I relate to the stories of these men in the article so much. While my background and their backgrounds could not be any more different, I can relate to the self loathing, isolation, and unpleasant physical symptoms. It is always good to read stories like this in the media and to be able to see a little piece of my own story in it. It affirms & validates my experiences.
I often read stories about childhood sexual abuse, and there are many good friends of mine on here who have CSA. I see them as brothers in recovery but I do not often see myself in their stories. That does not mean that stories of male CSA aren't worth anything to me. I try my best to listen compassionately whenever someone shares with me something hard they have gone through. That is just part of being a good friend. But that doesn't mean I relate personally the way I relate to stories of ASA. When I pick up a book about "male survivors of sexual abuse" it is almost always about CSA exclusively, with maybe a token mention that men can experience abuse in adulthood. It is interesting how it hasn't even occurred to a lot of these book authors that sexual abuse happens to grown men, even men who were never abused as boys. I applaud the efforts of journalists who take the time to write an article that exclusively focuses on male ASA.
That being said, what was recently written about male rape in the media focuses on two avenues: military sexual trauma, and these victims of rape associated with the unstable political environment of Africa. There are all kinds of stories we see in the mainstream media that profile certain problems that are rampant all over Africa: poverty, AIDS, sex crimes against women and children, and now men, apartheid, civil war, blood diamonds, just general chaos. I know some people personally who have come to the U.S. from Africa, and they say that those problems do exist, but that there is so much beauty and goodness on that continent that the media never talks about... and there is still good reason for these friends of mine to miss their countries. But I have a concern that people will read this article and see rape as a "third world problem", just like people have seen it as just a problem in our prison system, or a problem for the military. It is good to recognize the struggles of these African survivors of rape, it is good to recognize rape when it happens behind closed doors in the secrecy of the military, or behind prison bars. But let's not lose sight of the fact that it happens here, right in our own country, to law-abiding, American civilian men.
Edited by CruxFidelis (08/14/11 07:19 PM)
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”
- Saint John of the Cross