Childhood Sexual Abuse - CSA - Men's Resources

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2013
Childhood Sexual Abuse - CSA - Men's Resources
2
Sun, 03-24-2013 - 7:08am

I'm new to the community and wanted to bring up a topic that I hope can help even just one person... Childhood Sexual Abuse of Men/Boys.

We have probably all read or heard about cases of childhood sexual abuse and believe them to be such rare cases; however, estimates indicate that one in six boys are sexually abused by age 18. That means that perhaps one of six males that you know are or have been somehow sexually abused... yourself, spouse, child, neighbor, friend, co-worker... someone! Because of the stigma attached to abuse few men report the incidents which can range in severity from inappropriate touching to bullying, rape, explotation or a combination. 

As a former victim / survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I have recently come to terms with my past and the effects that the abuse / incest / rape has had on me personally and in my platonic and sexual relationships. Recently a trigger has induced an awareness to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, a panic and anxiety disorder, and other emotional issues that I currently in therapy for. CSA issues are not limited to the news stories you hear of pedophile football coaches, clergy, scout leaders, teachers or that creepy old man near the schoolyard. In my case, the sexual abuse was done by my older brother from when I was ten until about fifteen. Perhaps the worst part of my story is that it is not and never was discussed and I was pretty much told that it was some kind of crazy dream or fantasy that never took place. It is no wonder that it's never spoken about for the emotional realities of shame, blame, guilt, depression, trauma and so much more.

CSA and molestation *DOES* occur in families and I am one of those victims / survivors looking to gain and share support services to other men and boys whose lives are, were or will be affected. I am opening up this discussion here because there is little information or FAQs about the issues that relate to men whose lives and loves are, were or will never be the same.

Any serious input would be greatly appreciated ... questions, comments, resources?

- Jeff (aka CSAJourney)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2013

I am deeply saddened by your story. Thank you for speaking up and, yes, I do agree that physical and emotional abuse can harm people in the same ways as sexual. abuse can. I am also aware the abuse is not gender specific either but hoping to hear more from and about anyone who understands the negative impact of all kinds of abuse in our lives and those whom we love, those who support awareness and can offer resources, as well as those who are, were or will be in our shoes. Abusers and bullies need to be stopped!!! Don't let their crimes go unreported. SPEAK UP!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2013

Hi Jeff,

I want to commend you on your ability to discuss the issue.  Also, I wanted to let you know that there are many kinds of abuse, not just sexual.  Admittedly, sexual abuse is a particularly severe, hideous and insidious form of abuse. But, if you look more generically, you will find that younger siblings are often abused by their older siblings and sometimes (oftentimes?) that abuse is not sexual, but it can be quite violent and severe, nonetheless.

So, I am not trying to 'upgrade' or 'downgrade' anyone's type of pain and abuse, but abuse is abuse.  I think one way to get more support is to cast a wider net, and not focus too much on the 'sexual' nature of the abuse.  One can focus on physical, mental and emotional abuse without focusing on what part of their body was abused.  Whether taunting and teasing, physical assault, sexual assault; whether that assault happened once in a while or daily; whether that abuse was reported and ignored by parents or even encouraged by parents.  As you seek understanding and comfort, you will see abuse often has a cast of characters, both accomplices and victims; that abuse rarely happens in a vacuum.

In my case, an abusive eldest brother terrorized his two younger siblings, my being the youngest of three.  In the end, the daily pummeling left the middling sibling, the one I was closer to, with depression, low self-esteem, and resultant poor self-preservation skills that directly led to a preventable accident that killed him, at age 26.

So, just know you are a survivor, as I am.  And, my elder brother was not so fortunate.  As bad as it was for you for the many years it happened, you still have some hope at a normal life, particularly if you can handle the anger, distrust, and grief such abuse causes.  My deceased brother has no such hopes.