Men dealing with the effects of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault

There is no prescribed way that people are affected by sexual abuse or sexual assault; everyone is different. However, we do know sexual violence can have profound effects on men’s lives. Below is a list of some common problematic responses which are associated with an experience of sexual violence, including childhood sexual abuse or sexual assault. These have been identified through research, and through talking directly with men.

The above list is by no means exhaustive; some men face additional difficulties that do not appear on this list. The degree to which these problems appear and the impact they have differs considerably amongst men.

Problems related to ‘being a man’

Unfortunately, men who have experienced sexual violence have another set of difficulties to deal with; difficulties created by our society’s expectations and assumptions of gender. Dealing with sexual violence often means dealing with a lot of ideas around ‘being a man.’

Below is a list of problems that men who have been subjected to sexual violence often confront. These relate to the expectations of what a man ‘should’ do or be in our community. Child sexual abuse or sexual assault can lead to:

  • Pressure to “prove” his manhood:
    • Physically – by becoming bigger, stronger and meaner, by engaging in dangerous or violent behaviour.
    • Sexually – by having multiple female sexual partners, by always appearing ‘up for it’ and sexually in control.
  • Confusion over gender and sexual identity.
  • Sense of being inadequate as a man.
  • Sense of lost power, control, and confidence in relation to manhood.
  • Problems with closeness and intimacy.
  • Sexual problems.
  • Fear that the sexual abuse has caused or will cause him to become ‘homosexual’ or ‘gay.’
  • Homophobia – fear or intolerance of any form of ‘homosexuality.’

As is apparent from the above list, some problems are specifically related to gender expectations and the social world in which a man lives. In sorting out any of these difficulties, it is therefore important to acknowledge the social and relational parts of the identified problems, and not to over-problematise the man himself.

Additional factors which influence the impact of sexual violence

The more we learn about child sexual abuse the more we come to see the multiple factors which can influence how much it impacts upon men’s lives.

Research has shown that what occurred, who was involved, and how the man was responded to, all influence the types and degree of problems a man has to deal with.

Factors which have been found to be significant are:

  • The age at which the abuse began – earlier onset is linked to greater impact.
  • The duration and frequency of the abuse – the longer it goes on for, and the more often it occurs, the greater the impact.
  • The type of activities which constituted the abuse – if there is penetration, use of violence, and emotional manipulation all result in greater impact.
  • The nature of the relationship with the person perpetrating the abuse – if the person is a close family member, or someone who was previously trusted, the impact is greater.
  • The number of persons involved in the abuse.
  • The manner in which disclosure of the abuse occurred, and how it was responded to – if a man is confronted with disbelief and lack of support, it can create further difficulties. [2]

Although the above factors have been found to influence the extent of problems related to an experience of sexual violence, please know that none of the identified factors automatically damn a man to a life of misery and pain.

Research suggests the following three factors can also influence the degree of impact sexual violence has on a man’s life:

  1. The basic constitutional characteristics of the child (for example, temperament, sense of self-esteem and sense of personal control).
  2. A supportive family environment (warmth, nurturing, organization and so on).
  3. A supportive individual or agency that provides positive support that assists the child. [3]

Unfortunately, research suggests that currently men are less likely to access and receive support from family, friends and specialised sexual assault services than women are [4]. It is therefore important that, when men do come forward and seek assistance, their friends, family and service professionals take time to listen to the man and link him in with appropriate support.

Some words about dealing with problems associated with sexual violence

In more recent years, people have become very aware of the horrors of child sexual abuse or sexual assault, and the significant impact that it can have on someone’s life. When seeking to acknowledge some of the difficulties that men can face as a result of sexual violence, care needs to be taken to recognise men’s capacity to lead full and rewarding lives. Do not fall into the trap of making experiences of sexual abuse or sexual assault the explanation for all life’s problems.

