Research-based Recovery Information*
for Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse and Adversity


Dube and colleagues (2005)    [LINK]  conducted a study, using retrospective data, examined the long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. Contact Childhood Sex Abuse (CSA) was reported by 16% of males and 25% of females. Men reported female perpetration of CSA nearly 40% of the time, and women reported female perpetration of CSA 6% of the time. CSA significantly increased the risk of the outcomes. The magnitude of the increase was similar for men and women. For example, compared to reporting no sexual abuse, a history of suicide attempt was more than twice as likely among both men and women who experienced CSA (p<0.05). Compared with those who did not report CSA, men and women exposed to CSA were at a 40% increased risk of marrying an alcoholic, and a 40% to 50% increased risk of reporting current problems with their marriage (p<0.05).

Image locator for video - Esther Perel discussing male sexuality

In a brief video segment -- [LINK] -- counsellor and familly therapist Esther Perel discusses the importance of sexuality to processes involving self-identity and self-esteem; experiences of mastery, competence, and achievement; experience of vulnerability, and trust in intimate relationships; loving, giving and receiving more generally in relationships; and the experience of safety, connection and sexual connection in relationships with loved ones and with others more generally. Naturally all of these are crucial to personal, interpersonal and social functioning and all can be tragically, and sometimes permanently, damaged and disabled as a result of childhood abuse, trauma and neglect.

In the full video -- [LINK] -- Esther discusses truths about male sexual and relational attitudes. Discussed are three ideas about male sexuality that are myths and how to help men connect with and share their sexual attitudes and values

Dealing with the Impact of Sexual Abuse - Help from Peers
I discuss elsewhere on this site -- [link] -- more general guidelines for how to deal with the impact of trauma on personal functioning, but here I'd again like to stress some of the benefits of peer support, and I'd like to plug the availability of groups specifically for men that are available in Dunedin, and elsewhere in New Zealand, through the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust -- [LINK].

When survivors talk with others about their problems, something helpful often results. It is important not to isolate yourself. Instead, make efforts to be with others. Of course, you must choose your support people with care. You must also ask them clearly for what you need. With support from others, you may feel less alone and more understood. You may also get concrete help with a problem you have. Participating in a men's group, gaining the insight and support of men like yourself, can also help you benefit from other types of therapy -- such as Couples Therapy -- [LINK].

Given the broad range of influences sexuality has on every aspect of our identities, it's hardly surprising that the impact of sexual abuse, sexual trauma, can have on our lives.

Thus, there's a great need to feel "validated" when one begins telling the story of one's experience of sexual abuse. Often, this is possible in a good therapeutic relationship, but also often in a same-sex peer support group, given the differences in how men and women may respond, and the different social roles they occupy. Often, however, being in a healthy, adult relationship with a loved one can overcome even the great difficulties listed above.

Further information for male survivors, therapists and caregivers:           [LINK]


Mike Lew'S website -- [LINK]

All male survivors of childhood sexual abuse owe a great debt to Mike for his first book "Victims No Longer" -- Amazon details -- [LINK]. Those unfamiliar with this work, whether they be victims, caregivers of those who have suffered sexual abuse, or therapists can benefit from at least acquainting themselves with this work, and Mike's recent work on his website.

Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust --

I recommend NOT dealing with MSSAT in Dunedin, or Christchurch, due to their failure to ensure services provided are safe and relevant -- see my Blog.
Services in Auckland and Wakato operate independently of MSSAT Christchurch, thankfully.