Heroes in our midst: Chris Anderson & MaleSurvivor (Part II)

Relgion News Service – Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Oct 31, 2014

MaleSurvivor is an organization that is doing some amazing work in serving male survivors of sexual trauma. Last week was the first of my two part interview with it’s executive director, Chris Anderson who shared about the many challenges faced by male sexual abuse survivors. In part two of his interview, Chris and I discuss the unique struggles faced by male survivors who are members of faith communities. Chris also provides us with some extremely insightful and helpful ideas on how faith communities can actually become places where male survivors find peace, comfort, and healing.

My prayer is that the faith communities are listening and ready to become that place.

Boz: What are some of the unique struggles faced by male sexual abuse survivors? What about those who are a part of a faith community?

Chris: To a large extent I think the fact that male survivors have largely been invisible and unheard has made it very difficult for us to feel safe enough to come forward with our stories. On average, male survivors delay disclosure of abuse for 20 years. That means when a survivor finally does come forward there may be little evidence to support their claims – at first. However when investigations into institutions that employed and empowered abusers are undertaken, they will come up with substantial evidence. But far too often those investigations are never undertaken, or are forestalled by restrictive statutes of limitations. And far too often survivors who do have the courage to finally break their silence are met with suspicion, disbelief, and even anger.

Also, there are a lot of mistaken presumptions about male victims out there. To take one example, many people presume men are hardwired to want sex all the time, and that – by extension – it is impossible for a male to perform sexually if they are unwilling or fearful. Both of these statements are untrue, as is the fear that a boy who is sexually abused is far more likely to become an abuser himself.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.