I hope my words here are taken with the understanding that I want to help.

I wish we, the men of the MS community, would take the lead in bringing the topic of ASA out of the shadows. We need to hear more about it, we need to learn more about it, and that's not happening because ASAs do not feel safe talking about...even here.

Pop culture has the majority of us buying into the notion that, "ASAs are lesser men or lack the masculine traits and that is what rendered them vulnerable to rape or assault." Therefore, we are unintentionally re-victimizing, ostracizing, and silencing ASAs. This empowers perpetrators. While comedians have audiences roaring with laughter over ASA punchlines, perps are wringing their hands in delight. Few ASAs would stand alone and speak up against that kind of mob mentality, and it's pretty much how the general public deals with the matter. To some degree, we reflect that behavior here in our own MS community.

I was a boy, a CSA, less than 4 feet tall when I was molested each Saturday by my father. My own mother said it was my fault, that I should have defended myself, that I must have "done something to entice it." Can you imagine the things that are said to an Adult Survivor of Assault or Abuse?

We need to HEAR and SEE ASAs, so we may ALL be educated on the matter, so that WE may include them and support them, and, most of all, to prevent future incidents. ASAs have to take the initiative and courage to step up and speak out, but they cannot do this without a VISIBLE AND INCLUSIVE FORUM, especially in our MS community where they are safe, respected, and surrounded.

I believe it is important that they be blended into the CSA forums and discussion rather than relegated 'to the outskirts of town' and isolated from CSAs. We CSAs have a LOT to learn from ASAs, and even more to learn about ASAs. ASAs most definitely need a place to share where they are heard and respected, and I believe the key is not to isolate them but to address the issues of MS CSAs who lack compassion and respect for our ASAs.

....and we CSAs need to be men enough to speak up if ever we witness an ASA being addressed disrespectfully in a CSA-dominated discussion. ASA issues pinpoint and magnify the most sensitive CSA symptoms. The guilt/shame/blame issues come to the forefront, and some CSAs respond by "lashing out" and trivializing rather than "dealing with."

Thank you for tending to the needs of our ASA members of our community! [u][/u]