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#247075 - 08/28/08 06:59 PM Educating professionals about male victimization
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
I got a call from a large sexual assault counseling agency which sponsors a major training each year in NJ. Last year they had Christine Courtois (one of the pioneers in the incest/csa field) do a full day training on working with females. They want me to do a training focusing on assessment and treatment for male victims/survivors for this coming spring. (They want the focus on adolescents and adults).

This is pretty big in that there has not been (with the exception of the MS conf) any trainings on male victims/survivors in the NYC region. Their target audience is for professionals who are experienced in working with females and they want to educate these people who understand csa to better help teen boys and men who have been abused.

I am putting together a proposed agenda and I'd like your input of what areas you think might be helpful for this audience. Most of these folks have little experience with males and I'd like to pick your brains for some areas you think would be helpful for them to know about.

I mentioned the frustration that many men who call rape counseling agencies and get treated like perpetrators.

I know from time to time, there are men here who have experienced abuse as adults and this is one area where there is little training or understanding. While there are many men who are victimized, my guess is that few come forward. What about assaults in the military (Mic Hunter has written about this a few years ago), in colleges, sports?

What do counselors need to know in order to get men and teen to come forward and talk about it? What do they need to know to be better able to help them?

Thanks for your input.

Ken Singer

Edited by Ken Singer, LCSW (08/28/08 07:01 PM)
Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#247082 - 08/28/08 07:23 PM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
This sounds like a good idea.

From there, if we could educate:
law enforcement
media and information sources.
political personnel

Do you want a highly specific agenda?
Right now I just have time for a quick outline.

I. The typical life agenda of a boy experiencing CSA
A. The stages of experience post-CSA
B. How does it change a boy's life?
II. Effects on personal relationships including family
include effects of rejection / disbelief of story
III. Effects on educational success and performance
IV. Effects on employment / life-success
V. What is involved in treatment/therapy? Is healing possible?
VI. Effects later on a marriage or gay relationship
VII. Recommended reading list (2 ranks: a short necessary list and a longer optional reading list)

Allen aka puffer

#247087 - 08/28/08 07:29 PM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: pufferfish]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2615
Loc: Central PA
I think information on female perpetration against males is needed as well, as I still see the typical mindset being that males abused by females are either lucky or lying etc.

Also the idea that for boys/teens they might not even yet realize the full extent of the damage done or even might falsely believe at the time that they are indeed ok and the realization won't fully hit them until much later in life.

#247167 - 08/29/08 01:26 AM . [Re: JustScott]
bardo213 Offline

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 812

Edited by bardo213 (06/21/13 10:19 PM)

#247189 - 08/29/08 03:34 AM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: bardo213]
DanM Offline

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 540
Loc: So. California

Maybe it would be helpful if you could compare and contrast the differences of how CSA affects male vs. female in the following areas:

1. Statistics (incidence in population)
2. Behavorial changes
3. Delay in seeking treatment (child/adolecent/adult)
4. Long-term effects
5. Double standards/stigma of society regarding male CSA victims
6. Shortage of trained professionals and treatment
7. Resources available at local, state and federal levels

#247200 - 08/29/08 05:40 AM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: DanM]
usmc97 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/05
Posts: 511
Loc: Colorado
I really think they need to meet some of us who really aren't functional as well as the guys who have been able to progress into more healthy "normal" lives. There is a spectrum and not everybody heals, for some just helping to maintain somekind of sanity is all they will be able to do.

There are a lot of differences with when things happen to guys vs females.... not better or worse just different.

Overconfidence is common in the therapeudic community, I've had therapist give a time estimate on how long it would take for them to heal me which never worked out. The expectation of results is harmful with how some therapist treat us. They can take offense because they have "credentials", in not knowing what to do they blame you as the client when it's nobody's fault.

Maybe even for them to hear from some of our therapists who are working with us in order to give a real perspective of what obsticals they face with us instead of just the academic knowledge they've gained, nothing prepares you for a life like ours even if it's only for them to witness. You can't fake caring about your client and for this especially.... we need to know that they care and that they are safe to us individually.

.... or something like what I've said, it's hard to think of the right words right now

Semper Fi

The statistics? 1 in 4, 1 in 6?
...then me the imaginary number

Abuse Part I&II


#247222 - 08/29/08 12:25 PM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: usmc97]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2615
Loc: Central PA
Here's another one I thought about this morning. It comes straight out of my own experience.

There were things I didn't remember, but the things I did remember, I did not recognize as abuse. I didn't think they were abuse. For some reason it seems that some guys are abused and don't even see it for what it was. It took me 25+ years until I came to that realization. If my wife had flat out asked me before we got married if I had ever been abused, I would have said no, because at that point, I truly didn't think I had been.

