Monthly Archives: February 2011

Victims of Sexual Abuse are both Male and Females

Since 2004 I work for BC Society for male survivors of sexual abuse, where we have the most silent and stigmatized individuals who would indeed need years of therapy.

Prior to working for this agency I had no idea how much men could suffer from such crime and always related sexual abuse to women-only- problem. It is significant to recognize that sexual abuse occurs everywhere, among all communities, all nations, all races, all ethnic groups and it is a pervasive problem in every society.

In the position of a victim service worker and a clinical counselor, I believe that sexual abuse as well as other form of abuse; emotional and physical can be prevented if we educate our children, women, and men, public in general and also if we try to impact our politics and governments.

Sexual abuse as a power related problem that should be discussed openly and respectfully in our communities. The excruciating pain that victims of such crimes live with and the silence around the problem, are all damaging individuals, families, and communities.

In eastern cultures sexual abuse is not only being hidden and covered for but also the shame and guilt is being carried out in generations. Sexual abuse and sexual assault on boys and girls, males and females has to be stopped and prevented. It is the case that sexual abuse causes pain and life long traumas for individuals, families, and communities. The level of burden and blame on victims is often the case in what we know of the problem in our Persian culture.

The topic of sexual abuse is a highly stigmatized and misrepresented topic in my Persian cultural group.

The impact and level of victimization from such horrible crime is huge in many communities and healing only comes along with a cultural sensitive community support.

I share this with my readers, because I like to raise awareness about one important issue; the issue of child sexual abuse that happens to both male and female children can be prevented if we open our eyes.

It is my experience that victims of sexual abuse live with years of shame, guilt, blame, and self-hatred, while they keep silent. nity.

Clearly, when we talk about sexual abuse we mostly relate the issue to a women-only- problem.

Although most victims of sexual abuse are young girls and women, however male children are a silent target for this horrible crime, while no one talks about it.

Sadly many victims of sexual abuse in my community, whether male or female never come forward to seek help, even if they do, many family members minimize the problem or underestimate the psychological impact on the victim.

If we educate our children both male and female about the existence of pedophiles who are not always strangers, then we can protect our children better. Pedophiles are manipulative individuals who are always around our children and they try to get the child’s trust before violating him or her.

I would like to emphasize the fact that here in B.C. there are many organizations that are helping victims of sexual abuse or sexual harassment. 

Undoubtedly, male and female survivors of sexual abuse come from various multicultural groups where sexual abuse is not only a taboo, but also a great disgrace on their communities.

Consequently it is important to recognize that sexual abuse is damaging individuals, communities and group of people while these victims need support and help.  Years of psychotherapy if sought, support and understanding from their loved ones, and permission to openly discuss their pain are the proper ways to help male and female survivors of sexual abuse.

Surely, it is going to take a long time for our Persian culture to start talking about this issue and other problems around inappropriate sexual behaviors.   

Sexual abuse is a crime here in Canada and this criminal offense hurts people for a life time.
We can be the messengers of hope and help our communities live healthier.
Help is available and no one needs to suffer.


Young Generations For Peace

These days; Youth and the new wave of request for freedom is making news.
It is most exhilarating to watch the new wave of grass root movements demanding freedom and democracy.  I believe it is stunning to witness the the level of integrity shown by  those brave young people who are only asking for their rights to live a life free of oppression and suppression.  Young people are leading these new movements while learning from one another through the Social Media.  What these young people are looking for is peace, human rights, freedom, and a better life.
Despite of all the crackdowns, it seems that no military actions by those dictatorships who struggle to stay in power, would scare this new brave young men and women for continuing their peaceful protests.

Clearly we have a young generation who have nothing more to lose. Majority of them grew up and experienced the taste of lacking most basic human rights, the right to be counted for and the right to be part of a larger society. This young generation watched their fathers struggling because the power were never shared with masses. When you grow up in countries that either religious or ideological fascism keeping people from pursing what they deserve, then you learn how to fight the system when it is the right time.
These people are from all over the place who will be our future leaders and future policy makers obviously, People who have lived with loss of personal integrity by never being part of the decision making, they will rebel and now they do it peacefully.
We are witnessing history unfold and re-written by men and women who for decades have been oppressed, violated, and hurt.
Current movements in the Arab world are unquestionably impacting what else is occurring in those countries, ever since people act on their rights for standing up for themselves, without having external forces leading them.

It seems that an entire generation of young people in the Middle East are coming forward to clean up the imposed culture of oppression that had restrained them forever. This young generation are stirring the powers while challenging the governments whose existence depends on hypocrisy, suppression, and intimidation. It sounds like this young and open-minded generation are fed up with their old men nonsense. Now what is making sense to them? This young generation demonstrate what make sense to them: To gather their strengths for the real action and to scream for freedom hardest the longest they are able to.

The call for freedom and democracy are most certainly impacting people’s health, sense of community feeling (Adlerian terminology), and hope for a better life. Our mental health without a doubt is intertwined with our physical, social, political, and environmental realities. On this note, we could hope for a brighter future for our citizens of the world.

Poran Poregbal, MA, RSW, RCC


همدردی با مردم مصر

در پی‌ اتفاقاتی که در دنیای عرب می‌افتاد، همواره می‌بایست نیاز‌های انسانی و واضح این مردم را مورد توجه قرار داد. نیاز داشتن یک زندگی‌ شایسته و در خور مقام انسان، که از مهم ‌ترین مبانی هستی‌ و بودن است. پس از آن نیاز می‌بایست به داشتن حق بیان و حق انتخاب اشاره کرد که در ارتباط تنگاتنگ و پیچیده با سلامت روح و روان انسان درجه بندی میشود. و از دید همه روانشناسان و متخصصین امور تربیتی، جوامعی و خانواده‌هایی‌ و افرادی سالم زندگی‌ میکنند که بتوانند، روابط سالم و صلح آمیزی با دیگری برقرار کنند. و در این مسیر است که شخصیت سالم کودک انسان و انسان رو به رشد رقم می‌خورد.

اکنون که مردم درخواست داشتن حق انسان بودن و زندگی‌ شایسته دارند، باید دانست که این نیاز‌ها قبل از آن که سیاسی باشند، نیاز طبیعی انسان برای تداوم و دوری کردن از رفتار‌های ناهنجار است.

این نیاز‌ها قبل از آن که دلیل براندازی این یا آن سیستم تلقی‌ شوند، اعلام وجود مردمی است که سالیان سال نادیده انگاشته شده‌اند. انسان امروز در پی‌ یافتن گره و داشتن تعلق به جامعه جهانی‌ می‌باشد و هیچ کس و هیچ قدرتی‌ نمی‌تواند این مردم را به داخل جعبه‌های سیاه استبداد و سکوت برگرداند.

بدون شک همدردی با مردم مصر فقط از یک راه میسر است، از راه تائید کردن و حمایت از حق مردم برای داشتن زندگی‌ بهتر. در این راه می‌بایست حق مردم شریف ایران و دیگر مناطق تحت سلطه مستبدان را نیز به رسمیت شناخت.