First off, I totally agree with the other points in the article about shame, and how it’s that emotion that gets in the way for all sexual abuse survivors, but in some very specific ways for male survivors.
Secondly, I love this, while also acknowledging that this is maybe on of the hardest things to do for someone who is hearing from a survivor for the first time about their abuse.
““It isn’t about running to a solution,” he added. “It isn’t about getting someone to disclose every detail of an experience. It isn’t even about pursuing justice when it comes to those that have offended or perpetrated. It really is just about laying the groundwork to say, ‘Right now, in this moment, it is completely safe and acceptable for you to say what you need to say or express what you need to express.’”
It’s hard because it’s not our natural reaction. We want to “fix”, we want to “protect”, and we want there to be justice, and we run off straight to that instead of simply creating acceptance and support.
Remember the first part about shame. Understand how much shame every survivor is dealing with, and how difficult it was just to even speak about it. Keep in mind that running off and making a huge deal out of your anger and your desire for justice, may very well add to that shame.
We need you to be compassionate, we need you to be empathetic, and maybe most of all we need you to be still and in the moment with us.
The rest will come, maybe, just not right now.