#247240 - 08/29/08 01:42 PM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: JustScott]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
hmmm, that is a difficult task, what would they need to know to get us to come forward and talk, what would they need to know to better help.

Obviously you have probably already decided to highlight the myths and facts section that is part of this website- that would be the biggest part in getting people to come forward to talk about it i would think- to come forward they have to have an idea of how they will be treatd, especilally because they will be afraid of being labelled as a possible perp.

Not everybody realises how it has affected their lives either, men like to sweep it under the carpet and pretend like it doesn't matter. Things like, do you feel nervous in large groups of people? unable to make decisions in work? feel unconfident in yourself? difficulty maintaining relationships? questions like this will help people look at themselves and see that yes actuallly this is something that they have to deal with in order to improve the quality of their lives.

So in helping us, what differences would there be in treating males and females?
I think, because men and boys don't like to be looked upon as weak and things like that, then extra stress must used in certain areas, such as the idea that we were good people in bad situations, that it wasn't our fault-much more so than you would use for women, and for people who are abused again when they are older then the connection with the abused boy must be made. It is more about how society views it when you are talking about males, i think that is a huge difference. How the therapist relates and treats and sympathises with the survivor has a whole new importance when we are dealing with men because women already have inherent myths that goes the opposite way to us when they are abused.
I'm not sure how i would want to be treated, clearly follow the basics, i wouldn't want to be treated as weak or damaged or not a real man, i wouldn't want things to be minimised because i am male. I wouldn't want to be treated like a woman, i know, that comment doesn't help you much in practical terms, but you get the feeling.

With men, don't forget, we react in different ways than women do sexually, like erections, i think that is in the myths and facts section too, that can be a massive source of confusion for guys.

I think the main thing like Dan suggested that would be good in treating is educating them about behavioural changes in men, clearly far different from the changes in women, and also statistics are important too because they probably feel really alone and different and if they can see that lots of people have gone through this then i think that helps.

Also, make sure that you let all the therapists know, so that they can let all the survivors know, that it is ok for a grown man to sleep with a teddy! i think it is important to not make us feel weak, but just as important to show that emotions like this can co-exist with the manliness that is expected of us by society. And teddies are cool. I think emotions can be difficult for men to express so that is a valid point. Connecting with the child that you were and owning your feelings is important and i think also more important for men because i think we try to cut away more.

#247245 - 08/29/08 02:44 PM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: king tut]
petercorbett Offline

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2509
Hi guys.
I totally agree with all the recomendations listed on this page. The more that I read about the effects of CSA, and just what it does to us in our early years it seems like we are pre programed to be emotional failures, worthless and no self esteem. But I'm still in the very early learning stages. Heal well my brothers.

Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.

#247272 - 08/29/08 05:42 PM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: petercorbett]
ericc Offline

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 1986
Based upon my own experience, I want to sort of echo what Scott had said. If what I experienced turns out to be somewhat common, then it may be worth mentioning. When I started dealing with this stuff. I always addressed my abuse issue in a "I had a homosexual experience" way. I still have issues accepting the term abuse, but I know I was violated, and my boundaries were crossed. My point being, if a male comes into therapy and is obviously troubled and distressed and mentions some homosexual experience issues, it may be worthwhile for the therapist to try and explore the nature of these experiences and see if in fact it wasn't an open and consensual act, but falls into more of an abuse category. The person seeking treatment might not be fully aware, or even able to acknowledge, the nature of what they went through. For me, it was quite a few years after I first opened up about it that I was able to deal with my issue in terms of being violated, so if this happens often it may be worth making therapists aware.


#247350 - 08/30/08 02:23 AM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: ericc]
River Offline

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Nashville,Tennessee

I think I would focus most of my time on assessment because a simple initial intake really does not get it. I think so much gets missed in a traditional psychosocial assessment. The clinicial needs to really assess for PTSD, dissociative processes, sexual compulsivity issues, gender identity issues and so, so much more.

So, in short. What are the things the average clinician would typically miss with a male victim of sexual abuse and how do you assess it. You likely would just begin to touch on the treatment aspect... challenging the participants to GO GET MORE TRAINING! LOL!



#247366 - 08/30/08 05:12 AM Re: Educating professionals about male victimization [Re: River]
1islandboy Offline

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 906
Loc: washington

These are all great suggestions, I especially like River's take on things.

I would like to add I've had huge problems with boundries. Many clinicians would view boundaries as a situational type thing.

No...!!! It is a new way of life, a new way of being, and it should be taught. I taught myself with a book by Anne Katharine.

no one pointed out dissociative processes to me, I also learned this one from a book (Beyond Betrayal) Until I made the Dissociation\Association connection...I was always left with the what's wrong with me feeling?

Why? Knowledge like this from books?

I didn't see OCD, I might have missed it, but would like to make sure it gets added.

When the children cry, Little Fighter (White Lion)


Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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