Special Guest Blog: Survivor_John7 - Men Too

The opinions expressed in this article are mine and mine alone and should not be seen otherwise.
‘Men Too, what does that actually mean? More specifically what does that mean to me?
I have spent many a day trying to understand the reasons why men find it so difficult to speak out over sexual abuse. I don’t criticise anyone for staying quiet as I did so myself for many years, but I have recently tried to figure out why.
I am about to write something in black and white that I have never written before. In fact, I have only said it to one person before. My whole life has been based on the concept that I come from a ‘fucked up family’. That is how I have always excused many things that happened to me. Nothing was normal and I was expected to toe the line and live the life put in front of me. But, being a part of a ‘fucked up family’ doesn’t do it justice so what I am about to write, though extremely difficult is the truth.
I come from an incestuous family!
There, I said it. How do I feel reading it in black and white? I feel nothing. I am immune to it and it simply makes me feel dead inside. Why? Because I’ve always known it that’s why. Coming from a home where two male family members saw fit to abuse me from the age of nine became ‘my life’ and I was to abide by the rules of the house. The rules being that I did as I was told, I kept my mouth shut and it was my fault. So that’s what I did I simply shut my mouth and accepted what was going to happen to me almost every night. Never in my worst nightmares did I believe that this horror would continue for the next thirty odd years.
So, what is different about being an abused adult rather than an abused child?
The answer, to me is simple. Let me explain. In August of 2014 I sat in a Police interview room and spilled my heart out to two officers about everything that had happened to me. I was forty-two years old. I spoke honestly about thirty-one years of abuse from two and then one (after one of them died) family members. The worst experience of my life bar none. See if you can spot the difference here……Sexually assaulted aged nine “Oh, John that’s awful”, raped aged forty “Forty? Really? You didn’t stop it?”
And that, in my opinion is why men do not speak out.
No, I didn’t stop it because I didn’t know how to. When abuse is embedded in your mind to such an extent that it’s easier to ‘let it happen’ than face the consequences of fighting back then you know that years of brainwashing will always make you take the easier option. I didn’t speak out for so long through fear of not being believed and when I did finally take that step…. I wasn’t believed. If I had spilled the beans about child abuse alone, I believe I would have had all the help and protection I needed, but because I reported being abused as an adult I was looked upon with suspicion.
1, “Why did you let it go on for so long?”
2, “You’re a strong man, why didn’t you fight back?”
3, “Are you sure you weren’t a willing participant?”
4, “Why now? Is it jealousy that he has something you don’t?”
5, “What are you hoping to gain from this?”
Those five sentences were put to me while I was being interviewed. Five small statements that contributed to me leaving that interview feeling dirty, worthless and guilty of some sort of crime of my own. I was never believed, and this was proved with no forthcoming prosecution and the surviving abuser walks the streets to this very day. He walks the streets without a care in the world while I live the nightmare day after day after day.
I am only too aware that I am not alone. So many men, women and children report their abusers only to be met with suspicion as being a troublemaker rather than the victim of any horrific crime. While this kind of weak, lazy investigating continues then so many victims will not come forward and so many abusers will walk the streets looking for the next one.
How can this be right?
It’s not. I am a male survivor of sexual abuse and I will always be a male survivor of sexual abuse. I won’t go away or be silenced any longer. This happened to me and while nothing can change that I know I can stick my chest out and proudly say “You never fucking beat me” The system needs to change drastically for justice to prevail. Will it? It has to or many more will be writing articles like this.
‘Men Too’ what does it mean to me? It means just that: Men suffer too.

I would like to thank Pinkster for publishing this article on her website. If you are a survivor male or female and would like to ask me anything or simply just chat, then you can find me on twitter @Survivor_John7
This article is dedicated to all sexual abuse survivors.

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