New Feature – Submit a Guest Review

If you’re subscribed to the mailing list, you knew about this over the weekend, but for the rest of you, we have an announcement!

Recently, I’ve come to the realization that Ken and I have had less and less time available for reading and reviewing books, or watching movies and documentaries and writing reviews for the site. We can still post up the occasionally news story to the News and Reviews blog, but the “reviews” portion is starting to lack. I still feel very strongly that sharing good resources, whether they be books or other media, with survivors is an important mission, and that’s why I’m going to open up a place for readers to submit their own reviews.

Obviously, in the interest of reader safety, I’ll be reviewing all submissions before they go live on the site, and there are rules, as you can see in the link below, but I hope that you will consider sharing some of the books, videos, documentaries, etc. that you have found valuable in your healing.

I’m hoping this will provide a good way for the larger survivor community to contribute reviews, and suggestions, for survivors during these times when we just don’t have the ability to do so. If you know of other survivors who would like to take advantage of this feature to share their own reviews, please share this post with them. Like most things around here, this feature is an experiment, that might lead to some additional ways for others to contribute to the site beyond reviews, or may get shuttered if it doesn’t work. That’s how it goes with experiments! ;-)

I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of reviews you guys have out there!

Mike Tyson’s Admission Can Put Another Nail in the Stigma Coffin

Recently, former boxer Mike Tyson publicly admitted to having been sexually abused as a child. As the Atlanta Black Star quotes Darwin Hobbs:

“There is so much stigma around sexual abuse. But when someone like Tyson, a strong Black man, reveals it’s happened to him, it really helps reduce this notion that you are counted out if you are an abuse victim,” he says. “And even more important, it empowers people to come forward.”

As a male survivor of sexual abuse, I’ve seen the stigma play out in so many ways through the years. Plenty of people catch a mention of this site, or a single post, and assume it’s run by a woman. Others read far enough to learn that I am male, and assume I’m gay. Why? Because I admit to having been molested as a kid? Perhaps having someone who couldn’t be more masculine come forward will help people understand that sexual abuse happens to all kinds of kids, male, female, straight, gay, bi and everything in between.

Interestingly, I can’t help but wonder how much that stigma contributed to some of Tyson’s behavior as an adult. I don’t condone, or excuse, many of the things he’s done, but you can certainly draw a straight line to some of the womanizing, the violence, etc. and the possibility that he was overcompensating for something. Feeling like he needed to prove his “manliness” after such an experience, maybe?

This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Mental Illness and Celebrity

An interesting article went viral this week, comparing the media coverage, and public gawking at Amanda Bynes seemingly bizarre behavior, and Robin Williams suicide.

A quote I want you to read from the piece:

If it is indeed true that Amanda Bynes has both bipolar and schizophrenia, she faces an uphill battle. These are both diseases with high mortality rates, and devastating symptoms that are difficult to treat. And while she faces these illnesses, the entire world is watching. To have the audacity of laughing and poking fun as she struggles with these painful disorders is truly disgusting.

It’s all fun and games until someone dies, as was the case with Robin Williams. When celebrities have very public “breakdowns,” we find them entertaining, sensational, intriguing. When celebrities die from these illnesses, however, we grieve for them, celebrate their lives, and profess our sympathy for their struggle.

Amanda Bynes may be battling two illnesses that could very easily kill her. Why is she not receiving the same level of respect, tact, and compassion that we afford those who have already died at the hands of these same illnesses?

Are we only deserving of dignity and respect if we die?

I think this goes back to something I’ve written before.

When you do not see someone as a real person, it’s easier and easier to treat them in a less than humane way.

Perhaps it’s the death that brings home the reality that the “crazy celebrity” is an actual person, not a side show for our own entertainment. Unfortunately, we see this sort of behavior every where. Celebs, athletes, politicians, etc. aren’t real people with real lives, and potentially , mental health problems. They are non-people, the other. No one feels compassion for the other, so maybe we should admit that they are just as human as we are.

Zelda Williams Speaking Out About Mental Health Stigma

In the immediate aftermath of Robin Williams’ suicide, his daughter, Zelda, left Twitter and other social media platforms after hearing from the worst of humankind about her father’s mental health problems. Now she is back and speaking out in hopes of ending the sort of stigma that created those previous comments.

So please, let’s help stop the misconceptions & support those who need our help,” she continued. “Healing the whole starts with healing minds. No matter what the misinformed say, you can’t simply CHOOSE to make mental illness go away. It is NOT cowardly to suffer or seek help.”

To end her discussion, Williams opened up about her father’s own journey.

“Lastly, my dad openly fought depression his whole life, both in general and his own,” she concluded. “No matter what anyone says, it is a FIGHT. Fight on.”

Fight on indeed, for all of those who need support, not ridicule.

Two Channel 4 Programmes for CAS

It’s been ten days since UK TV Channel 4 screened two programmes with abuse themes: their fictional flagship soap Hollyoaks screened the culmination of their second male rape storyline in the show’s history, which has recurred after 16 years, sadly second time around it wasn’t as effective.

Later in the same week they redeemed this with the real-life documentary Paedophile Hunter in which a Youtube vlogger and his production team gathered evidence of online grooming and confronted those groomers before presenting the evidence to police. The main contention was the fact that he only uploaded five minute edits to Youtube though, whilst the police got the whole recording every time. It caused wide and varied debate although that was the only follow-up.

Whilst the soap was fictional clichéd rubbish this documentary represents a return to form for Channel 4’s documentary strand even though it wasn’t in the branded Cutting Edge series. You can watch both programmes at with approximately three weeks left to view them in the 30-day catchup window (to see the Hollyoaks trial which took the whole week look for the omnibus edition of Saturday 4th or Sunday 5th October).

After the 30 day catchup window UK viewers would need to make an account to view the documentary at the Channel 4 site although they have done a deal with Youtube as well to allow programmes to be seen for longer. If viewing this post from December 2014 then search on the programme titles at if Channel 4 no longer host them.

This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.