Why do some male survivors wait so long to speak and break the silence that has surrounded them since they were sexually abused?
If you have never spoken out before, and wondered why you have waited so long to do something about it, carry on reading and see if the answers come to you.
Set out below are just some of the reasons given to me since 1991.
I was to blame for what happened, I didn't stop it, or tell someone what was happening.
If you had been able to speak out, at the time, you would have done so, and stopped it then, but because of varying reasons as to why you didn't, why judge yourself, as that younger child or adult, and continue to blame yourself? You had no choice in what happened TO you, and therefore did the best you could, at the time, to get through it all.
Often, sexual abuse is carried out in the family, and far more than is believed, so when its a family member, be that mother, father, sister, brother, aunts, uncles, or grandparents, it can confuse you even more.
If it was someone who close in age, that causes more issues for you to deal with, as it feels like it should be kept quiet, and not talked about, but if you were to be told, by someone else, that they had been abused by a family member, would you find that easier to deal with? If so, tell yourself again, that the abuse is abuse and you have every right to talk about it and break the silence.
It didn't hurt me and there were parts I enjoyed.
That has been said to me so many times, and I always answer it as such: I defy anyone to not react sexually or to enjoy sexual feelings, from being touched sexually. The difference here is that it was sexually abusive, even if done in a 'loving' way, because it was not done by choice. You had no choice and no matter what was said to you at the time, the abusers had the control and power over you, so try and distance yourself from the sexual 'pleasures' you may have had, and consider that it wasn't an issue, you wouldn't be looking for answers as to what happened to you.
I didn't say yes, but I didn' say no.
Again, here is the wrongly inherited guilt and shame that stops male survivors from speaking out, in that because you 'took part', you then believe that it was your fault, when it is the person who asked, or coerced you into doing something sexual TO them.
It was just the once and wasn't that bad.
In that case, you would not have a problem with it and would not be reading this page, but as you maybe what you need to do is recognise that it has had a profoudn effect upon you, in many ways, and start to work on those issues, many of which are outlined on other pages on this site.
He only got me to do things to him, he never touched me.
That has been said on many occasions, in that some boys are coerced into doing sexual things TO the abuser, and therefore end up thinking that they were abusers, and that by doing so, must be gay or enjoyed doing it.
If that fits your story, it's easily explained, in that he or they, MADE you do things, in order to trap you into what they wanted, and left you with no escape from the abuse. It has been reported many times that the abuser got more than one child involved and coerced them to be sexual with one other, further compounding guilt and shame.
I was told my mother/father would be killed if I said anything.
A typical ploy by abusers is to make threats to ensure that you complhy with their demands, so you can excuse yourself that you failed to speak out at the time, because at least you taking that step now, I hope, by breaking the silence imposed upon you.
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