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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Forgotten Victim!!

It is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. These are two extremely important issues.  I wanted to do a post that I rarely see and that is about male sexual assault and not just children, but men. For women, it is very difficult to speak up about being sexually assaulted, but for men it is significantly harder. When they do speak up, they are really not taken seriously or their emotional damage is hardly ever addressed. They receive little support because most services are for men although this is changing somewhat.

From the National Center for Victims of Crime, they define sexual assault by the following: Sexual assault takes many forms including attacks such as rape or attempted rape, as well as any unwanted sexual contact or threats. Usually a sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person's body in a sexual way, even through clothes, without that person's consent. Some types of sexual acts which fall under the category of sexual assault include forced sexual intercourse (rape), sodomy (oral or anal sexual acts), child molestation, incest, fondling and attempted rape. Sexual assault in any form is often a devastating crime. Assailants can be strangers, acquaintances, friends, or family members. Assailants commit sexual assault by way of violence, threats, coercion, manipulation, pressure or tricks. Whatever the circumstances, no one asks or deserves to be sexually assaulted.

Adult men seem to be the forgotten victims of sexual assault due to some of what I stated above. I found little information regarding adult male sexual assault, but tons of information regarding women and children (boys and girls). But, there are some resources. One reason is the myth instilled through masculine gender socialization and sometimes referred to as the "macho image," declares that males, even young boys, are not supposed to be victims or even vulnerable. We learn very early that males should be able to protect themselves. , strength, and knowledge. A cultural bias maintains that males cannot be victims. Males are expected to be confident, knowledgeable, and aggressive. To be a victim means one is an inadequate male.

The same misconceptions apply to men and some to women as well. Male victims of sexual abuse struggle with issues of homosexuality as most offenders are male. Their homophobia plus their confusion and fear encourage silence. If a boy receives money for sex; he is less likely to be perceived as a victim; If a boy has a homosexual orientation, he is often blamed for the "seduction" of the older male, instead of being acknowledged as a legitimate victim of sexual abuse; molestation by an older female is often viewed positively as a kind of "initiation rite" into manhood; cultural pressure encourages participation while denying feelings; male victims of sexual abuse, more than female victims, may fear loss of freedom and independence if the sexual abuse should be made public; fear of reprisals from the offender plays a role in under-reporting; when boys are victimized, they tend to be blamed more for their abuse and are viewed as less in need of care and support; boys fear negative judgment by family and friends; and embarrassment and/or confusion prevent male victims of sexual abuse from disclosing. This information is from Male Survivor website.

For more information and support go to Male Survivor, Butler County Rape Crisis Center or RAIIN.

Please share your experiences personal or someone you know. All comments are welcome, but please be considerate of the fact that adult males are victims and maybe reading this post. Don't further myths and cause shame and emotional harm by your comments.


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