I am often asked why male survivors take so long to come forward and break the silence imposed upon them and one answer is simply that adult men, which is what they are now, dont acknowledge sexual abuse as abuse, because sexual experience per se is acceptable to the male culture!
If a male discloses that he was sexually abused by a female, most people say he was lucky, but the damage done is immense and it is not luck!
There is also the guilt, shame and embarresment felt by male survivors, in having to talk about an issue that is personal and painful, so they avoid acknowledging that they have been sexually abused.
Another common theme amongst survivors of child sexual abuse is to grow up believing that our abusers were gay, despite the abusers often being fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins and family friends who were, or who went on to get married.
I have heard statements such as:
"I was in a pub, a man kept looking at me, he wouldn't stop looking at me, so I went over to him and hit him, hard!."
"A man kept looking at me, so I had to leave, just in case he thought I was gay too"
"Men keep coming onto me, wherever I go, whatever I do, but I'm not gay, so why do they do it?"
"It was my fault, for being there, for being a pretty boy, for going back again…etc, etc. etc"
Just some of the things we say and do to ourselves, whilst the abusers walk away.
It doesn't matter if you were sexually abused once or over a period of years, it causes the same amount of personal damage to us all, and has the same devastating effect upon us all.
It can prevent you from forming close loving relationships, stops you from living your life, stops you from being who you want to be, as opposed to who you believe you should be, and in general, stops you from living your life.
Survivors are often hyper vigilant (watching everyone just in case) to all that goes on around them, which reaches into all aspects of daily life.
One common thread is....
You're out in a club or pub, and see someone staring at you. This leads you to think that the other person, often male, is gay, and is looking at you for some reason, usually sexual, and your normal reaction to this is to be violent towards the other person.
What is really happening is that you look at all people around you, see someone looking back at you, and you then go into panic mode
All that's happening is that the other person is watching you watching them, wondering what you're looking at!
No wonder both of you end with confused messages.
An even worse scenario is if the other man is gay, is perhaps looking for a potential partner, and ends up meeting you, through no fault of his own!
So, lets stop the pretence that sexual abuse is committed by gay men, they are not the people who sexually abused you, nor to blame for sexual abuse occurring.
If we continue to blame gay men, how do we explain that females sexually abuse children?
How do we explain away the abuse inflicted upon male survivors by fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbours?
They are no more likely to be gay or be seen as gay
Almost all abusers are people who would state that they are straight, or find it difficult to maintain adult relationships with others of the same or similar age
Gay men and women are NOT guilty nor responsible for the sexual crimes committed against children or adults, and are just as likely to be a survivor of sexual abuse of sexual abuse themselves, so lets stop blaming the wrong people.
Lets stop the myth spreading that abusers are from one stereotype alone, they are our fathers, brothers, uncles, aunts' sisters, neighbours, etc.
As in all cases, sex abusers are from all walks of life, sexuality is not the issue for those who sexually abuse children. It is NOT a gender issue, its an abuse issue.
It is the abusers, male and female, who are the scum of the earth and do not warrant you allowing them to continue to ruin your life anymore
The title of this page said "Who Abused You? Does it really matter?
All that does matter is your recovery and healing.
Be brave, strong, loud and proud to have survived, which is what you have done so far, now move on to being a thriver and live the life you want and deserve.
It's yours for the taking, take it!