Patrice’s story is familiar to many male survivors, he was abused starting at 12, but didn’t tell anyone until much later in life. His quote really rang true to me, and felt very similar:
“It wasn’t until opening up to his fiancé Margaux Alexandra that he decided to share his experiences.
“So that’s why I don’t want people to say ‘Wow, Patrice, you’re so brave. You’re so courageous to talk openly about that,’” he said.
“It’s not about that. The victim – it’s not because they are brave. It’s because it’s the right moment where you feel safe and trust.”
How many times have we heard “why did you wait so long to speak out?” Have we considered what we’ve done to make survivors feel safe to do so? Have we considered what our friend or family group would need to look like in order for a survivor to feel safe opening up about their experiences? Guys is it more common for a story about a public figure talking about abuse or mental health issues to be met with a sympathetic comment within your group or ridicule? Have you stopped to consider what that snide remark about the “crazy loser” tells the people around you about how safe they would be talking about abuse?
I’ll give you a hint, it’s the opposite of safe, and is a contributing factor to men staying silent about childhood abuse until middle age in the average case.
That’s a whole lot of years dealing with it alone.