Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN) is a not-for-profit organisation working to increase public awareness of the effects that childhood sexual abuse can have on men in their adult lives. SAMSN employs psychologists and social workers who have experience working with male survivors to facilitate support groups for men and their families and supporters.
Any man who has suffered from the effects of child sexual assault should know it was not his fault and that healing and recovery is possible. Regardless of his ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, or religion any man can contact SAMSN for support.
YOU GOT THIS FAR
Men dealing with the effects of childhood sexual abuse can have a difficult journey ahead of them. Typically men are expected to be mentally and physically tough and ‘in control’. However male victims of childhood sexual abuse will often feel helpless and carry shame and guilt for what happened to them when they were young. Research has shown that many men can wait on average 20 years before disclosing to anyone.
Frequently men who were sexually abused when young remain isolated and distressed by those memories. Feelings of anxiety and secrecy can affect them into adulthood. Some men have a sense of loss or confusion around their confidence, masculinity or sexuality and find it difficult to trust. Many try to calm these feelings of distress with alcohol, drugs and gambling.
A WAY FORWARD
There is a way to deal with these feelings. It means recovering from the experiences rather than trying to “cover them up” or burying them. Doing some reading about childhood sexual abuse can be a good first step. Seeking support from a qualified and experienced therapist can also be an important step towards recovery. Many men find that talking with other males who have been through a similar experience, in a safe environment, can be an effective and fulfilling experience and be an important part of their recovery. Men have found that participating in our groups has helped build their confidence, improved their ability to have more intimate and trusting relationships and enabled them to become more engaged as parents.
“Childhood sexual abuse has been an issue that my wife and I have been dealing with over many years since I disclosed the events of my childhood to her. After stumbling across the SAMSN organisation I attended the 8 week group counselling sessions – and the difference to me, my relationship with my wife and children has been extraordinary – a massive burden has been lifted from my life which has been a great difficulty in my life since a priest started abusing me from about the age of 12.The topics and the group discussion in the 8 week counselling sessions were truly life changing and the power that these sessions have given me to drive my own life into the future is just one of many powerful outcomes for me. The collective wisdom of the group participants is such a special thing that I underestimated going into the program.
Once again – I give thanks to you for touching part of my life and the lives of my family in such a positive way.”
Matt – November, 2014
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