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.