As a male survivor myself, this is definitely an issue, there are far more male survivors out in the world than we are willing to admit, and Matthew nails a couple of reasons in this interview:
“Matthew Ennis, CEO of 1in6.org, a national organization serving male survivors, understands the public’s lack of knowledge.
MATTHEW ENNIS: Men just have not been willing to share their stories. We live in a society that teaches us that men are supposed to be strong, that we’re not allowed to be vulnerable.
ROCK: Ennis says this paradigm of male perpetrator, female victim obscures the full story. But he sees signs of change. Demand for 1in6.org’s training services by the military and universities has tripled in the past two years. And online support groups for male survivors are full.”
A couple of points. One, those resources are full, and in high demand, because they are one of the very few resources out there for male survivors. It’s a much quieter epidemic when compared to female survivors. It takes more effort to see it, and even more beyond that to acknowledge than males are dealing with many of the same issues as female survivors, and some that are unique to them.
When I was undergoing treatment with a therapist, she actually tried to get me involved in group sessions. The sexual abuse survivor group I attended a few times was not for male survivors, it was for any survivor, and I just happened to be the only male in the group. It didn’t last long. To get any help for me, as a male survivor, I had to kind of be wedged into programs and tools that were designed for female survivors. It still helped me, but it could have been better, and might not have helped a lot of men. I do believe it’s gotten slightly better over the years, but only slightly. It’s still a huge problem. We still don’t have any real idea of how many male survivors there are, or how to make resources available to them. Partly because we don’t talk about it enough, and partly because when men do talk about it, they aren’t listened to.
We pay the price for that. Those survivors grow up, and struggle, on their own, with mental health and other issues. They don’t feel safe coming forward, and they are often made to feel weak if they even consider asking for help.
That’s no way for anyone to go through life.