The following is a link to a powerful photo essay featured on Buzzfeed from Grace Brown’s Project Unbreakable, an online platform that strives to “increase awareness of the issues surrounding sexual assault.”
The photos of the victims are on the following link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/spenceralthouse/male-survivors-of-sexual-assault-quoting-the-people-who-a. They are also featured at the end of this post.
I wonder sometimes if the act of brushing away the emotional and physical abuse borne by adult men shows a larger problem in our society on how male abuse is something not adequately dealt with in first world countries (or for that matter, other countries, but then many other countries are very patriarchal and the women there already suffer enough, and often much more than the men.)
But I often wonder how abuse towards men is trivialized, not addressed adequately or just laughed off, especially in Canada, US, and Europe. Men who are more naive, vulnerable, sensitive, passive or non-confrontational are often victims of both psychological and physical abuse too, but this is not sufficiently probed into, or even empathized upon – definitely not to the extent women in similar situations receive support and sympathy. Male victims are instead asked to “toughen up,” “forget about it,” “let it go” and so on.
Men, not just in sexual assaults as shown in the photo essay, but in relationships can, and also do, face abuse and women who are high-conflict types can be very abusive towards them, yet, while ample on-line and psychological health resources exist for women, there are hardly any for men.
And I will not even get into the warped way in which the family courts and divorce courts in Canada, USA and western Europe are skewed against men and their rights. Powerful men in these countries have unlimited clout. But the men who do not possess certain confrontational qualities, and may become silent victims in various circumstances, are almost treated like second class citizens when it comes to addressing issues such as abuse, assault and psychological/physical trauma caused by sexual, marital and/or authoritarian predators.
Have you thought what would have happened if “Dr.” Aubrey Levin had been caught touching a woman patient inappropriately, let alone molesting her? Huge groups would have been up in arms, he would have been locked up sooner, and his breach of faith would have been considered reprehensible immediately. But when sexual abuse occurs towards men and boys, by other men and women, it is often seen as something trivial.
Every month I receive a few heart-rending mails from victims of Levin and of a few other psychiatrists; victims who were not heard, and a few who are still looking for good resources or support groups to help them recover from psychological pain and trauma. The ones he sexually molested were already vulnerable. Some of them were not court ordered, but held normal jobs, and had simply visited him for pills to curb anxiety attacks and sleep disorders etc. and were touched, molested, fondled inappropriately.
I hope to place a blog post in the near future with links to good ethical and objective resources that help male victims. But in the meantime, if readers have any suggestions for on-line or in-person resources that specifically specialize in healing male victims of sexual abuse, please feel free to post as comments, or to mail me the links.
The photo essay of 27 Male Survivors Of Sexual Assault Quoting The People Who Attacked Them