From the victim to survivor, campaigner to supporter, law maker to law enforcer… in one way or another sexual abuse affects us all. The after effects, or legacy of abuse, can be felt by not just the survivor but by his partner, family members and friends. This page has been specially written for those very such people (that’s you by the way, but we guess you already know that).
If you’re reading this page then we’re going to assume that someone you know, care for and love is a survivor. We’d like to offer you a very warm and safe welcome to We Are Survivors and say a huge thank you for taking the time to find out how to offer the best support you possibly can. Although you or your partner/friend/family member might not realise it yet, you have shown immense courage yourself by being here. Thank you so much.
We want you to know that there are many other partners, friends and family members who are in a similar position to you now and as much as we try to emphasise to him that he is not alone, neither are you!
When the man in your life has been raped or assaulted, or when he feels able to finally tell you that he was sexually abused as a child, he will need a great deal of positive support from the people around him. As well as professional ‘helpers’ such as counsellors, therapists, doctors and support workers, he really needs you too – especially if he’s only recently disclosed to you and finally accepted himself that he was abused.
Many partners simply don’t know how to deal with the trauma and legacy of sexual abuse (why would you!) and become frustrated, angry and upset. You can be left feeling that you are in some way failing the person you love.
This can be a really difficult time for him, and you too, so in order to offer him the best support we can we need to make sure there is support for you. We help him, by helping you, by helping him… we think it’s a win win situation as everyone gets support that they might very well need.
We haven’t got all the answers and we can’t tell you exactly what to do, but what we can do is provide you with things to think about, offer you some tips on the possible DO’S and DON’TS, and generally let you know that you are an important part of his recovery. But don’t let that scare you off, remember, any relationship (whether that’s a partnership, friendship, etc) needs work and the more effort you put in the more you get out of it.
Click on one of the following buttons to open the relevant pages we have created especially for partners, friends and families of male survivors: