WOW!! Male survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Wow!! I am really amazed at some of the things people have shared with me since starting this blog. While there have been some comments left here on the blog itself, there have been more shared in personal emails and instant messages. I am honored that so many feel safe in sharing with me their walk in life....especially male survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

I've heard from men who grew up in families where domestic abuse was the norm..including stories of murder/suicide within their families....to child sexual assault at the hands of both genders. The pain in their words they type to me is clear and is something that cannot be masked nor fabricated.

All of this just highlights how toxic these forms of abuse are...whether you were the direct victim, or recieved the domino effect from growing up in a house under both the victim's and abuser's control.

For the most part society assumes that victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault are women...and the abusers are male. We need to change that picture in our collective mind's eye and realize that anyone...any human...can suffer at the hands of another. We also need to realize that any child who is witness to it is a victim as well. That is something I had to face when it happened in my marriage and my children witnessed it. My boys who are now survivors as well.

Thank you to all the men who have contacted me in someway or form to tell me their experience....I repsect the courage it took to do so.

Below are some links for men on the road to surviving domestic abuse and/or sexual assault:

Battered Men

Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Domesitc Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition - Male Survivors

If any readers know of some additional resources, please leave them in the comments section.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has contacted me - I am amazed at your courage!

Comments

sunriselover said…
I have used some of those links and they are helpful..thank you for posting this there is much to learn
MenInMyTown said…
My name is Keith Smith. I was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger. It wasn't a neighbor, a coach, a relative, a family friend or teacher. It was a recidivist pedophile predator who spent time in prison for previous sex crimes; an animal hunting for victims in the quite, bucolic, suburban neighborhoods of Lincoln, Rhode Island.

I was able to identify the guy and the car he was driving. Although he was arrested that night and indicted a few months later, he never went to trial. His trial never took place because he was brutally beaten to death in Providence before his court date. 34 years later, no one has ever been charged with the crime.

In the time between the night of my assault and the night he was murdered, I lived in fear. I was afraid he was still around town. Afraid he was looking for me. Afraid he would track me down and kill me. The fear didn’t go away when he was murdered. Although he was no longer a threat, the simple life and innocence of a 14-year-old boy was gone forever. Carefree childhood thoughts replaced with the unrelenting realization that my world wasn’t a safe place. My peace shattered by a horrific criminal act of sexual violence.

Over the past 34 years, I’ve been haunted by horrible, recurring memories of what he did to me. He visits me in my sleep. There have been dreams–nightmares actually–dozens of them, sweat inducing, yelling-in-my-sleep nightmares filled with images and emotions as real as they were when it actually happened. It doesn’t get easier over time. Long dead, he still visits me, silently sneaking up from out of nowhere when I least expect it. From the grave, he sits by my side on the couch every time the evening news reports a child abduction or sex crime. I don’t watch America’s Most Wanted or Law and Order SVU, because the stories are a catalyst, triggering long suppressed emotions, feelings, memories, fear and horror. Real life horror stories rip painful suppressed memories out from where they hide, from that recessed place in my brain that stores dark, dangerous, horrible memories. It happened when William Bonin confessed to abducting, raping and murdering 14 boys in California; when Jesse Timmendequas raped and murdered Megan Kanka in New Jersey; when Ben Ownby, missing for four days, and Shawn Hornbeck, missing for four years, were recovered in Missouri.

Despite what happened that night and the constant reminders that continue to haunt me years later, I wouldn’t change what happened. The animal that attacked me was a serial predator, a violent pedophile trolling my neighborhood in Lincoln, Rhode Island looking for young boys. He beat me, raped me, and I stayed alive. I lived to see him arrested, indicted and murdered. It might not have turned out this way if he had grabbed one of my friends or another kid from my neighborhood. Perhaps he’d still be alive. Perhaps there would be dozens of more victims and perhaps he would have progressed to the point of silencing his victims by murdering them.

Out of fear, shame and guilt, I’ve been silent for over three decades, not sharing with anyone the story of what happened to me. No more. The silence has to end. What happened to me wasn't my fault. The fear, the shame, the guilt have to go. It’s time to stop keeping this secret from the people closest to me, people I care about, people I love, my long-time friends and my family. It’s time to speak out to raise public awareness of male sexual assault, to let other victims know that they’re not alone and to help victims of rape and violent crime understand that the emotion, fear and memories that may still haunt them are not uncommon to those of us who have shared a similar experience.

For those who suffer in silence, I hope my story brings some comfort, strength, peace and hope.

My novel, Men in My Town, was inspired by these actual events. Men in My Town is available now at www.Amazon.com

For additional information, please visit the Men in My Town blog at www.meninmytown.wordpress.com

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