In October of 1988 the first professional Conference on Male Sexual Victimization was held in Minneapolis. This ground-breaking conference, organized by a few dedicated mental health providers, brought together professionals who wanted to better understand and treat adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. At that time, only limited information could be offered to those who participated. But those present had great enthusiasm and the clear recognition that the conference was a necessary and valuable resource, where professionals could share practical information and ask questions. And it was a safe place for some to acknowledge their own sexual victimization.
The energy generated by the first conference helped fuel the production of the second conference a year later in Atlanta. This conference was a great success in many ways. It brought together over 400 professionalsÂ—many pioneer writers, researchers and practitioners in the area of male sexual victimization. A conversation was initiated too, about who we were as a dedicated group, and what we wanted to accomplish. We knew that we wanted to build on the conference theme and continue holding meetings after each conference in order to evaluate our efforts and envision our future.
In the wake of that first conference, there was a great deal of discussion about the growing movement among mental health professionals to address the therapeutic needs of adult male survivors of sexual abuse. In November of 1994 a core group of individuals, who had either attended or organized, many of the previous conferences, decided to incorporate as a non-profit organization. These same individuals spearheaded the initial organizing efforts, formed an interim board designated to write bylaws, and became the first Board of Directors of The National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization.
At the 1995 conference in Columbus, Ohio, the bylaws were voted on, as was a slate of candidates for the remaining board vacancies. Those who voted gave overwhelming approval for the organization to incorporate and this occurred in November of 1995, in the state of Minnesota. Since then NOMSV (now MaleSurvivor) has been moving forward on several fronts, from organizing National Conferences to creating this World Wide Web site.
I've been blogging for almost three years now. It's been an enlightening and inspirational journey so far. There are so many men and women that reach out now, not just to me, but to the numerous official agencies and support groups that exist. I play only a very small part, but it's a part I'm immensely proud of.
Sadly there still needs to be much more done, especially with regards other men who have not yet found help. The resources available to female survivors far outnumber those for males.
The myths and stigmas surrounding male survivors of childhood abuse and adult rape are still stopping guys from coming forward. Though the subject of male abuse has has a fair bit of news coverage in the past year, these walls still exist.
I personally feel the blame lies with society itself. I know I have mentioned this before, many times.. But what to do? You cannot make a subject like this "trendy" or popular, but maybe it can be introduced into more television programs and films. If males can be seen as brave and strong for stepping forward and not as rare victims it might help. Lead roles played by guys that come out of the "abuse closet": normal, everyday guys. Maybe we need a superhero for abuse victims!
In the U.K we have several national agencies that represent males and females together.
Though there are excellent support agencies for guys only (Male Survivor Trust, Survivors Manchester for example) their reach is limited by both locality and funding.
Do you know the feeling of being trapped, just like the walls surrounding you are getting closer and closer? Not too long and they will crush you. Just like being caught in quicksand – every effort to free yourself results in you sinking deeper into it. Somehow you don’t know where this is coming from, you only feel that you are helpless to break free.
Does this sound familiar?
You might be a victim of the relationship trap.
The Relationship Trap
Are you discontent with your relationship? Do you want to break out of it, but don’t know how – and maybe you are even afraid of it?
The survey that I conducted brought to light that many of you have exactly this problem: How do I break out of a relationship that I don’t want, that doesn’t make me happy?
As you know, this site is about surviving break ups and having healthy relationships. But my main concern is your wellbeing!
My most important goal is to lead you down a path towards happiness, towards your real self – if this means that you have to break free from your current relationship, so be it.
So, this article is about how to free yourself from a relationship that is not good for you. I will help you to decide and accomplish a change.
Who Wants to Get Out?
There are 2 common situations for relationship traps.
Case # 1:
Kevin wants to live a life of a playboy. He is young, wants to live and enjoy lots of new experiences. He is life-hungry.
Unfortunately, it somehow doesn’t work out as he planned. Every time he meets a nice new girl, he ends up being sucked into a long-term relationship, apparently against his will.
After some time the girl breaks up with him, and the whole process starts again from the beginning.
Second, you have to talk about your problems, dismissing them will only result in getting them insolvable. Make your mutual needs a priority and work out a compromise. If this works out, then you have made an important step towards a fulfilling relationship.
If not, proceed to step four.
4. How do I break up?
Please read my article on how to break up gracefully for making this decision – this will help you a lot. I describe the whole process step-by-step.
A wrong and unhealthy relationship can heavily diminish your life-quality. You then have only two options: to make it better or to free yourself from it.
This article has given you the tools to evaluate the quality of your relationship, so you can decide what further course of action you need to take.
