This page is devoted to writing by male survivors and an occasional piece by Mike. Thanks.


Rees Mann and SAMSOSA are doing breathtaking work in South Africa. Please click on each link below and then on each thumbnail photo to enlarge it.

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Begin forwarded message:

Here are the links to today's project, we used ordinary people and walked the streets promoting what we do. We were also celebrating International Men's Day. We ensured we included men and woman, young and old from all walks of life.




It would be appreciated if you could distribute this email.

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This was sent as an email by Stéphane Gaudreau, a male survivor from Québec. At his request, he is identified by his full name.

Hello to You all

It is through vulnerability that the power of living expresses itself

Yesterday in court, I experienced that. I stood up 3,5 hours in the box.

The cross-examination lasted more than 1.5 hour. At one time, I DID remember those words from Mike


As I was unable to do so, my frustration came close to be anger. After 2,5 hours, the judge gave a 2 hours recess (lunch time)

But when I came back, How grounded I was.

I no longer felt the adversity of the cross-examination. I was standing CALM and DETERMINATE. There is NO WAY I will give up.

My attitude even destabilized the defense attorney, as I, at many occasion, had to renew, repeat, clarify, saying, :" NO, It is not this way it happened"

This morning, my breath is flowing, my voice is deeper, as I fell PUT UP

And here you are, as part of this support.

I felt it yesterday ; "WE GOT YOUR BACK"

Thank you

Thank You to You, how's reading those words

Never stop seeking, reaching, exploring, believing

Never stop BREATHING as breathing will make you feel.

I felt alive despite the adversity, as I was revealing my life, my TRUTH.

As I stood up NO LONGER as an hurt and humiliated child.

Keep THRIVING my friend

With all my heart


The Knight Rider from the North


This is a link to a blog by Rees Mann, a male survivor who is making history in South Africa: Climbing Kilimanjaro for Male Survivors


Shortly after the revelations at Penn State University I was asked by the New York Daily News to write an op-ed piece about it. I sent them the following, but they chose not to print it. So I am posting it here:

“Believe them!”

Whenever a major sexual abuse story is revealed in the media, several things are certain to follow: people profess shock and outrage, doubts are expressed about the truth of the accusations, questions are asked about why the victims didn’t speak up sooner, and survivors of sexual child abuse will experience upsetting emotions and memories triggered by both the revelations and the reactions.

For over three decades I have worked as a counselor, workshop leader, and educator, primarily with men recovering from the effects of sexual victimization.

Reports I hear from survivors throughout the world are remarkably similar regardless of age, ethnicity, class, race, or religion.

Many who attempted to disclose the abuse they suffered as children had their revelations minimized, deflected, ridiculed, or dismissed as outright lies by adults who were supposed to protect them. Some were punished for making accusations about a respected adult. A child who experiences this type of response soon realizes that it is unsafe to talk about what was done to him. Some child victims are convinced by abusers to maintain silence through threats, humiliation, bribes, or physical coercion. Other boys and girls were returned to the original environment to suffer further abuse.

It is no wonder that survivors, especially males, maintain their silence for so many years. Most of my clients range in age from their late 20s to 60s. It is unusual for males in their teens and 20s to begin to address these issues and begin the difficult and often painful journey of healing. Younger men are more likely to engage in survival strategies of trying to ignore, distract, deny, or drink, drug, fight their way through - acting out to reduce their pain and push away traumatic memories. It is only later, when these survival strategies fail and the pain remains, that they will, reluctantly, begin their recovery. This also speaks to the need to increase or eliminate statutes of limitations on prosecution of child sex abuse cases. Survivors cannot be expected to speak out until they are ready and able.

Parents and other caring adults often ask me what they can do to help ensure that their children will not be abused, or will tell if anyone is harming them. I say that it must be safe for the child to come to the adult with anything, not just what the adult is comfortable hearing. To punish a child for revealing uncomfortable, embarrassing truths is to sacrifice that child, consigning him to years of secrecy, shame, and pain.