When talking with men around issues related to child sexual abuse or sexual assault, Jim Hopper suggests it is useful to keep in mind that [5]:

  • All human beings suffer painful experiences, and some of these occur in childhood.
  • Being sexually abused is one of many painful and potentially harmful events that a man may experience.
  • Whether and to what extent childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault (or other painful experiences) negatively affect our lives depends on a variety of factors (see below).
  • Child sexual abuse or sexual assault, in itself, does not “doom” people to lives of horrible suffering.
  • If a person has been sexually abused and experiences some problems or symptoms, the abuse is not necessarily the primary (let alone only) reason for these difficulties.
  • All caregivers of children are sometimes unable to protect children from painful experiences.
  • We all need love and support to deal with the effects of painful experiences.
  • Everyone must find ways to acknowledge and deal with emotions generated by painful experiences – whether or not we receive support from others.
  • Many coping or self-regulation strategies work in some ways, but also limit us in other ways.
  • Following an experience of child sexual abuse or sexual assault, it is not unusual for people’s lives to become closely connected with problems related to that experience. However, seeing the person as the problem and all of his current difficulties as a result of sexual abuse or sexual assault can be counter-productive.

Putting problems out there: Question the problem, not the person

A useful way of dealing with problems is to put them out there. Make the problems external to you. Note how they came into your life, and explore the way that they work and how you might deal with them. It is important to recognise that the origin of problems is not within us, but is related to our life experiences and the social world in which we live. This provides us with greater room to move.

When dealing with problems it can be useful to mark out and clearly identify the parameters of a problem. Not all problems that are associated with child sexual abuse or sexual assault are the same. Some problems, like physical injuries, might have a clear link to sexual assault. Other problems, like excessive alcohol or other drug use, may have once been a strategy for managing unpleasant memories – a strategy which has taken over and become problematic in and of itself. The possibility of sorting such problems out becomes more ‘do-able’ if they are understood as a habit that got of hand, rather than directly ’caused by’ the sexual abuse or assault. As such, you are not so much ‘dealing with sexual abuse’ as you are dealing with the effects or outcomes. Read more about this idea here.

When seeking to deal with a problem it can be particularly useful to notice what is happening when the problem is not present.

These unique moments can provide important clues as to how to evade and outwit particularly difficult problems. Noticing these moments can help break the hold problems can sometimes have over us, in that they are no longer seen as all encompassing, but influenced by what we are doing or thinking, by circumstances, and by who else might be around.

Hope for change

Dealing with sexual violence

Hope for change often involves finding ways to acknowledge the horror and pain associated with the experience, whilst separating out and disentangling the problems from the person. If we see ourselves or the person as the problem, then we can quickly become overwhelmed and get down on ourselves as somehow damaged. If “I” am the problem, then change requires a complete overhaul of me and who I am. That seems impossible!

Such ideas can be diminishing of us and can leave us less able to accept and manage any difficulties. They can make our skills and knowledge invisible, as well as our competency in other areas, and our capacity to live a full and rich life.


