Sunday, 8 April 2012

Confusion and Fear #Amsosa

Since last summer I have posted many articles on this blog written by my friend Steve Bevan, of AMSOSA UK.

I met Steve through Twitter and attended his Male Survivors Weekend Retreat last year. Steve has worked with Male Survivors for over 21 years and founded AMSOSA in 1991 and is recognised as a leading expert in male survivors of sexual abuse/rape in the United Kingdom. He has also given guest talks, training and workshops in the U.K, U.S, Australia, New Zealand, and in Scandinavia and is soon to set off to South Africa to do the same.

"The mission of AMSOSA is to empower men who have experienced sexual abuse or rape, and enable them to live happier, healthier lives. We offer male survivors the opportunity to focus on the ability to heal and recover, by dealing with 1/3rd of their past, 1/3rd of their present, and 1/3rd of their future, covering aspects of the sexual abuse they have suffered, yet focussing on the strength and courage they possess, and leaving the past where it belongs.

We are a regionally based, nationally recognised, and internationally known agency, providing specialised training to NHS Trusts, Social Services, Police forces, SARCS, Victim Support teams, and offer counselling sessions within prisons, hostels, day centres and other agencies."

I asked Steve to write a piece for this blog and am very proud to present it here.


Just two of the many issues that male survivor face when struggling to come to terms with the sexual abuse they have suffered as children, teenagers or adults.

Confusion is often as to why were they abused, and that is a question that is never going to be answered properly, yet keeps coming back to haunt them and demands an answer.

My simple short answer to those questions, when it’s raised, is they were abused because the person or persons, who abused them were nothing less than sick dirty people, who should never be allowed near anyone again, as they are twisted and evil men and women.

Yes women abuse both boys and men, and women also abuse young boys and girls too.

The fears that kick in after being abuse are complex and differs from one survivor to another, but the primary fear is of being seen, of being found out and of being judged wrongly remains the same, and has the same effects upon the survivor.

Male survivors automatically wrongly inherit the guilt, shame and blame for the abuse that was done to them, and grow up thinking and believing that they were part of the abuse.

Other fears that kick in is will they be called gay, or labelled as weak, and some guys even think they were to blame for what happened to them, because they didn’t stop the abuse or tell someone who would have stopped it.

The answer to that is they did the best they could, under the circumstances, to deal with what happened to them, and shouldn’t look back and judge themselves so harshly, because they coped.

Sexual abuse and rape impacts deeply upon the heart, soul and inner core of a man, as he grows up, trying to deal with the abuse he suffered, and also survived, and my job is to show him that he is a survivor, can become a thrive, and can overcome the past, to become the man he wants to be, not the person he has been led to be.

It’s far from easy to let go of the past, but it can be done with the right support, and belief that he is capable of doing so.

HELPLINE: 0845 430 9371
WEDS 7.00PM ~ 9.00PM WEEKDAYS: 10AM ~ 4PM (OR answerphone)


Steve said...

Hi Jan

I'm more than happy to help out any time mate and hope it makes sense to those reading it

Patricia Singleton said...

As a female survivor of incest, I went through much of the confusion and fear that you talk about for men. I know that men have it worse because of the expectations of society about the male role. I am so glad to see men beginning to speak out about their abuse. It is time. Together we can heal ourselves and provide a path for others to follow. Thanks Steve and Jan for sharing this article.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember much, I can remember his black speedo swimming trunks sticking out at the front.
My dad didn't like this guy who was an older relative, taking me swimming.
He was ignored.
The guy is a convicted pedophile.

Jan knows of my kids mom already.

Hello Steve and Patricia.


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