Male survivors may feel isolated because there is little understanding about the sexual abuse of boys and adult men.
It is usually males who sexually abuse boys or men, but it can be females as well. Savana can offer counselling with either male or female counsellors, depending on who you would feel more comfortable with.
Effects of long-term abuse
The effects of long-term sexual abuse are similar to those of people who have experienced severe trauma including: depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, problems with relationships and sexuality, aggression, addictions, social and emotional withdrawal, suicide, abuse of others and self-harm.
When you were abused you may have felt aroused and this can cause feelings of confusion regarding your sexuality. Feeling aroused is a normal physical reaction to attention or affection, even when it happens within the context of abuse. You may have anxieties about masculinity which may be increased by the stereotype that 'real men' don't get abused. This may be especially so if the abuse happened to you as an adult. In addition, any needs for emotional fulfilment may have been met to some extent by the abuse and therefore sex may be seen as one way to meet that need.
Physical and Emotional Symptoms
Symptoms you may experience include: frequent nightmares, agitation, difficulty in using public toilets, depression, fear in the presence of seemingly more aggressive men, issues with trust and being intimate, fear that you may abuse children and being over-protective with your own children.
Other organisations also provide information and help specifically for men - more information about some of them can be found on our Useful Links page.