  • Bagley, C., Wood, M., & Young, L. (1994). Victim to abuser: Mental health and behavioral sequels of child sexual abuse in a community survey of young adult males. Child Abuse and Neglect, 18, 683-697.
  • Briere, J., Evans, D., Runtz, M., & Wall, T. (1988). Symptomatology in men who were molested as children: A comparison study. American Journal of Ortho-psychiatry, 58, 457-461.
  • Bruckner, D. F. & Johnson, P. E. (1987). Treatment for adult male victims of childhood sexual abuse. Social Casework, 68, 81-87.
  • Collings, S. J. (1995). The long-term effects of contact and noncontact forms of child sexual abuse in a sample of university men. Child Abuse & Neglect, 19, 1-6.
  • Dimock, P. T. (1988). Adult males sexually abused as children: Characteristics and implications for treatment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 3, 203-216.
  • Dube, S. R., et al. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430-438.
  • Fromuth, M. E. & Burkhart, B. R. (1989). Long-term psychological correlates of childhood sexual abuse in two samples of college men. Child Abuse and Neglect, 13, 533-542.
  • Holmes, W. C., Slap, G. B. (1998). Sexual abuse of boys: Definition, prevalence, correlates, sequelae, and management. JAMA, Dec 2, 280(21), 1855-1162.
  • Hunter, M. (Ed.) (1990). The sexually abused male: Prevalence, impact, and treatment. Vol. 1. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
  • Hunter, M. (Ed.) (1996). The sexually abused male: Application of treatment strategies. Vol. 2. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
  • Lew, M. (1988). Victims no longer: Men recovering from incest and other child sexual abuse. New York: Nevraumont.
  • Olson, P. E. (1990). The sexual abuse of boys: A study of the long-term psychological effects. In M. Hunter (Ed.), The sexually abused male: Vol. 1. Prevalence, impact and treatment (pp.137-152). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
  • Peters, D. K. & Range, L. M. (1995). Childhood sexual abuse and current suicidality in college women and men. Child Abuse and Neglect, 19, 335-341.
  • [2] Condy, Sylvia Robbins, Donald I. Templer, Ric Brown and Lelia Veaco “Parameters of Sexual Contact of Boys with Women.” Archives of Sexual Behavior. v.16.1987. 379-394.
  • Croweder, A. (1993) Opening the Door: Treatment Model for Therapy with Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse.
  • Crowder, Adrienne and Judy Myers-Avis. Group Treatment for Sexually Abused Adolescents. Holmes Beach, Florida: Learning Publications, 1993.
  • Pierce, Robert and Lois Hauck Pierce. “The Sexually Abused Child: A Comparison of Male and Female Victims.” Child Abuse and Neglect. v.9. 1985. 191-199.
  • Hunter, M. (Ed.) (1990). The sexually abused male: Prevalence, impact, and treatment. Vol. 1. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
  • [3] Etherington, K. (1997). Maternal sexual abuse of males. Child Abuse Review. 6, 107-117
  • Mezey, G. C., & King, M. B. (Eds.) (1992). Male Victims of Sexual Assault. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Urquiza, A. & Capra, M. (1990). The impact of sexual abuse: Initial and long-term effects. In M. Hunter (Ed.) The sexually abused male: Prevalence, impact, and treatment. Vol. 1. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
  • [4] Washington, Patricia A. “Second Assault of Male Survivors of Sexual Violence,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 14, no 7 (1999): 713-730.
  • [5] Jim Hopper. Sexual Abuse of Males: Prevalence Possible Lasting Effects and Resources at http://www.jimhopper.com/male%2Dab/


  1. Comment by Mary

    Mary Reply August 18, 2014 at 12:29 am

    What about the partners of men who have been sexually abused! No one ever seems to offer real support to them! Only understand what they have been through, be patient, and loving! It is hard ! Get flack and nothing you say is ever right and is misconstrued.

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply August 18, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Hi Mary,

      You’re so right, it can be really hard to support someone who has experienced trauma. We understand that partners can face some unique pressures and challenges, and on top of that can find it difficult to access support.

      We have collected some resources on this website that we hope begin to address some of these issues. Take a look at the “For Partners” section. You might also find the relationship pages useful. Finally, if you are in the South East Queensland area we offer counselling, as well as a support group specifically for partners of men who have experienced sexual abuse or assault. If you live elsewhere we offer telephone and online counselling. Please know that you are not alone.

  2. Comment by Laurie

    Laurie Reply January 2, 2015 at 5:18 am

    Hello, May I have a referral to help me get help in the Tacoma/Seattle area for a man who was abused sexually by his foster mother. who has relationship problems… thank you.

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply January 16, 2015 at 10:09 am

      Hi Laurie,
      First I just want to say thanks for contacting us, and for reaching out for some support. I know that is never easy to do.
      Living Well is an Australian organisation, however I would encourage you to get in touch with our partners in the United States, 1in6.org. In particular you (or the man you are concerned for) might find the Get Help page particularly relevant.
      Best of luck Laurie.

  3. Comment by Stephen Nghiem

    Stephen Nghiem Reply April 15, 2015 at 6:07 am

    One other effect that the article does not mention is “memory loss”. In my case, I still have lots of memories before the age of 6 and after the age of 7 or 8. Between 6 to 8 is just a big blank page. I suspect that the abuse started when I was around 6. I am 63 years old now. I guess my brain just shut down during that time.

