New Reflections Counseling, Inc.
Professional Christian Counseling
Cincinnati: 513-878-3070    Dayton: 937-396-7077
If you have any questions you may call one of the numbers or use our online contact form. All correspondence is held in strict confidence.

Help for Male Victims of Sexual Abuse - A Counselor's Perspective

Although the news reports in recent years of sexual abuse of boys by Catholic priests has increased public awareness of the abuse of boys, the problem of male childhood sexual abuse is certainly not new and is not limited to abuse by priests.

Although women are more likely to have been abused than men, counselors are seeing increasing numbers of men who were abused as children. Men experience many of the same effects of abuse as women, but because of western society’s view of what it means to be “a man”, however, men may have difficulty defining their experiences as abuse, may believe that they should have been able to prevent the abuse, and may interpret their inability to prevent or stop the abuse as a lack of masculinity. Men are particularly susceptible to these negative messages and emotions if the abuse occurred during adolescence. Abuse is ALWAYS the fault of the perpetrator. No child, even an adolescent male, has the mental or emotional maturity to anticipate such a betrayal of their trust and such a violation of their physical boundaries (let alone having the ability to stop it once it starts).

The most frequent effects of abuse in men include problems with anger or rage, chronic relationship problems, difficulty with emotional intimacy, alienation or isolation, alcohol or drug use, masculinity issues, negative views of people and/or the world. Men may have particular difficulty with shame, with believing that they are alone in their abuse, and with reconciling their strength as an adult with their physical weakness and vulnerability as a child.

For many men, the misguided sense of shame (or embarrassment, or the fear of being judged) is strong enough to keep them from seeking help. If you have been silently suffering the pain or shame of past abuse, and have been reluctant to ask for help, now is the best time to reach out for help. A confidential relationship with a caring, compassionate, professional counselor can help you find freedom and relief. If painful memories from the past are robbing you of a life of happiness and meaningful relationships, counseling can help you face the past, find healing in the present, and claim abundant life for your future.