Monday, 30 November 2015

Male Abuse Awareness Week, Dec. 1-8 via @Help4GuysOrg


The Male Abuse Awareness Week with Help4Guys

Help4Guys.org (formerly the P. Luna Foundation) believes that Male Victims of Abuse should no longer be silent. Every day we give a voice to these isolated individuals because by doing so they are more likely to work through their problems and get the help they need. We strive to prevent or relieve the crippling effects of past and current abuse like; serious psychological problems, relationship problems, drug addiction, suicide and the random cycle of abuse.
We also wish to inspire people and organizations that provide help services to female victims and survivors to start offering specialized services for abused males, if you do not already. If you are a service provider, we offer information here to help you start to understand some basics of how to deal with the special needs of male victims and survivors of all forms of abuse.
The P. Luna Foundation started Male Abuse Awareness Week, Dec 1-8 in 2008 and are the official organizers of this annual awareness campaign.
Get involved and Follow them HERE

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Survivors Voices via @WeAreOneInFour #childabuse #survivors


It is estimated that One in Four adults has experienced child sexual abuse* (CSA). We are proud to announce the launch of Survivors’ Voices, which features the narratives of fourteen survivors with an analysis of the findings. There is also a supplement with eight further narratives. Most survivors mentioned that they had seen many professionals before they received the help they needed. An important outcome from this project has been the development of a pocket guide for professionals, partners families and friends.

For too long child sexual abuse (CSA) has been unrecognised or not fully understood, now One in Four has given survivors an opportunity to tell the world of the impact childhood sexual abuse has had on their adult lives.Survivors’ Voices is an important REPORT that brings together the narratives of women and men who have survived abuse in the family environment, which accounts for 70 percent of CSA.
Written in their own words, Survivors’ Voices is a powerful testament to the devastation of CSA and its impact, not only on the individual, but also to those around them and wider society.
Survivors’ Voices includes an analysis of the themes that emerge from the narratives. A strong commonality between the narratives is length of time it has taken to find appropriate professional help and counselling. As a result of this One in Four has produced a pocket guide for professionals.
Survivors’ Voices is available to view or download HERE.
Follow OneInFour on Twitter @WeAreOneInFour
http://www.oneinfour.org.uk/

Monday, 16 November 2015

GLA report “Silent Suffering – Supporting The Male Survivors of Sexual Assault” via @SurvivorsUK

Tomrrow (17th November) is the publication of the GLA report “Silent Suffering – Supporting The Male Survivors of Sexual Assault” which estimates that between 2010 – 2014 there were 679,051 sexual assaults and rapes of males un England and Wales, 96,103 in London alone.