  4. Comment by Lucetta Thomas

    Lucetta Thomas Reply April 30, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Research Study on sexual abuse of males

    I am undertaking research through the University of Canberra on men’s experiences seeking and receiving counselling for sexual abuse by their mother.

    This research has been given approval by the University of Canberra’s Committee on Ethical Human Research.

    It is an online anonymous questionnaire for males – at http://canberra.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1zd1ZwJetVexXud

  5. Comment by Janine

    Janine Reply August 31, 2015 at 10:54 am

    My son has huge anger issues due to sexual abuse. I believe it was different people. my son’s girlfriend wants to try and get him help. So do I. Is there a sexual abuse counselor for young adults dealing with sexal abuse in the Traverse City Michigan area?

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply September 3, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Hi Janine. I would recommend you take a look at http://www.1in6.org – our partner organisation based in the United States. If your son is interested in talking to someone about his experiences with sexual abuse, then this page on Getting Help may be most useful for him.

      Please keep in mind that, as much as you want to support him (which is commendable), ultimately it is your son’s decision as to whether he is ready to talk with someone about this stuff. Letting him know it is always an option, and you will support him to do so, may be more helpful than pushing him to before he is ready. The other thing is that if he does want to get help with managing anger then this can be an entirely different process. In fact, it might be a lot easier for him to talk to someone about this first, given that anger is something that lots of young men struggle with.

      I wish you all the best.

  6. Comment by Kaíque

    Kaíque Reply September 23, 2015 at 1:59 am

    This page is written both in portuguese and english. Was that on purpose?
    Also, when checking your references, I couldn’t find the majority of it. Would you be kind to link them as you did with a few in your list? I’m studying this in my psychology master’s program and it would be interesting to get hold on such informations!

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply September 25, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Hi Kaíque,
      Thanks for your comment :)
      There is a ‘Translate’ function on the top right of the page with which you can switch between English and a few other languages. It looks like you came to the Portuguese translation. The translations are automated so we acknowledge they are less than perfect! We do want these resources to be available to as many people as possible though.
      Most of the references on this page cannot be linked to as such, because they are articles which were published in journals. If you note down the citation, you should be able to look them up through a database in your university library. Best of luck!

  7. Comment by Jane

    Jane Reply December 10, 2015 at 4:59 am

    My boyfriend was sexually abused my his father from time he was seven. He is 17 now. What help can he get? He has not live in this house anymore, and legally a runaway. I understand these struggle, but is very hard to be supportive with how he act, sometime very aggressive, not physical, gets angry. Does not like to talk about things, drinks a lot. How am I to help?

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply December 17, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Jane,
      Thanks for reaching out for some support. There is help out there for you and your friend.
      It looks like you are in the US. Please visit our partners over there, 1in6.org – that link goes to the “family and friends” section of their website, with info and support that I hope will be helpful to you. Their website, if you were to give it to your friend, has lots of options for supporting him directly as well. He is not alone.
      Best of luck finding someone you can talk with about this Jane – as it’s important you have support as well. Take care of yourself in this difficult time.

  8. Comment by Laura

    Laura Reply February 4, 2016 at 12:35 am

    I would greatly appreciate if anyone can post a link for info on boys being sexually abused by a woman?? I have searched on and off for like 2 years and I always end up finding boys abused by males. I think it affects men differently if they were sexually abused by a woman instead of a man. I’m trying to find help for someone and I have no online info on the matter.

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply February 11, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Hi Laura,
      Thanks for your question. If you haven’t seen it already, take a look at our sexual abuse statistics page. You’ll see that there are a couple of points which may help to explain your difficulty finding relevant information. Namely that:

      • Research suggests that 80% of male child sexual abuse is perpetrated by males.
      • Males are less likely to identify sexual contact they had with an adult woman when they were a child as sexual abuse.
      • There are a lot of barriers to men disclosing sexual abuse in the first place, which means it is an under-researched, under-funded area for support.

      While studies do suggest approximately 20% of males who have been sexually abused were abused by a female, the vast majority of cases in our own practice and research involve a male perpetrator. As such this is where our main efforts lie. We acknowledge it is an area that needs more attention.

