Research article: Improving policy and practice responses for men sexually abused in childhood

A significant number of men in Australia are victim/survivors of child sexual abuse. While a growing number of services offer therapeutic support and counselling for men, the issue of men’s sexual victimisation has not become a public policy issue. It is suggested that conceptualising and responding to male sexual victimisation as a public health issue, will help to improve community responses to men and their families.

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Authors: Gary Foster, Cameron Boyd & Patrick O’Leary

A safe space – Place for men to open up and talk about sexual trauma

A safe space – Place for men to open up and talk about sexual trauma

A SPACE for male survivors of sexual violence has opened up in the heart of Tairawhiti.

The official launch of Te Hokai Male Survivors Tairawhiti was held at 73 Peel Street where Tauawhi Men’s Centre co-ordinator Tim Marshall, former Male Survivors Aotearoa (MSA) national advocate Ken Clearwater, MSA chairperson Phil Chapman, Green MP and former undersecretary for family and sexual violence Jan Logie spoke about setting up spaces like this.

Published in Gisborne Herald

“It has been a long journey to get to this point,” Mr Marshall said.

“Seeds for this kaupapa (mission) were planted well before today’s event and we have Ken Clearwater to thank for that — sharing his own survivor story and creating a safe space for others.”

Tauawhi Trust is the fundholder of the kaupapa. The trust was set up a few years back as a community partner to Tauawhi Men’s Centre and Presbyterian Support East Coast.

Winton Ropiha, a former counsellor at Tauawhi Men’s Centre, will be the peer worker for Te Hokai.

“I’m very fortunate to have whanau in this space with me — knowing what this kaupapa is like as a male survivor myself,” he said.

“The peer support kaupapa will allow myself to create a connection with whanau and hapu. I hope that since this is here and now, whanau who need us will come here.”

Mr Ropiha reminisced about Tangi Hepi, Tauawhi’s first men’s counsellor.

“He saw something in me and I’m very lucky to start this journey,” he said.

Mr Marshall said having Te Hokai as a stand-alone identity, rather than being “just another service of a bigger organisation”, was “a better fit” for the male survivors kaupapa.

Ken Clearwater acknowledged the work of people like Mr Marshall.

“We want to allow safe spaces where a man can open up and talk about trauma without being judged.” Mr Clearwater said.

“That man will start talking and will talk with other men. This will open up the conversation.

“This will be the first kaupapa Maori service for male survivors of sexual trauma so it is an honour and privilege to be here today. I am looking forward to the journey ahead.

“To Winton, don’t carry this on your own. You need to have support around you and I am only a phone call away.”

Mr Clearwater spoke about working with male survivors around New Zealand, including in prisons.

“Over the last few years I’ve been thinking about how can we get more Maori men to work with Maori men. It has been difficult and a real battle. It’s something no one wants to deal with or work through.

“When I first spoke with Winton in 2017 and he said he wanted to do this work, I told him you cannot do it all on your own. I see support in Tauawhi and I think this is a great place to start this mahi (work).”

MSA chairperson Phil Chapman said work in this area nationally only started because of Mr Clearwater.

“We are aware of the pain and suffering these men have gone through for the last 50 years or whatever,” Mr Chapman said.

“It is a huge toll on these survivors. It’s about survivors — that’s what we are here for. We were once never at the table sharing our vision for a national body but we are finally there and have a voice.

“We all play a small part in this and today is just the start.”

Green MP Jan Logie said: “We all know sexual violence is endemic in our country. We all know somebody who knows someone who has been affected by it.

“We spend much of our lives believing that’s not true and that silence around this violence is part of what causes trauma.

“In that silence we create self-blame and stories about ourselves of what was done.

“Ten years ago, as a new MP, I was trying to get funding for sexual violence services, I came from a female viewpoint.

“I didn’t know how prevalent this is for males — how many of our boys were affected by sexual violence,” Ms Logie said.

