I spotted this article about Tom Arnold revealing the sexual abuse he suffered as a child and since the article is on a site for Mom’s there was also some good advice for what to do if you husband admits to having been abused as a child.
â€¢ Don’t blame the victim – One common question people ask is “Why didn’t you tell someone or break away?” But that’s applying the adult model to a kid’s brain, which just isn’t fair. Molesters are master manipulators and know how to keep kids quiet. My abuser told me that for $300, he could have me killed and no one would ever find out. He also used a cattle prod on me from time to time.
â€¢ Try to ease his fears – Men who finally admit their abuse are worried they’re going to be branded as gay or as weak. Just because he was abused by a man does not mean he is a homosexual.
â€¢ Remember that this doesn’t mean he’ll be an abuser, too – 98% of men who were molested never abuse anyone else. But men who were sexually abused are often terrified they will be branded as a molester, or that their kids might be taken away.
â€¢ Don’t be offended he hid this from you – Most men who were abused never tell. It’s a secret they live with their whole lives. I speak around the country about my experiences so that other men can come out of the closet and admit they were abused, and go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
â€¢ Encourage him to get therapy – The right therapist can help him explore those hidden, painful feelings and make him realize none of this was his fault, and he is in no way to blame.
Given recent topics of conversation here, I thought it’d be a good idea to quote some of it and point you to the whole article, which also has signs a mom should look for in their kids if they re being abused.
While we’re on the topic, just wanted to emphasize that the offer to create a mail list for survivor’s significant others is still open, if you know anyone who might be interested, have them let me know, or feel free to share the offer with others on your own blogs. If there’s an interest, I’d be more than happy to enable communication, and a place for support, to that group of people.