      Having said that, help is still available. If you are based in Australia, please get in touch as we can provide you with support. If you are in the United States, please check out our partners 1in6.org.

  9. Comment by Unknown

    Unknown Reply June 27, 2016 at 6:43 am

    i was 7 or 8 when i was sexually abused , at least untill i was 12 by different men and boys, there was a huge gap in between then.
    later when i was 16 or around i started having sex with men, still mostly approached by other men but i didn’t oppose. I am totally confused with my sexuality. I have no confidence to approach a woman and with men i do enjoy sex, specially oral (which was not part of early abuse, it was mainly penetration)
    Now i have huge pressure from my family to get marry with a woman. And i am not sure about it. What should i do? i am totally lost. I come from Pakistan but these days living in europe.

  10. Comment by August Rush

    August Rush Reply July 9, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I’m sure like other survivors, We have read the side effects and EVERYONE seems to apply with our lives. I’m just starting to get help, I was hoping to read that there is hope and healing. That I don’t have to go through this on a daily basis. Is there really any hope ? What proffetional do you go to to tell your story and seek help ? Can some one tell me ?

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply August 31, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Hi August,
      Thanks for your comment.

      Please know that you are not alone. Help and support are available. There is hope and healing is possible.

      Our partners in the US, 1in6.org, may be able to help point you towards a good professional with experience in this area. Their Supportline partners with RAINN to provide referrals in your local area.

      Best of luck and take care of yourself through this time.

  11. Comment by Barry

    Barry Reply August 26, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I feel that childhood stopped that night. None of my toys felt quite the same, I can still see them in my minds eye, on the bedroom floor. It was as if they belonged to another me. I can remember a green toy van, I don’t know why, but I can see it now. It’s almost like they all belonged to another time.

    I would like to step back into my childhood, to before I knew what I know now, and shut the door. I could never quite manage to be a full man after that, although I have tried. I wish they had killed me and I could have gone then as the person I was without all this baggage in my mind. The violence more than the sex still manages to get to me. If I could turn the clock back to a time before it all happened I would be tougher, I wouldn’t smile so much, be more surly. I was just too bloody soft. I feel they thought ‘this kid’s asking for it.’

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply August 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Hi Barry,
      Thanks very much for your comment and sharing your thoughts and experiences here with us. Your thoughts are well expressed, I think you’ve said so well what many men with similar experiences feel.

      There are no easy words I can say in response. We do find it is very common that people who have experienced sexual violence take the blame onto themselves. This is especially true when it happens at a young age, when a child tries to make sense of a senseless experience that should not have happened. You are not alone in having thoughts and feelings like this.

      Please know the fact that the abuse happened to you does not, and did not, mean anything about you. It was not your fault. You weren’t asking for it. You were a child. The blame, and the shame, belong solely with the abuser.

      If you do ever feel like talking about it with a professional, please take a look at our worldwide services contact page for some wonderful supports in the UK.

      Take care Barry.

  12. Comment by Barry Waterfield

    Barry Waterfield Reply September 13, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you for your reply. Quite often I get up in the night and the past is always a powerful force at night. I wrote to you during one of my night time vigils. I’m not angry, but there is a hollowness. The reason I say I would act differently if I could wind the clock back is not only because I think I looked too soft but that I feel if I looked tougher they would not have tried it on in the first place.

    I appreciate what you’re saying about professional help, but I’m getting quite old now , I think I’ll just carry it. I have told a friend and that did make an enormous difference, it made the whole thing seem more normal somehow and there is a girl from the same school that was attacked shortly after me. I know her and sometimes we meet for a coffee. We don’t discuss what happened to either of us but she is a soldier under arms so to speak, I don’t have to say anything about the past and neither does she, the fact that we’ve both been there is enough.

    Once again thank you for your reply,your anonymity made it easier to talk . I do appreciate it.


  13. Comment by Ruthie

    Ruthie Reply October 23, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I am the mother of an adult male survivor of sexual molestation. My son’s abuser is his own father. Now he needs professional help due to the many problems he has due to the trauma, but he has no job and no funds to pay for such. Now what??? He lives in Louisiana, USA. Is there any help for him nearby?

