Guys here's the other part of the story and this is why I let them use my whole name. I just didn't want to be the newspaper token survivor. I wantedd to get some news coverage on the lack of help for Male Survivors. So the reporter agreed to do this story also. I copied over the story here. We could really use some feed back on this on the newspaper web site.
Please go to their web site and comment on your experience trying to find help. It would be good also to put a good word in about the MS website.
Tom Support for men difficult to find
Support groups for men difficult to find
6/26/2008 10:35:02 AM
By John Weiss
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
Tom Mahowald feels he's being abused again by a system that doesn't provide services to men who were abused.
He believes men are 20 years behind women in getting help with peer support groups. "We're like the silent majority, we don't speak up," he said..
"It's not just me, it's a national issue," he said. "There is nothing around here for support groups" in Winona, Rochester or LaCrosse, Wis. Women "get grant money and state funding," which is good for women, but men need help too. There should be equal services, he said. He said he tried to get something started in the Twin Cities, and had names of 15 men but didn't get anywhere with those controlling the money. "In many cases, they view us as the enemy because we're males," he said.
There are no federal mandates for equality. "Basically, men are left without any resources," he said. "There is no outreach for men."
A part of the problem is that it might be harder for men to admit to being abused, let alone join an organization. "It takes a lot for us to feel safe, in order to be in a group and in order to speak out," he said.
He belongs to some organizations of male sexual abuse survivors, but they are on-line only "We need peer support, we need to know we're not alone," he said. "The ideal situation is to have one locally where you could meet live with people....You really need that live connection, that local connection."
The Minnesota Department of Human Services said it doesn't fund such groups and doesn't know of any funding sources for groups like Mahowald wants.
Linda Billman, supervisor of child and family services for Olmsted County, said the county doesn't set up such groups and wait for people to show up. "Those things just don't exist for people to show up. You have to show a need," she said.
Or people in her department might see a trend in their case loads, such as many people having the same issue, and try to find a group that can set up a program.
Men need to join together, show they have a need that can be met with a program.
Research shows it's hard for anyone to disclose being sexually abused. Anecdotally, however, she's seen more men talking about it.
Her advice to those wanting a program is find others also interested and contact someone, such as the a director of family services in a county, and see what kind of help can be offered. You have to speak out to get help, she said. It's not that the government is against men, they are often silent, she said. "There is such a shame factor in talking about it," she said.
For more information, go to Postbulletin.com/weblinks.
Learn more about male survivors of sexual abuse, go tohttp://malesurvivor.org