PRESS INFORMATION – EMBARGO TO 00:01 TUESDAY 17THNOVEMBER 2015

SurvivorsUK welcomes the publication today of the GLA report “Silent Suffering – Supporting The Male Survivors of Sexual Assault” which estimates that between 2010 – 2014 there were 679,051 sexual assaults and rapes of males un England and Wales, 96,103 in London alone –http://glaconservatives.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Silent-Suffering.pdf
This first of its kind report, specifically examining the prevalence of sexual assaults affecting males in London and some of the barriers that stop them from reporting and/or seeking support to manage the effects of their experiences, clearly points to shortcomings in existing provision that work against the benefit of male survivors of these assaults.
We endorse the recommendations contained in this report and hope that they will be acted on quickly to ensure more robust support for male survivors.  We object, however, to assertion made in the report that the onus lies on voluntary organisations to manage to do more with less in a climate of uncertain funding.
Michael May of SurvivorsUK says – “This welcome report highlights some of the issues affecting male survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse that we have been pointing out to MOPAC for some years now.
In 2008, Mayor Boris Johnson said in his manifesto that “…There is also no doubt that victims of rape feel ignored, and they need long-term help and support to re-build their lives.”  He then went on to outline how he would raise the funds necessary to launch 3 additional female only rape crisis centres in London, to increase the support provided through the existing centre and to sustainably fund the provision of support through these centres on an on-going basis.  He stressed that long term, sustainable funding for these centres was important to allow for the uninterrupted provision of support and to allow these centres to plan and implement services.  He said – “It is in sharp contrast to the present situation in which funding decisions are often made midway through the financial year – meaning that Rape Crisis Centres are forced to survive hand-to-mouth and often face the threat of imminent closure.”
Since then the Mayor has spent more than £5m ensuring that these services continue to provide invaluable support to female-only victims of rape and sexual abuse and continues to provide more than £1.25m per annum to fund them.  These services are in addition to those separately funded through the London Haven’s which MOPAC notes “… provide crucial medical care and support to victims of rape and serious sexual assault and … are complementary to those of the Rape Crisis Centres.”  Clearly Havens are not seen as a replacement for the specialist counselling offered to female victims through Rape Crisis Centres.  The same does not seem to be the case where the victim is male.  MOPAC’s Natasha Plummer wrote to SurvivorsUK recently and noted that MOPAC funded specialist services were in fact available to men and boys – through the Havens.
The current lack of specific funding for counselling support for male victims of rape and sexual abuse begs the question whether the Mayor no longer believes that “… victims of rape … need long-term help and support to re-build their lives”.  8 years ago he said “It is nothing short of a disgrace that the government has cut the funding for Rape Crisis Centres in London”.  I now believe it is a disgrace that this administration has provided only £32,000 to support male victims through the provision of specialist counselling in 8 years and is currently providing nothing more.”
The “Mayoral Strategy on Violence Against Women and Girls 2013-17” notes that, in addition to the services provided through Havens,  “Further plans for supporting male victims of sexual violence in London will be developed over the next year following the completion of the review into victims’ services currently being led by Baroness Newlove.”  That report, published in July 2014, notes as its first recommendation that “Commissioning should address key gaps in provision, including support for: young victims; victims of hate crime (and particularly victims with disabilities); repeat victims; victims of trafficking and exploitation; and male victims of abuse.”  In the full text of the report, on-going mention is made of the needs of male victims of sexual violence and the current lack of funded provision.
 The Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy noted above states – “the Mayor also recognises that men and boys may also be victims of sexual violence and should be offered appropriate support. The London Havens offer a service to all victims of rape and serious sexual assault including men and boys.”  “Appropriate support” for men and boys appear not to include long term specialist counselling which is at the centre of MOPAC’s support for female victims of the same crimes.
In recent correspondence, Ms. Plummer notes that in addition to the Havens provision, Respect have been funded to develop service standards for organisations working with male victims of domestic violence and male victims could access the services of Victim Support.  We would point out that Respect has to date developed guidance for domestic violence only and that Victim Support is clear that they do NOT provide counselling.  Ms Plummer also notes that “…it is not possible to ascertain how much of the £4.1 million currently being invested in specialist services for all victims of domestic and sexual violence will be used to support male victims.”
We call on MOPAC as a priority to make funds available to provide long term, specialist support to male victims of rape and sexual abuse.
ENDS
For further information, please contact Michael May at Michael.may@survivorsuk.org or on 020 3598 3898 or 07986 614 093.
 Source Survivors UK

Thursday, 12 November 2015

I wish my brain had a delete button.. #childabuse #memories

Trauma memories can surface at any time. Personally I have found that when under extreme stress in daily life, I am more likely to have flashbacks and the simplest thing can trigger a memory. Thankfully I have learnt techniques that keep me safe and grounded most of the time.

Recovery from child abuse trauma and the frequently ensuing PTSD and other after affects means that we have to face our demons and relive much of the trauma in order to deal with it in a safe manner and reduce or stop it's impact on our lives today.

I find writing to be incredibly therapeutic. By writing out the memories I seem able to take away much of their power. One memory I have not shared before. The abuse I endured was varied in nature. There was sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and also combinations of the three. 

Grandfather kept an old polio leg caliper in his workshop. At his whim I had to wear it. It had belonged to a cousin of his who had lived with my grandparents for a number of years. It fitted badly and rubbed harshly against my skin. I would only be wearing underpants (or less) and he would make me walk around wearing the contraption. Sometimes he took his "game" further and in the interests of not triggering others I will say no more about what these events led to. He simply delighted in humiliating me. 

Life has had some very stressful moments recently and since yesterday I have been able to feel the caliper rubbing against my leg and causing me to limp a lot of the time. The pain is real. The body often remembers things that our brain hides from our consciousness. I hope that by sharing this I will be able to minimise the discomfort and also shelve the memories where they belong - firmly in the past.


