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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


According to surveys, sexual abuse can happen to anybody whatever status you have in life. Most of the time children and adolescents fell prey to manipulative persons who usually are close to them or their families. In the Philippines, if sexual or physical abuse happens with one of their family members, they tend to keep quiet about it fearing of scandalous gossip that spreads like wildfire, which adds insult to injury to the hapless victim.

What happens to the victim?

He or she is left to take care of him/herself, figure out how they can survive alone and answer questions like, “What was that sexual experience really about?” may be the most basic, which could take a while to sort out. It implies other questions, like:
  • Was the other person in a position of power or authority over me?
  • Was I manipulated into doing sexual things, or into believing I wanted to, even when I really didn’t?
  • Did sexual activity change what had been a positive relationship into one that involved secrecy and shame?
  • Was the other person using me and not really considering my experience or my needs?
  • Did the other person take advantage of vulnerabilities I had at the time – feeling isolated and lonely, feeling excited and curious but ignorant about sex?
Being a victim myself, who at first could not talk to anybody because of fear, anger, sadness, shame and guilt, found myself suppressing it that led me to isolation and made me think that the only way out is to end my life. In my case feeling guilty became the heaviest cross I have to bear, because I later found out that for men who had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences as boys, there can be extreme guilt about ways they responded to sexual experiences and the people involved because of the following reasons: 

  • Not saying ‘no’ or physically resisting.
  • Letting’ another person take advantage of their sexual ignorance and curiosity.
  • Becoming sexually aroused or experiencing sexual pleasure, even when they didn’t want or like what was happening.
  • Having engaged in sexual activity with other children, even if they were manipulated or forced by others.
  • Not protecting a brother, sister, friend, or other child from someone doing the same things to them.

And in my journey to find answers that could help reconcile the things in my life I found people who can listen, understand and sympathize with me and help me understand that: 
  • "It is not now, nor has it ever been your fault!"
  • Sexual abuse in any form is never the fault of a child or teenager.
  • There is nothing you could possibly say, do, infer, ask for, or initiate that can remove the responsibility every adult has to protect and nurture children and teenagers.
  • Despite any instruction from anyone that has abused you, protected your abuser, encouraged you to keep silent, or in any way kept the fact of your being a victim to a vile criminal act from those that can help you, realize your life and your future is not theirs to manipulate or control.
  • You may feel afraid, alone, and wondering what to do or where to go. There are numerous resources that can help me cope up. 

I was lucky to find and meet these people.

Finally, to men out there who are/were a victim of sexual abuse, I encourage you to be not afraid and reach out to someone you can trust such as a teacher, relative, a friend’s family, school counselors, local law enforcement and social service agencies.
                            You are not alone and we are here to help you

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