YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
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Since the late 1970s research has documented at least 1 in 6 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before turning age 18. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that over the course of the lifespan at 1 in 4 males overall will experience some form of sexual trauma. On average, male survivors of child sexual abuse delay disclosure for 20 years. Over that time, he will be at significantly increased risk for: depression, anxiety, dysfunctional interpersonal relationships, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and suicide.
These numbers easily are as significant as most of the major health problems that grasp national attention – diabetes, cancer, and many other public health issues. However male sexual victimization remains largely unacknowledged and unaddressed. While recent stories such as the Catholic Church Abuse scandals and the trial of Jerry Sandusky have received widespread coverage, there are still millions of male survivors of sexual abuse whose stories are yet to be heard.
Any person who has been sexually abused – male or female – will often experience lasting effects and enduring emotional pain. Historically, many of the organizations for survivors of sexual abuse have been created by women for women. While some of these have slowly begun the process of acknowledging the need for and developing or enhancing services for male survivors it is still far more difficult for male victims to easily find the support and healing they need.
Sadly profound misunderstanding – or worse denial – of the unique needs and challenges faced by male survivors is all too common. Many cultures around the world still openly endorse or unquestioningly reinforce toxic masculine stereotypes that highlight invulnerability and denial of pain as essential qualities of manliness. Across the globe men simply are not allowed to admit that they have been sexually exploited and abused. When they do, they are often disregarded, disbelieved, or treated as though they themselves are now more likely to harm others. All of these response are toxic, misinformed, and disturbingly common.
Survivors of sexual abuse who have engaged in the work of healing and their therapists know that healing is facilitated when victims are able to find support and understanding during their recovery. MaleSurvivor believes that, because of societal attitudes (especially denial) of the sexual abuse of males, boys and men need added support to come forward and ask for help. If the community fails to see signs of abuse or ignores a cry for help, a child or adult may feel utterly abandoned and not speak up again – often leading to years of emotional trauma.
Identification, assessment and intervention will help prevent abused boys from becoming self-destructive or abusive adolescents and men. MaleSurvivor exists to serve any male who has been sexually abused. Although our work is directed to males, we are interested in helping any victim of sexual abuse.
HOW MALESURVIVOR HELPS BREAK THE SILENCE
MaleSurvivor recognizes and respects the diversity of sexual abuse survivors and our supporters. The harm of sexual abuse crosses all lines gender, race, religion, age, nationality, socioeconomic class, or sexual orientation.
Through our informational programs and services, MaleSurvivor also helps the public and the media to recognize and understand males who have been sexually abused, and most important, promotes the actions we all can take to confront and fight the realities, and destroy the myths, of male sexual abuse.
WHERE DO I START?
If you are a survivor, welcome. Many male survivors of sexual trauma fear that the scars and the pain they have carried silently for so long can never heal. That is simply not true. For more 20 years MaleSurvivor has been helping inform, encourage, and empower male survivors and their loved ones to make progress on the healing journey. While we cannot make the past any different than it was, we can learn to live joyfully in the present and work for a better future for ourselves and for others.
Connecting with other survivors and learning you are not alone is often the first step. In this section we have compiled information and resources specifically for adult survivors, adolescents, parents, and professionals. We also have links to the healing resources MaleSurvivor offers to the community.
Remember – no matter what you have endured – You are not alone. It was not your fault. It is possible to heal. And it is never too late.
Facts About Male Sexual Abuse – A short overview of some of the most important facts and statistics about male sexual victimization.
Adults (ASA) – Many of the survivors who come to MaleSurvivor experienced abuse as children, however many men experience sexual abuse as well. We have resources with specific information for men who experienced sexual abuse as adults.
Adolescents – Information and resources for teen survivors and their families and supporters.
Helpful Articles – A collection of helpful articles for survivors.
Survivors Speak Out – Survivors and other partners in healing speaking out in the media and helping to raise awareness.
Seeds of Hope – Hope, healing, and support – the elements of healing for male survivors and others.
Tips for when you are feeling triggered – One of the most read posts from the MaleSurvivor Discussion Forums that has some good information on triggers and some self care tips.
A Consumers Guide To Therapist Shopping – Insights that can help you as you look for a therapist.
Therapist Directory – MaleSurvivor’s Therapist Directory is a listing of hundreds of mental health professionals from around the United States and elsewhere who work with male survivors of sexual abuse.
Support Group Directory – A listing of both therapist led and peer led support groups.
MS Discussion Forums – A worldwide community of thousands of survivors and partners in healing. The forums are peer moderated and have subforums for a number of specific topics. They are an essential resource for many survivors and their loved ones who are looking to connect with and learn from other survivors.
Resource Directory – Links to International National resources and websites of partners in the work of healing.
Healing Events – Male Survivor offers a variety of healing events each year. Events have different points of emphasis, different approaches, and are located throughout the U.S.
HopeHealingSupport Team – Have a question about trauma, abuse, and/or healing? You can email our trained team of volunteers.
1 – Felitti, V. J., Anda, R. F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D. F., Spitz, A. M., Edwards, V., … & Marks, J. S. (1998). Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American journal of preventive medicine, 14(4), 245-258.
2 – Breiding, Matthew J., et al. “Prevalence and Characteristics of Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization—National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011.” American Journal of Public Health 105.4 (2015): E11.
3 – Technical Report prepared for MaleSurvior.org; Summary of Results of the 2010 Health and Well-being Survey, Scott Easton, PhD
4 – See Fellitti, et.al. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, p 245