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply October 28, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Hi Ruthie,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us in this difficult time.

      Please know that neither you, nor your son, are alone – and you needn’t go through this alone.

      While it is addressed mostly to partners of men, this page may have some helpful information for you to understand and work through some common issues related to supporting a man who has experienced sexual abuse.

      Since you are based in the USA I can recommend our partner service, http://www.1in6.org who support men, as well as their families. They offer phone and online support and can refer to an appropriate professional or service in your area.

      I hope that helps a bit, and wish you the best Ruthie.

  14. Comment by Mike

    Mike Reply November 2, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I don’t think enough has been focused on the child male abuse. The younger the more it effects the person in later years. In my case it was 4 or 5 to 11 or 12, I don’t exactly remember.
    Women tend to talk more about this then men, although this happened in the 60s and early 70s it never really goes away and effects one in so many ways. One of the biggest issues is one feels a lack of choice in ones life as choice was taken away from you at such a young age.

    I went through every kind of help I available, not really knowing what the problem was. Individual counseling, co dependency, self help this and that and the Shrinks, all they wanted to do is put me on medications for life. and it just goes on with the so called “Professionals” who I have zero trust in. This was in the 80s and 90s and I doubt much has been accomplished since in this area. I am sure they have a new pill though.

    I don’t even know why I am writing this as it seems as pointless now as it did then to find any real help.

  15. Comment by Geo

    Geo Reply December 27, 2016 at 7:25 pm


    When I was 7 my brother, who was 14, had a fight with his GF. So I offered to do anything to cheer him up even dancing for him. He said yes and we ended up doing it ( you know what I mean). Is this considered abuse? The next day I wanted to do it and he did not but we still did it. The 3rd day we did it again but it was the last time.

    Later on my mom found out so she used to do things to me in shower to know if we are still doing it and lying to her so I couldn’t show any sign of joy of what she was doing or else she would think I am… I know this was abuse. :(

    Thanks for listening to me.


    • Comment by Brenton [Living Well Staff]

      Brenton [Living Well Staff] Reply February 2, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Geo,
      Thanks for contributing towards the discussion; that takes guts.

      Abuse is characterised as taking advantage of power or control over someone to meet personal needs. Considering the age differential, and that you were family, I would say that this is very likely sexual abuse.

      You asked whether what your brother did to you was abuse. I wonder if this is to try and understand whether you are okay? If this is the case, it is possible to have experienced abuse when young and not experience any long term negative consequences. In other words, just because something was wrong in the past, doesn’t mean you have been affected negatively by it.

      It’s common for men to experience physical arousal, and considering your age you might have thought it was a fun time. Sometimes it isn’t until later that people realise that they are not okay with what was done to them as children.

      There are many factors that affect whether you are affected negatively. If you don’t find that you have any intrusive thoughts about it, or don’t have to actively avoid thinking about it, and that you are not hugely upset when memories arise, then perhaps it is okay?

      This experience alone would be sufficient to affect you your whole life, let alone the experience you had with your mother. This potentially makes things complicated. A close bond combined with feelings of anger, love, and betrayal can all coexist. If you find yourself confused about your previous experiences, know that many men who have been sexually abused share this with you.

      Take care of yourself Geo.

  16. Comment by Confidential

    Confidential Reply March 30, 2017 at 3:53 am

    I found this link via Lucetta Thomas, Unspoken abuse. i heard the final few minutes of her interview on radio national and was stunned. Earlier that morning I had prayed and vowed I wanted to pursue direction in educating the medical profession ‘somehow’ to the fact that women sexually abuse their children and even grand children. But how do I do this? I’ve not been believed in the past and I run the risk of being deemed crazy and obsessive. How can I be discreet so I also do not have my children dragged through this? Less than 12 hours later I hear Lucetta on the radio by chance, and/or by the grace of God. “It has begun!” said a friend of mine when I desperately phoned to tell her what happened, what I heard on the radio.

