening, and sharing. So, get yourself used to it, and join us as you feel ready.

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#43130 - 06/28/03 04:31 PM Re: Why Define Sexual Abuse?
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I have responded to the "define your abuse" thread, but not to this one. I realize though, reading through this, I do not define the less forceful things as abuse. Just him touching in private areas, watching us shower or change clothes, call us names, I do not define those things as the abuse. Now I realize that they also were. And in defining my own abuse, I think nothing of my mom touching me. It did not hurt, it felt some good, she is my mom, so of course, it is not abuse? But now I realize, as it makes me feel strange now, it makes me feel less comfortable now, that I think in true it could be. I guess I was of old type of people who did not feel it was 'bad' if it was not by force, if it is more the subtle thing. I am learning though more, and realizing more of what is not right. Thank you for this post, it does make me think more.

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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