Studies of children who were abused have found that the most important factors in healing are the immediate responses of the adults who learn about the abuse. Children must be reassured that it was right for them to tell, that they did nothing wrong, that they are believed. Children need confidants - to be encouraged to talk about anything that concerns them, not just the abuse.

Following the reports from Penn State and Syracuse and the more recent revelations about the Horace Mann School, the male survivors I work with were massively upset - not only by being forced revisit their childhood experiences, but by once again hearing the widespread reactions of shock and denial. I believe this is particularly common when respected public figures are accused, e.g., Roman Polanski, Michael Jackson, Jerry Sandusky. We don’t like our heroes to become villains.

I asked a male survivor colleague and friend what he thinks needs to be said about the current uproar. He wrote:

What was most disheartening to me as a survivor is the profession of ignorance and outrage by the public, after all the work we have all done to "educate" that same public.

At a recent forum in Melbourne, Australia, survivors and professionals were asked what is the most important thing to be done when children disclose abuse. A male survivor on the panel very quietly said, “Believe them.”

Mike Lew is a counselor in the Boston area and the author of Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse


This entry is by the man in Victoria, Australia who suggested that we add this feature to the site.

ADen’s 10 Commitments
1. Survive today – every day
2. Make and keep a commitment to myself that I will ensure that I make at least one step on MY journey of healing every day
3. Do battle with self imposed isolation every time I feel it by contacting at least one fellow survivor who knows just how I’m feeling
4. Disclose – for me there is no closure without disclosure.  The more people I tell, the more bridges are built out of isolation (mine and others) we become a network – a safety-net-work
5. Refuse to allow the myths any power in my life – it was not my fault
6. Refute the lies – yesterday’s victims are not tomorrow’s perpetrators
7.  No excuses – no self pity – no “why me?” – look for the splashes of joy in the cesspool of life
8. There’s no crime in being a victim but staying a victim IS a crime
9. It’s OK to say:  “help”; “hello”; “no”; “I love you”;
10. After all is said and done, there’s a lot more said, than done.  On my death bed I want to sing with Frank Sinatra “I did it my way” with the emphasis on the “I did it” not the “my way”.


Trickster Troll

Hi all my wonderful brothers,

Sometimes when we are walking through our daily life, for many of us a lot of the time, we feel as if we are dragging around a massive black boulder of guilt and doubt.
And do you know what it is?
It's the Trickster Troll! He is very cheeky and loves indulging himself in watching the struggles of others, especially bright light spirits who are full of the life that he covets so dearly.
So that big black boulder of negativity that you and I and so many of us carry around with us is not ours to carry. Years ago the Trickster Troll came up to you when you were sleeping and he gently slipped a rope into your hand , then gently closed your fingers around it. This rope he attached to the biggest darkest boulder that he could find and then then ran off to hide behind a tree, waiting to see you wake up and watch what you would do.
So then when you woke up and found this rope in our hands you naturally thought that it was yours, and so stood up and began to walk along your path, dragging behind you this large, heavy and dark boulder behind. All the while not noticing the Trickster Troll sniggering and giggling behind the tree at your struggles.
As time went on you kept dragging this boulder simply assuming that it was always yours to bear. Never questioning why you had it and when other people saw you carrying it they agreed that you had to struggle as the Trickster Troll had slipped a rope in their hands as well when they slept.
I discovered that I had tied the rope around my waist so that I would never let it go no matter how hard I ran or what I went through.
You didn't ask for this boulder, you don't deserve it and never was it your's to bear. Just a Trickster Troll who thought it was funny to see you struggle.
If you're like me then untie the rope and let the boulder roll away, or simply just let go of the rope and watch the big dark boulder be left behind you and laugh back at the Trickster Troll that is always still hiding behind the tree :)

Lots of love to you all,




The house itself, if it had a voice
Would speak out clearly. As for me,
I speak to those who understand;
if they fail, memories are nothing.