    I ‘alledged’ on behalf of my children that, my youngest in particular, was sexually abused by their grandmother. It is my belief that their father was sexually abused by his mother and this was now continuing with her sexually abusing her grandchildren. My youngest said “It’s not daddy I played those games with, it’s Nanna”. When my youngest was found doing things to another child she said “but that’s what we had to do, that’s what Nanna made us do”. That was around 2006/2007 when my family court case began. During that time my QC filed for the judge to take himself off the case as he was being so bias but the judge refused. The ABS advised me there were no records on file of grandmothers sexually abusing children, they looked desperately but could not help with any stastitics.
    It finished approx 2 years ago after I fought to get back custody once I proved I was not insane. To date however, I still run the risk of loosing custody of my youngest if I am found talking about it, until she is 18.
    You see I lost custody of them in 2011, I was told words to effect “women don’t do that (sexually abuse) and grandmothers!!, they don’t do that”. (Ironically, was told by friends in the police force that there is not even a charge they could find for such an offende as it’s considered non existent.). I was not deemed malicious, rather just crazy and so they were dragged away from me with a ‘blackout’ period of 6 weeks and then supervised for a few hours a fortnight and we were warned if anyone cried they were to be removed immediately. Slowly, over years, the supervision decreased and ‘time with’ increased. My children were told mummy had a mental problem.
    I was ordered to get psychiatric help and saw one of the top psychiatrists in the country. He said “these are the most draconian orders I’ve ever seen and I believe there was sexual abuse and want to help you get your children back”. My solicitor at the time advised me to find another psychiatrist who said I was crazy so I can just follow the orders and not be at risk of more blackout time. I decided to get another solicitor. I could not afford to appeal; advised the costs would be ‘exceptional’ and I refused to say I made it up. I did the time but I did not and will never say I made it up. So I went back after 4 years and said “I dont know exactly what happened as I was not there when this occurred but I trust and believe my children.” I have not discussed this with my children for nearly ten years. We are not allowed to, we just live each day and move forward with the grace of God. They are amazing young women.
    A couple of weeks ago I had to put our family home up for sale. This has cost me nearly a million dollars and I can no longer keep borrowing here there and everywhere to keep us afloat. I am a successful businesswoman and have been very discreet for the sake of my children. Once the house is sold, I am advised to give the business 6 months and if not financially viable that will fold as well. It was my parents family business and been operating for 35 years but I’ve had to drain it to pay this ten year battle.
    In saying that, I did everything I could to protect my children. I could not walk away and wait til they were 18 to come back. Your job as a parent is to do everything to protect, nurture, love and respect your children. I would not wish this on any family, but I can’t sit back knowing it might be happening to others. Yes I would do it all again if I knew it was the best thing for my children, but I would fight harder and reach out further to get more support.
    Finally, women/grandmothers sexually abuse and when they do, it’s far more heinous. 30-40 years ago it was said that women don’t abuse/hit their children, only men do that. And we learnt that was of course totally untrue. Less than ten years ago I was told women don’t do that, and grandmothers! They don’t sexually abuse. Now the change has started….,
    This is one of the first times I’ve written so much.

  17. Comment by krissy

    krissy Reply January 3, 2018 at 9:24 am

    I have been in a relationship with a man for 11 years. I knew of some childhood abuse done by his father, but just recently he opened up to me about some sexual encounters he had as a boy. This information seemed to shed a light as to who he is and why our relationship has had issues. It’s so hard because I want to ask him questions and help him seek help, but I don’t want to overstep my place or make him feel any type of negative way. I just know he needs help to cope with these pains. Those traumatic experiences have demolished him as a 46 year old man. emotional and intamacy issues, alcohol and drug abuse… I wish I could find the right help for myself… and him as well.

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Reply January 3, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Krissy,
      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Please know that you are not alone. We know how difficult it can be for a partner to support a man’s disclosure of childhood sexual abuse. Knowing how to respond and how to best provide support and care, without pressure or judgment, can be a delicate balance. With this in mind we’ve created a For Partners section on this website, with articles on responding to disclosure, common relationship challenges, and frequently asked questions from partners of men. I hope you find it helpful.

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