Survivor Stories: Men Break the Silence

What I’ve linked below is a very thorough journal article written by David Lisak for the Journal of Traumatic Stress. He interviewed a little over two dozen men who had been sexual abuse victims to better understand what men experience within their own minds and from the mind of society.

I say thorough because he goes into great depth describing the process of finding subjects, interviewing them, cataloging the data, etc. That sort of thing could be right up your street. If it’s not (I’ll admit it’s not my favorite thing to read), skip down to the bottom of page 530 (aka page 6). That’s where he begins using interview excerpts to explore the various responses (i.e. anger, fear, aggression, etc.).

One interview especially stuck out to me. The man said, “For women, you just call your local 800 rape line and you’ve got everything from a place to stay, food, money. They take care of your bills and your kids and everything else. I can call up and plead all I want, I can’t get a cup of coffee. And that is like one of the biggest, most frustrating things in the world for me” (351).

It breaks my heart that the societal norm is a hindrance to male survivors finding the right tools they need to heal. I don’t blame men at all for not wanting to talk about their abuse; they expect (and often rightly so) to be ignored or criticized. I pray that ends soon as more awareness is raised for male survivors of sexual abuse.

Male Survivor Interviews conducted by David Lisak, 1994.

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