The journey of obtaining services: The realities of male survivors of childhood sexual abuse

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Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 10(2), 129-137

This article explores the journey of obtaining services for adult male survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA). Social norms and stereotypes regarding masculinity and male victimization weigh heavily on service use and on the accessibility of CSA services. Telephone interviews conducted with 17 adult male survivors of CSA were analyzed using a combination of phenomenological and interpretive description methods. Two main themes emerged from the data. The first theme, related to the experiences of obtaining services for their CSA history, explores the factors that motivated them to seek help, and their level of satisfaction with the services received. The second theme involved the challenges faced to obtain these services, including the length of time they had to wait, issues with trusting the wider system, and the difficulty finding services for men. Although different pathways exist to obtain services, the support received was generally found to be quite helpful. The resilience of the participants was noted in their capacity to seek services despite the many challenges they faced. The results suggest that changes must be undertaken at a policy level to reflect the reality and needs of male CSA survivors, and to increase their social recognition.

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Canadian CW research
Journal article