A sexual abuse survivor is asking lawmakers to better acknowledge male rape victims and is calling for an end to gender comparisons in sexual abuse statistics.
Ken Clearwater, the National Advocate for peer support group Male Survivors Aotearoa, submitted to the Justice Select Committee on Thursday on the proposed Sexual Violence Legislation Bill.
Clearwater, who became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2019 for his victim support work, said he has worked with “hundreds, if not thousands, of men” over the last 23 years, including men who have taken their own lives.
Periodically, for most of the five years of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, I covered its squalid revelations as both journalist and abuse victim. For years I spoke with victims and their families, listened to naked, fitful testimonies of abuse, and read granular psych reports that were devastatingly resonant. I interviewed a paedophile, and partially recounted my own abuse at the hands of an incestuous predator. I believed in the work, but it was making me sick.