Free Kindle version of "Beyond Survivor" #childabuse #survivor

In a small way to thank those that follow me and my writing I have decided to have a couple of giveaway events for my book between now and Christmas.



Click on the book or book title to be taken to Amazon. The first giveaway will be on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of November.

Amazon UK 

Amazon WorldWide

Thursday, 5 November 2015

NAASCA Mission - Adult Recovery For Child Abuse Survivors via @NAASCAOfficial


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NAASCA Mission - Adult Recovery

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*** All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing. ***
*** True evil lies not in the depraved act of the one, but in the silence of the many. ***

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A few statistics .(from SafeHorizon.org)
Chances of Being Struck by Lightning:1 in 6.2 million
Chances of Dying in a Plane Crash:1 in 400,000
Chances of Dying in a Auto Accident:1 in 19,000
Chances of a Child Being Raped or Sexually Abused:1 in 4
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This was recently sent to NAASCA by the CDC (April 2015) - pdf file:

Long-Term Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Gender of Victim
Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a worldwide problem. Although most studies on the long-term consequences of CSA have focused on women, sexual abuse of both boys and girls is common. Thus, a comparison of the long-term effects of CSA by gender of the victim will provide perspective on the need for future research, prevention activities, and treatment of survivors.

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EDITOR's NOTEStatutes of Limitations (SOL) -- Before we get into Recovery itself, we need to say that if you intend to bring any criminal or civil charges against your perpetrator(s) you'll need to check with local authorities as to the specific Statutes of Limitations (SOL) for taking an action. This is the period of time following a childhood assault that's allowed by each State which gives adults an opportunity to ask for (1) a criminal prosecution, which typically results in a prison term, or (2) to bring a civil suit for damages, usually for monetary awards, against accused perpetrators. In each State there's a specific, defined period of time legislated for each. NAASCA recommends you double-check the lists below with the local legal community for any updates (which happen regularly):
State Criminal Statutes of Limitations for the Prosecution of Child Abuse 
State Civil Statutes of Limitations for the Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse

About Recovery

A primary mission at the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse is to help abused people who have reached maturity get into recovery. If you are a man or woman who experienced sexual abuse, violence, severe neglect or emotional trauma in your youth, and are still suffering its lasting effects, we want to help you have a happy, healthy, productive life, and meaningful relationships.

We've been there, and our membership includes people who have recovered in a number of ways, many of us using one or more of the many resources we recommend on this site.

Secondly, we'll actively advocate for a better understanding of the shear magnitude of the many problems that surround the issue of child abuse in America. A better educated society will be more willing to address these problems and support recovery from them. There seems to be a particular taboo against talking about sexuality, domestic violence and similar "touchy" topics in our country, and significant confusion or reluctance to discuss such issues with our children. We hope we can break through these fears.

The figures related to childhood abuse are absolutely astonishing and of epidemic, if not pandemic, proportions. So are the facts about Domestic Violence, a closely related issue:

What are the statistics of the abused?

NOTE: These numbers deal with the childhood sex abuse (CSA) figures only. Imagine how bad they'd be if we added in the kids who experience violence, neglect and the emotional trauma that results from growing up in a severely dysfunctional family !!

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50 Facts About Domestic Violence 

Ultimately, the Violence Against Women Act was again reauthorized in 2013, after a long legislative battle throughout 2012–2013.
PLEASE SEE: "President signs Violence Against Women Act" - CNN.com --- March 7, 2013
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Sick as your secrets

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There's an expression I agree with, "You're as sick as your secrets."

Yet the vast majority of child abuse victims do just that, since it's an almost a universal response to try to deal with our past "by ourselves."

This is especiallly true for men. Women are naturally pre-disposed to share with other women, and there are far more support groups for females as well .. rape counseling, domestic abuse groups, hotlines and the like.

In addition there are many services available for those survivors who are still children (and their families).

But because we've found so little support for men who have suffered child abuse we'll pay a little special attention to what's available for them.