Aeschylus, Agamemnon

We say what we know because we must.
You can cheer us or run us out of town.
It’s nothing at first, like rain on dust,

a hairline crack in the faultline’s crust,
a tentative first-person plural pronoun.
We say what we know because we must

recall, recount, redeem, and readjust
all that we’ve known, not for renown.
It’s nothing at first, like rain on dust,

or the first few tiny flecks of rust
on barrels buried underground.
We say what we know because we must

talk back to histories we do not trust,
relearn our own, and set them down.
It’s nothing at first, like rain on dust.

What does it mean to fear what’s just?
You can cheer us or run us out of town.
We say what we know because we must.
It’s nothing at first, like rain on dust.

Richard Hoffman

For more of Richard Hoffman's writing, see: www.abbington.com/hoffman or http://mnemosynesmemes.blogspot.com/


The Family Doctor

Ten year old boy lives in nice suburb
Loving Mum and Dad
New family doctor arrives
Big man, posh voice, out of Africa
Can't be bad
Doctor likes children
Tells Mum and Dad he hasn't got a boy of his own
Loves little boys

Mum and Dad like Doctor
Doctor likes Mum and Dad
Visit each other
Doctor really likes little boy
So much he touches him all over, all over, all over

Tells boy don't tell anyone
Get into trouble
Thing men and boys do
Doctor went to boarding school
Tells boy about those kinky times

Doctors surgery sick boy
Up on the table
Take clothes off
Same thing every time
Examination masturbation

Can't understand - can't tell
Can't talk - bloody hell
All confusion
Abuse continues
Boy grows up

Confused - can't talk
More abuse
Parents and Doctor good friends now
Doctor knows everything
He's the family doctor

Boy abused
Sister abused
Patients abused
Nephews abused
Niece abused
Any more?
What a bastard

Boy amazed - thought he was all alone
But he was one of many
If only he had known

Boy man now
Still confused
Big cloud
Has guilt
Can't talk
Doesn't know how

Relationships confused
Can't relate
Friends - can't talk
Love - what's that?
Marriage - sounds good
Wife not told

Secret stays
Beautiful children born
Marriage unhappy
No one knows

Starts to think
Bloody hard
Can't stay here
Secret like a sore
Gets worse
Bursts out
Marriage ends

Seeks help
Tells secret
Feels better
Councillor knows
Girlfriend knows
Parents know
Police know

Doctor charged
More people tell
Doctors life now hell
Personal satisfaction

Damage never goes
Healing gains
Whole world knows
Emotion flows
Helps the pain

Tell - never thought he could
People understand
Never thought they would
Loyal family
True friends
Loving girlfriend

Children must be told
Can't happen again
Their body is their own
Don't trust everyone
Even in the home
Talk to parents
Don't keep secrets
Be open
Come in from the cold

Written by Philip Michael Drayson
September 1997


I was once asked if healing was possible from being sexually abused as a young boy, I replied:

When you can scream "IT WASN'T MY FAULT", "I FEEL NO SHAME", "I FEEL NO GUILT", "I FORGIVE MYSELF", it put me on a strong stepping stone to understand and interpret what was taken from me in my youth and how my adult life was affected. I could not have started the healing process without a good therapist and book "Victims No Longer." After years of double sessions in therapy and numerous weekends of recovery with other survivors my wounds & thought process slowly healed. I felt comfort.

However I always have to remind myself to be cautious. I need to surround myself with positive influences because I know my PTSD flares up if I don't take good care of myself.

I consider myself fortunate that I'm able to cry and feel again as well as control most if not all of my feelings and emotions, good ones and not so good ones.


Its more than OK for me to be proud of that. This is what I mean by protecting my healing, if a victim/survivor can do that, protect the healing that was worked so hard for, I believe you can live a precious life.

Is living a precious life a sign of a healed person?

That was basically my answer.

----Rich from Long Island