Male trauma can be a real life struggle

WHILE men are far more likely to take memories of sexual abuse to their grave, their trauma is far from buried, manifesting itself in aggression, violence and substance-abuse, according to Phil Jones of Lismore's Men and Family Centre.

Mr Jones, facilitator of a new group for male survivors of sexual abuse, called Taking the First Step, believes it's not always easy in a politically correct world to admit that men and women have very different emotional needs.

"It's safer for women to get together and talk about experiences, whereas when men get together they tend to do things together - play footy, go fishing.

"This is why the local men specialists at The Men and Family Centre have been engaged to collaborate with Heartfelt House."

They have adapted a program, initially developed for women, to better suits the unique needs of male survivors.

Mr Jones, himself a survivor, revealed he was 29 before he told anyone what happened to him.

"He (the abuser) told me that if I told anyone he would kill my mother. He had been dead for a long time before I told anyone. But when I started to talk about it, it was like opening a floodgate," he said.



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