Stories about abused men: ALERT: these are explicit stories written by men who are speaking out about their own childhood sexual abuse

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About Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?
Child abuse can take the form of any act of physical, emotional or sexual abuse perpetrated against a child. Child abuse can also take the form of neglect--ignoring the child's emotional and or physical needs. Child abuse can and does take place outside of the family--with stepfamilies, foster families or babysitters. Sometimes it is very difficult to be sure whether or not you actually were abused as a child. You may be blocking memories because you are not yet ready to cope with them all on your own. (see what to look for inside)

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Adult Manifestations of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Childhood sexual abuse can be defined as any exposure to sexual acts imposed on children who inherently lack the emotional, maturational, and cognitive development to understand or to consent to such acts. These acts do not always involve sexual intercourse or physical force; rather, they involve manipulation and trickery. Authority and power enable the perpetrator to coerce the child into compliance. Characteristics and motivations of perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse vary: some may act out sexually to exert dominance over another individual; others may initiate the abuse for their own sexual gratification.

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Reactions of Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Assault

CAVEAT: The following descriptions are meant to serve as a general guideline for how a victim of sexual assault might react in a time of pain or crisis. It is important to recognize, however, that each victim of sexual assault will have his or her own life experiences and personality that will influence how he or she react to the assault. There are many reactions that survivors of rape and sexual assault can have. But for adult survivors of childhood abuse there are reactions that may either be different or stronger than for other survivors. (from materials provided by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault)

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

Trauma specialists believe that "what is most tragic about child abuse and neglect is the exploitation of the child's attachment to the parent." To be sure, it is far easier to abuse one's own children, precisely because their love and loyalty to the parent render them much more compliant than they would be to a stranger. It is exactly this attachment exploitation that teaches children they are not safe in a relationship to other human beings. Damage comes when injuries are inflicted by those to who one looks for love and protection, and there is no relief from the trauma. It is the emotional and psychological setting in which the sexual maltreatment occurs, and with whom it has occured, that makes the difference and causes lasting damage.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: These excellent articles were suggested as a resource by one of our adult survivor friends, Laurie Smith (who hosts her own special BlogTalkRadio talk shows dedicated to these issues (please see: www.blogtalkradio.com/Laurie-Smith for air times and episode descriptions):

When You Grow Up In a Dysfunctional Family -- by George A. Boyd -- When you grow up in a dysfunctional family, you experience trauma and pain from your parents' actions, words, and attitudes. Because of this trauma you experienced, you grew up changed, different from other children, missing important parts of necessary parenting that prepare you for adulthood, missing parts of your childhood when you were forced into unnatural roles within your family. For some of you, it has led you to attempt to flee the pain of your past by alcohol or drug use. Others of you feel inexplicably compelled to repeat the abuses that were done to you on your own children or with your own spouse. Others of you have felt inner anxiety or rage, and don't know why you feel as you do.
You were innocent, and your life was changed dramatically by forces in your family you had no control over, and now you are an adult survivor of that trauma. This article will discuss what these families are like, what is the impact of growing up in these families, and what you can do to begin the process of healing.
<<more>>

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Here's yet another article Laurie recommends, that we thing you'll find useful and enlightening:

Loving the Wounded Child Within -- by Robert Burney, MA -- It is through having the courage and willingness to revisit the emotional dark night of the soul that was our childhood, that we can start to understand on a gut level why we have lived our lives as we have.

It is when we start understanding the cause and effect relationship between what happened to the child that we were, and the effect it had on the adult we became, that we can Truly start to forgive ourselves. It is only when we start understanding on an emotional level, on a gut level, that we were powerless to do anything any differently than we did that we can Truly start to Love ourselves.

The hardest thing for any of us to do is to have compassion for ourselves. As children we felt responsible for the things that happened to us. We blamed ourselves for the things that were done to us and for the deprivations we suffered. There is nothing more powerful in this transformational process than being able to go back to that child who still exists within us and say, "It wasn't your fault. You didn't do anything wrong, you were just a little kid."
<<more>>

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Understanding Verbal Abuse -- by Angela Lambert, Morningside Recovery -- Abuse can affect the lives of people regardless of age, gender or social status. Although people most often associate abuse with physical violence, it can come in many different forms including verbal abuse. Because of the nature of verbal abuse, its damaging effects are often underestimated and misunderstood. This can be a problem for people who are the victims of it. In addition, it can make it difficult for people who suspect that a friend or loved one is being verbally abused. To help combat verbal bullying it is important to educate people and raise awareness.

Verbal abuse is a type of emotional abuse in which a person uses words, body language, or behavior to cause emotional pain or distress to another person. Although it is not physical in nature and does not leave visible bruises, it is just as damaging and can leave an individual with emotional scars and trauma. With verbal abuse, the abuser uses words as a way to exert control and dominance over the victim. It is a behavior that is often thought of in terms of domestic violence; however, it can occur in places of work, school, etc. Spouses, teachers, employers, girlfriends, boyfriends, or friends can be verbally abusive. When it comes to relationships, it is often a precursor to physical violence.

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The Lamplighter MovementAn International Movement for Incest and Child Sexual Abuse Recovery

by Bill Murray - featuring: www.TheLamplighters.org -- contact: margie@thelamplighters.org 

At NAASCA we can easily recommend the work of Margie McKinnon, the founder of The Lamplighter Movement, an international movement for incest and child sexual abuse recovery. She's author of several books, including " REPAIR Your Life: A Program for Recovery from Incest & Childhood Sexual Abuse."
Ms. McKinnon writes, "While I highly recommend it as a successful model to help you through recovery, it is not necessary to own the book REPAIR or be working the program to start a Lamplighter Chapter of your own. This website is primarily to encourage the formation of Lamplighter Chapters. No qualifications needed other than a sincere desire to be supportive of child sexual abuse victims who are trying to recover and a commitment to follow The Code of The Lamplighters."
Here's the The Lamplighter Movement Facilitators Guide (pdf file).

NOTE: Margie appeared recently on one of our "Stop Child Abuse Now" Internet-based talk radio show, now available for on-demand listening.
Click here to listen to "on-demand" to the pod cast --> Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) - 176

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Dreamcatchers for Abused Children - This is an excellent resource site with many articles on child sexual abuse.  It also has articles about trafficking.

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse should be sure to click on the very useful "RECOVERY" link, which is jam packed with web sites of organizations you'll appreciate.

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Little Warriors - (Canada) - This Calgary based non profit is a charitable organization with a national focus that educates adults about how to help prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Little Warriors also provides information about the prevalence and frequency of child sexual abuse and information about healing and support resources.

They've just launched a new "Make it Stop" media campaign, which includes radio and television commercials, bus murals and posters and more.

Glori Meldrum, Founder & Chair of "Little Warriors," had a life long dream - she just didn't know it. Her "Ah-Ha" moment occurred nearly 24 years after being abused. Glori had a dream to do something to help prevent child sexual abuse, and Little Warriors is the realization of that dream.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Our effort is designed to help for men and women from any walk of life, even if their childhood suffering occurred decades ago. But .. 

Men are even MORE likely to keep the stories of their youthful sex abuse a secret.

CNN's Don Lemon, himself a child abuse survivor, interviews one of the founders of an organization I highly recommend, 1in6.org.

Harrison Ford narrates their newest PSA (included during the clip here):
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Male Sex Abuse Victims Often Suffer in SilenceU.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) revealed he was sexually abused in his book "Against All Odds," which came out this week.

The disclosure spotlights the difference between the way boys and men handle violations compared to girls and women.

CNN's Don Lemon spoke with David Lisak, a member of the group 1in6.org and an abuse survivor himself, about why male victims tend to not expose the sexual offenses against them.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Our organization is here to help men and women both, no matter what path their life experience has taken them.

We are non denominational, have no political affiliation and belong to no other outside group.

Our primary mission at NAASCA is to help abused adults get into recovery, and, secondly, to educate the public about the many issues surrounding child abuse.


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Male Survivor web sites 

Here is an excellent list of organizations that comes from MaleSurvivor.org, a group committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism.
1in6 - offers a wealth of information and resources on its website, including an online helpline and a lending library, for men who have experienced unwanted or abusive childhood sexual experiences and those who care about them. Their site is for men at various stages of seeking information and help, including those who don't see themselves as “survivors” or their experiences as “abuse.” 1in6 also provides trainings for therapists and other professionals.
www.1in6.org
End Abuse Now - is a page about the Hearing Healing Hope program of support groups for sexually abused men based in Owen Sound ON and serving Grey-Bruce counties, including at least one First Nations reserve. The program is explicitly understanding and supportive of First Nations traditions and culture. The page is part of a larger site called End Abuse Now, sponsored by the Grey Bruce Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee.
www.endabusenow.ca/node/93
The Gatehouse is a community-based agency in the west end of Toronto which offers a wide range of services for victims of child abuse and their families -- notably peer-facilitated support groups for men sexually abused as boys.
www.thegatehouse.org

Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project - 1 in 4 Gay Men Experience Domestic Violence. Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project is a grassroots, non-profit organization founded by a gay male survivor of domestic violence and developed through the strength, contributions and participation of the community. Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project supports victims and survivors through education, advocacy and direct services.
www.gmdvp.org
John Howard Society - Supporting Adult Men – Male Adult Survivors of Abuse, Substance Abuse, Harm Reduction, Domestic Violence and Anger Management.
www.johnhowardtor.on.ca 

Male Survivors of Sexual Assault
 - Sessions are free and confidential at the Sexual Assault Crisis Center, 1 Dock St., Suite 320, Stamford, Conn.
Call 203-348-9346 or 24-hour hotline, 203-329-2929
www.stamfordadvocate.com/default/article/

Male Survivors Sexual Abuse & Male Rape Survivors Support
http://www.aest.org.uk/survivors/male/

Men Thriving - a member's only bulletin board for those over 21 years old - requires registration and adherence to strict rules of conduct - connect and share with other males survivors of child abuse
www.menthriving.org
The Men's Project, based in Ottawa ON, offers a wide range of individual and group services for men, including men who've been sexually abused.www.themensproject.ca
The Silence to Hope Project - focus on assisting male sexual abuse survivors who have been sexually victimized by representative of the Catholic Church in this part of South Western Ontario
www.rcec.london.on.ca/abuse/SilenceHopeHealing.htm
The Victims Resource Center provides a wide range of services to men, women and children who are victims of crime. These services include a 24-hour hotline, support groups, counseling and advocacy for victims. VRC also provides numerous educational programs for students of all ages, professionals and community groups. The Victims Resource Center is private, confidential and it's services are free. If you or someone you know is a victim of crime, VRC can help. We guide clients toward the path of healing.
www.vrcnepa.org/index.php


READ THE REST ON THE ORIGINATING WEBSITE 

Love Changes Everything #childabuse #survivors

Many survivors of childhood sexual abuse struggle with adult relationships. I know my own adult life had been severely blighted by what happened to me as a child.

A pattern emerged of revictimtisation and in turn retraumatisation. With hindsight it appeared a never ending circle of behaviour.

My relationships were all tainted by childhood events. The title of this blog may seem confusing.. Love alone is not enough. I believed I was in love, and loved, so many times. Maybe I was, but in all honesty I was in love with the ideal of being in love.

Life for the partner of a victim of childhood sexual abuse can be tough going. I have touched upon that issue in this blog. If both partners have been abused then the situation is either going to be a disaster or with a bit of patience and work from both sides, a wonderful experience.

We all have baggage from past relationships in one form or another. We may also carry scars from these relationships. The important thing is to cast aside all preconceived ideas that were built up in the past and to fully trust and be open with the one you are with now.

Love is a beautiful experience, especially so when both partners realise how special their relationship is. It is something to be cherished, nurtured, and fed. Love needs love.

“When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily.”

Too many people think that love takes no or little effort. To give your love to someone is a gift of you. You trust the object of your affection to treat it as one would a rare and beautiful treasure. If someone loves you in return then value them and take care of the love you both share. 

Much of this is true whether you or they were a victim of CSA or not. To be truly loved is a rare and precious thing. Love is love, heterosexual, homosexual, whatever your orientation. 

Yes.. Love can change everything, and for me it has. 



Love is like a flower; with proper nurturing it blooms and flourishes as each day passes.

Yet, if it is neglected, in a moment's time it soon withers and dies.

To hold love, you must treat it as a rare and tender flower, nurturing it with the utmost patience and care.

To keep it vibrant and alive it takes many long hours of continuous effort and constant attention.

To lose it takes only a moment of of forgetfulness, disinterest and mistrust.

To sow the seeds of love is as wonderful as sowing the seeds of magnificent garden, and watching them flourish and grow is a marvel in itself.

To sow the seeds of love only to watch them wither and choke, like a garden that's become full of weeds, is a crime of the heart that none should commit. 

Love can last an eternity, like the gardens of a forbidden tropical paradise, yet, in an instant, it can be destroyed by a hurricane of hate, in a sea of bitterness and despair.

Poem ©1985 Lloydene Fay Hill ("This poem was written in 1985, while in the midst of the death throes of my first marriage")
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