Stories and advice for men recovering from sexual abuse or sexual assault. These words come from men who have experienced sexual abuse or assault. You are not alone.
Words of encouragement from Steve
My name is Steve, I’m 56 years of age and live in the Northern Rivers area of NSW, Australia.
I was repeatedly indecently assaulted by my Boy Scout Leader when I was eleven.
I’m writing to let you know that after 45 years I finally had the courage to report this to the Police in November of last year.
Prior to that I had only shared “my secret” with my two brothers (who had similar experiences as kids) and my wife.
I write “secret” because I lived my life terrified that if people knew of my childhood experience that I would be labeled a potential abuser. I carried this with me my entire adult life.
When I made the decision to report this, the detective at Ballina Police where I reported the assaults suggested I speak to a counsellor to help me through the process.
I’m glad I did. The reporting took me back to a place I didn’t want to go to. It was a dark place and I was saddened for the 11 year old boy I was at the time and what he had to endure, but I needed to do what I did.
The counsellor at Indigo House in Lismore has been a rock.
From reporting and from counselling I’ve learned so much about myself and how it wasn’t my fault.
Four months later I’ve come a long way, and although I’m crying as I write this I feel that I want to let people know how important it is to come forward as soon as they’re ready to.
Below are some words of encouragement and support offered by men who have experienced sexual assault or abuse. These are just some of the responses to the Men's Experiences Survey.
Skilled tradesperson, Age 49, sexually abused from age 10-17.
Talk about it to someone! you are not the only one!
Professional, Age 48, sexually abused from age 9-12
The affinity and resonance encountered when talking with fellow survivors makes the risk of telling worth it – really worth it. It is the best way to defeat the isolation demons.
Professional, Age 51, sexually abused from age 9-15
Do not feel you are alone – there are (unfortunately) thousands of us out there who share your pain, hurt and grief. Find someone you can trust – partner, friend, counsellor, doctor – and tell them what happened. This will not be easy the first time, but it is better talk than keep it bottled up. The hardest part of the whole experience is keeping the secret – once you begin to talk about it you can begin on the road to recovery. Know that there is hope, recovery, a better life
Clerical and Administration worker, Age 34, sexually assaulted at age 23
You can recover. Its a hard and ongoing road, but it can be done. If you picked up a STI due to being raped as I have its very difficult to accept and treat. Its a constant trigger and reminder as I was told during the rape that giving it to me was what they wanted. I was lucky that it wasnt HIV or any of the Heps, but it is still going to be a part of me until the day I die. As I have developed self worth, having the courage to have this treated has been the first physical representation of my own recovery, and that is something to be proud of.
Business owner, Age 25, sexually abused from age 2-14
It is important to remember that it is not your fault or your responsibility. The abuser is the only person responsible and being male does not make what was done excusable.
Professional, Age 59, sexually assaulted from age 12-15
It's not your fault. Have faith and call Lifeline (13 1114) or similar confidential service. There are people who care!
Professional, Age 45, sexually abused from age 9-10
Its not who you are, what you do in life defines who you are. The abuse happened to you not because of you. The abuse does not define you…………………..and love yourself.
Professional, Age 38, sexually abused from age 5-16
to know you are not alone, it does happen to men. if your body reacted in a "sexual" manner, doesn't mean you wanted it. it's not your fault (very difficult to accept)
Professional, Age 47, sexually abused from age 11-15
You posess great knowledge and skills relating to survival and living, make the most of these and be kind to yourself always, you are worth it, as am I.
Skilled Tradesperson, Age 43, sexually abused from age 11-14
If it has happened to you, Please get help and the support, I am finding out that it does help to talk to someone that can help. I have lost a good wife and 2 lovely partners that didn't know about this and I now have found one that I have talked to about this and she is behind me 100%
If you have words of encouragement of your own you would like to offer, you are invited to participate in the Men's Experiences Survey.