“I want to acknowledge this as the first kaupapa Maori male survivors service. It’s 2021. How has it taken this long?”

• Winton Ropiha is at training for the next week but can be contacted by cellphone on 0274-124-495 and also through the website

By Matai O’Connor
Published in Gisborne Herald
30 April 2021

Research article: Is peer support effective?

Studies on the use of peers in the mental health field have demonstrated that peer staff have an ability to reach people who have been otherwise seen as difficult to engage. In research conducted by PRCH, peer interventions have been associated with fewer hospitalizations, fewer days in the hospital, longer community tenure after hospitalization, increased hope, improvements in self-care, enhanced sense of well-being in patients, decreased drug and alcohol use, and improvements in quality of life.

Title: Psychotic Disorders: Comprehensive Conceptualization and Treatments

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Edited by Carol A. Tamminga, Jim van Os, Ulrich Reininghaus, and Elena Ivleva
Oct 2020

Research article: How Adults Tell: A Study of Adults’ Experiences of Disclosure to Child Protection Social Work Services

Summary: This paper presents the findings of a study examining adult disclosures of childhood sexual abuse to child protection social work services in the Republic of Ireland. Limited literature indicates that adults can have negative experiences when disclosing childhood abuse; this is primarily owing to a lack of training, policy and guidance for practitioners, and legal complexities regarding allegations of abuse. This study used a biographic-narrative interpretive method (BNIM) to gather the experiences of adults who engaged with child protection social work services. The findings were analysed using both BNIM panel analysis and open, axial and selective coding. Six main themes were identified, and the findings are discussed under three headings: (1) the system as a barrier presents the various influences that acted as barriers for adults coming forward to disclose; (2) issues of power examines the influence of power from the time of abuse throughout the adults’ life courses and their interactions with services; and (3) the system as a facilitator presents practice and policy recommendations based on participants’ narratives and the wider research literature. Implications for child protection practice in this extremely sensitive and sometimes controversial area are considered. © 2021 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Child Abuse Review (2021)
Published online in Wiley Online Library

Things “Leaving Neverland” Reveals about male Childhood Sexual Abuse

The following post contains explicit descriptions of pornography and alleged child sexual abuse.

FTND note: The intention of this piece is not to make a statement about “Leaving Neverland,” but to join a needed conversation about the realities of childhood male sexual abuse.

By now you’ve probably either watched or heard of HBO’s controversial documentary, Leaving Neverland. Ever since the bombshell film about the alleged perpetual sexual abuses perpetrated on young boys by Michael Jackson first premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, there has been public outcry.

The two-part HBO documentary is 4 hours of shocking storytelling and gut-wrenching interviews with two alleged victims, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, and their families. Now, more than a week after its national premiere, much-needed conversations are taking place about the realities of male childhood sexual abuse, and the lifelong impact it has on too many men.

Published in Laptrinhx


Saying sorry not enough

A day late and a dollar short.

That was the phrase used by Dr Tom Doyle, a non-practising Catholic priest to describe the church’s apology, at the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care last month, to those damaged by clergy sexual abuse.

Dr Doyle has been researching this issue since the 1980s when, as a canon lawyer stationed at the Vatican embassy in Washington, he was one of the authors of a 1985 confidential report on clergy sexual abuse of minors written for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He has been involved with pastoral care and advocacy for victims and families and has also been a consultant and expert witness in civil and criminal cases in many countries. In March, he gave an extensive submission by video link to the royal commission as part of its public hearings on redress after abuse in faith-based institutions and the entities the churches control.

