MaleSurvivor believes that there are 3 key concepts that can inform our understanding of what it takes to recover from a major trauma such as sexual abuse: Hope, Healing, & Support.
Hope means the knowledge that a survivor is not alone, and that recovery is possible.
Healing requires proactive commitment to do the hard work of recovery required of us as survivors.
Support reminds us that survivors often need both professional and personal connections to others who help recharge and encourage us.
Just as a seed requires sunlight and rain in order to sprout and grow, so too does a survivor require hope and support in order to be able to do the hard work of healing.
And just as a seed cannot generate it’s own sunlight or rain, neither can we demand a survivor be the source of his own hope and support.
The 4 “Seeds” or “Keys” of Hope
For survivors, it can be frustrating to hear that hope is possible while they continue to struggle with painful memories and feelings. Many people struggle with knowing what to say to survivors, especially when a survivor is just beginning to disclose. For partners and supporters of survivors, it is often stressful to feel like they don’t know how to respond when a survivor shares with them. MaleSurvivor suggests these 4 messages that are intended to “plant seeds of hope” in survivors that they can hold onto when they are feeling frustrated, sad, or otherwise in a negative space.
- You are not alone.
- The abuse was not your fault.
- It is possible to heal.
- It is never too late.
Far from being the “right” thing to say (there is no such thing, sadly), these messages are key points that, for many survivors, are important to hear over and over again. It is very likely that the message may take time to sink in, but over time and repetition, the hope that healing is possible can take root.