If you don’t want to be in a relationship, then don’t let anybody force you into staying in one. Be honest here – to your partner and to yourself.
Always keep in mind: your needs and wishes are very important. It’s your life and it’s short.
Recently I've had a few problems online. An email account hacked, bank details hacked, my identity used without my permission. My blog received over a hundred scam/span attempts in over two days.
I thought that was bad enough. I was then the victim of a scam on an online forum I'm a member of which also involved another, innocent member. Attacks on myself I can handle. I was upset and annoyed that someone else was taken in and that I was involved. I will not go into personal details and the other victim was ok about it at the time ( though I think it affected them more than they let on).
Sunday I received an email, from what was apparently my own address. It contained details about the other victim, intimate details and images. It was obvious that the victim had been very open with the perpetrator. Responding to the mail only resulted in a mail daemon failure message stating the address was unknown. This has really upset me. I have yet to let the victim know, if I let them know. A vulnerable, intelligent and very nice individual opened their heart to another and the trust was abused. My instinctive reaction is to reach out to try and help and help this person. Unfortunately reaching out can sometimes produce a negative, even angry response. The victim may also freak out knowing that personal details were sent to me. I'm stuck.
The perpetrator was originally asking me for help, was very charming and believable. I'd chatted with them earlier in the day, and they got back in touch. They used a false name and had stolen the identity of the other victim. After I got suspicious the perpetrator vanished. I then located the true owner of the false I.d and informed them.
As a fairly high profile male survivor myself I often get asked advice, or simply asked to be a listener. I try and be open and available to others online. I suppose that being in the "public eye" makes one an easy target. It's happened to me before, but nothing like this. The perpetrator was also quoting various lines from my own blog as their own.
I've reported the hacks and the use of personal details. I'm just so angry...
I've locked my own system and details right down now so hopefully will be safer in future.
It's that time of year again.. Ignored at your peril if you've got a partner, abused by the commercial sector as an excuse to make even more money. Those who are alone might well hate Valentines Day is nothing drops through their real or cyber letterbox.
Love is a gift, from one person to another, a shared gift that should be cherished and nourished. Don't take love for granted, it can quickly go sour.
I used to "fall in love" if someone was simply nice to me. I suppose my childhood has something to do with that. It took me a long time to appreciate what love really was. Love can take many forms, be expressed in many, many ways. It shouldn't be just on Valentines Day that you show your loved one what they mean to you..
Love is trust, security, a warm glow, a many splendored thing indeed.
Perhaps the hardest thing for people like me is to love ourselves, to allow ourselves to love and be loved. I didn't like myself for a long time, let alone love myself. Loving oneself is not vanity, it's essential. As a great songstress sang "Learning to love yourself, It is the greatest love of all"
Love can come from unexpected places if we allow ourselves to be receptive to it. Just because someone is not your predetermined "type" does not mean that love could not blossom. What lies beneath the skin is far more important than good looks or a fit physique. Love is chemistry.
Whatever you do on Valentines Day, whether you are single or not, be nice to yourself. Be open to love; if you put too many obstacles in the way love will fail to knock on your door.
Stop it Now! believes and acts on the principle that all adults are responsible for protecting the most vulnerable in society. Children can be protected from sexual abuse if adults are aware of how abusers operate, including those who abuse via the Internet. Adults also need to feel confident about what to do if they are worried that abuse might be occurring.
In recent times we have come to understand that children are more likely to be sexually abused by people they know. These are not the ‘monsters’ often portrayed by the media, but familiar and trusted adults, which can make disclosure far more difficult. For some children, whilst they want the abuse to stop, they also want the abuser to get help. All children must be able to tell, to be heard and be protected.
For the families of abusers or those close to them, understanding what has happened and dealing with the consequences of a loved one’s actions is a lengthy and difficult process. Some abusers and potential abusers feel guilty and distressed about their thoughts and actions, but struggle to manage their behaviour.
For these reasons it is critical that everyone affected by child sexual abuse has a place, first, to talk about it. For abusers, this includes learning how to address and manage their behaviour. For families and friends, it includes accessing information and advice about recognising and managing risk.
The aim of the Stop it Now! UK and Ireland campaign, including the Helpline, is to equip adults to protect children from sexual abuse. If as a society we share this aim, we must begin to talk about the issues. With the right tools, everyone can make a real difference to the safety of children.
Our vision is of a society where all adults engage in respectful, caring and protective relationships with children and young people; where children and young people grow up free from sexual abuse or exploitation.
To prevent child sexual abuse by engaging with and supporting adults, families and communities and through research and speaking out. This includes engaging with adults with concerning sexual thoughts or behaviour, and with their families and friends, to prompt positive, protective actions and to promote lives of responsibility and integrity.