My wife is a big fan of Oprah Winfrey. She is certainly one of the most influential people in North America (Oprah, not my wife). So I was pleased when my wife told me that Oprah had devoted two days to a show about male survivors of sexual abuse. The first part aired last week. Part two is scheduled to be aired today.
The show is about the stories of 200 adult men who were molested as children. I applaud Oprah’s efforts to encourage male survivors of sexual abuse to come forward.
I have been representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse for almost 20 years. Having represented literally hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse I can say for a fact that male survivors of sexual abuse find it more difficult to talk about what happened to them than the female survivors that I have helped.
The First Step
The first step to stopping childhood sexual abuse is to talk about it. Talking about the reality of childhood sexual abuse will help reduce the stigma for survivors. It will help educate the public about the effects of childhood sexual abuse. It will teach parents, family and friends what to look for so you know when it is happening.
I cannot tell you how many times survivors of sexual abuse have said to me: “I thought I was the only one…”.
You Are Not Alone
If there is one thing male survivors of sexual abuse need to know is: You are not alone!
Survivors often have a difficult time finding someone they can trust to talk about what happened to them. So I have prepared a resource guide for survivors of sexual abuse that lists counselors throughout Atlantic Canada who specialize in helping sexual abuse survivors. You can get a copy by contacting me.
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