Published in Otago Daily Times


Research article: The experience of partner relationships for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse : a qualitative synthesis

Summary: Research has documented wide-ranging psychological impacts of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) for male survivors, but their experience of relationships is understudied. This qualitative review aimed to synthesize the qualitative literature concerning the experience of partner relationships for male CSA survivors. Electronic searches were conducted across PsycINFO, CINAHL, and PubMed, complemented by hand searches of references. Searches were limited to English-language peer-reviewed studies. Studies were included if they sampled adult male CSA survivors and reported qualitative data on their experience of partner relationships. Sixteen studies met the review criteria. Articles were quality-appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme qualitative checklist (2018), and narrative synthesis derived five themes: “sexual orientation confusion,” “sexual intimacy difficulties,” “the barrier of emotional intimacy,” “navigating agency,” and “healing and growth through love.” Key findings were male CSA survivors can face considerable barriers to relational intimacy; however, romantic relationships also offer a space to heal and experience post-traumatic growth (PTG). Clinicians should be aware of the diffuse impacts CSA can have upon male survivors’ intimate relationships. Helping survivors and their partners build a safe space in which to process CSA, reassert agency and relational boundaries, and express love and validation can support survivors toward PTG. (Authors’ abstract). Record #7050

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Primary authors: Weetman, Chloe. | Kiemle, Gundi | Lowe, Michelle | Balfour, Robert
March 2021

‘It’s time’: Support group for male sex abuse survivors plans move into Blenheim

A support and advocacy group for men who have experienced sexual abuse is looking to open a space in Blenheim.

The Male Room director Philip Chapman, based in Nelson, said he realised the need in Marlborough after getting calls from men asking for local support.

“It was time” Blenheim had its own Male Room, Chapman said.

“Men don’t access services as much as women and most of the services are run by women, so we are looking at a place for men.

Published in Stuff


Apology by Catholic Church ‘shallow’

An apology from the Catholic Church to abuse survivors has been slammed as shallow and only intended to satisfy the general public.

Cardinal John Dew made the apology, the first formal apology to victims, at the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care yesterday on behalf of the bishops and congregational leaders in New Zealand.

He said the church could offer no excuses for the actions that caused harm, and the abuse was perpetrated by people, such as priests, brothers and sisters and lay people that victims should have been able to trust.

Published in Otago Daily Times


Whare Haumanu homeless hub set to open by winter

Work on a day shelter for Nelson’s homeless, Whare Haumanu, is progressing with an anticipated opening in May ahead of the cold winter months.

The project is a combined project from The Male Room, Nelson City Council, and Nelson city’s Rotary clubs spearheaded by Rotary Club of Nelson President Gaile Noonan.

Noonan said building consent applications were in and expected to be granted in the coming week or two, followed swiftly by construction.

“We’re comfortable with where we’re at,” she said.

Published in Stuff


Research article: Measuring Adverse Child Experiences Among Young Adolescents Globally: Relationships With Depressive Symptoms and Violence Perpetration

The purpose of the study was to develop a measure of ACEs applicable for young ado- lescents in low- and middle-income countries (ACEs) and to analyze the relationships of ACEs against two outcomes: depressive symptoms and violence perpetration. There is a paucity of research on the consequences of adverse child experiences (ACEs) on adolescent health and behavior from low- and middle-income countries and virtually no multinational studies.

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By Robert Wm Blum, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. *, Mengmeng Li, M.S.P.H., M.B.B.S., and Gia Naranjo-Rivera, M.P.A., M.A.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
Oct 2018

Child sexual abuse victims retraumatised in their fight for justice

Thousands of New Zealanders were sexually abused as children in state care and faith-based institutions, but will never get the justice they need to move forward. MARINÉ LOURENS reports.

He was 12 years old when the abuse started.

The principal at his elite Christchurch Catholic school would call the boys to his office to check their lunch boxes. When J arrived, the principal would take him into his office and tell him his parents had sent him to the school “to help him become a man”.

It started with the principal giving him a pornographic magazine to look at, and asking him how it made him feel. Over the next two years, J was raped weekly, mostly in the principal’s office, but sometimes in the cathedral behind the school or the changing rooms of the local community swimming pool.

“When he raped me, I couldn’t ride my bike home.”

Published in Stuff