The Wounded Warrior

My journey from victim, through survivor to Warrior.

Dr Nicola Davies – In the Shadows: Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

This Wednesday I would like to introduce you to Dr Nicola Davies.  We have been online friends for a while now and whilst at first I was wary of chatting online to a Doctor, Nicola soon put me at my ease. She has taken an interest in the work I am doing in trying to raise public awareness of the truth about male childhood sexual abuse. She did say she was going to sing as well….. Still waiting for that one 🙂 


All yours Nicola.In the Shadows: Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

First of all, I would like to thank Jan for inviting me to guest blog; it is an honour.  Since meeting Jan on twitter, I have been impressed with his dedication to raising awareness of child sexual abuse and ensuring that survivors have a voice. You only have to talk to Jan or spend some time on this blog to witness his passion.

 
As guest blogger, I would like to expand on some of the issues highlighted in Jan’s recent blog on child sexual abuse myths. Many of the myths surrounding child sexual abuse are related to gender.  While things are slowly changing, there is still a common belief that child sexual abuse primarily happens to female victims and is perpetrated by male abusers.  This does a terrible injustice to the many males who have been the victims of child sexual abuse. In many ways, it also minimises what is a traumatic experience whatever your gender.
As a researcher, one area where this misperception has hit hard has been research on child sexual abuse.  Despite an explosion of research on the issue over the recent decades, most research reported in the literature is focused on girls. There is significantly less attention given to boys and, in fact, prior to 1980 it is difficult to find any research involving males who have been sexually abused.  Even with the clear sway towards child sexual abuse primarily being an experience endured by females, this lack of literature is shocking.  Yes, statistics would suggest that more females are sexually abused, but these statistics do not represent facts.  Far from it; they more so demonstrate the taboo and stigma associated with being a male survivor of sexual abuse – hence, under-reporting of such cases.
 
Whatever the research says, there is no getting away from the fact that the sexual victimization of males does occur at significant rates.  Just as with females, these survivors are at increased risk of immediate and long-term health issues, including depression, suicide, addiction, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dissociation. Until there is more research into male sexual abuse, it is difficult to provide the appropriate support to these men.
Some males have difficulty disclosing abuse or seeking treatment or support and this is exacerbated by the lack of attention the issue has gained in the literature.  By continuing to perpetuate the belief that females are at increased risk of sexual abuse, society is further increasing the risk of abuse happening to males – by the spotlight being on females, males are in the shadows, vulnerable, and easier prey to potential abusers.
 
We know more about the impact of child sexual abuse on females because there has been more research in this area.  This is, in part, due to more females coming forward because of the greater level of support afforded them in comparison to males.  Therefore, in order to gain further insight into the impact of male sexual abuse and how these survivors can be supported, effort needs to be made to raise awareness of child sexual abuse in males so that misperceptions can be rectified and stigma challenged. Once the phenomenon is more recognised and accepted, more men will be able to come forward and offer insight into their experiences.  Until this happens, the support available for them will remain flawed.
 
It is with the above in mind that I would like to extend my support to Jan and all other male abusers who have started to blog on this topic and who are contributing to a much-needed shift in public awareness.  People like yourselves are making a difference, even if at times it does not feel that way.
 
Dr Nicola Davies can be reached via  http://www.healthpsychologyconsultancy.co.uk/
 
Professional Statement

My area of expertise is within the field of Health Psychology, for which I hold a Master’s with Commendation and a PhD. I am a member of the British Psychological Society and the Division of Health Psychology. I have also been a member of the Department of Health Metrics Group and am motivated towards continued professional development. I have trained in the psychometrics of patient-reported outcome measures, systematic reviews, and critical appraisal at Oxford University. I am currently working as an Evaluation and Research Coordinator for a large cancer charity, as well as providing policy-based health advice to various organisations. Much of my work is evidence-based, as guided by systematic reviews and research. Topics covered in my work include lifestyle, behaviour change, self-management, chronic conditions management, and quality of life. I regularly write for a nursing journal, with articles varying from health-related topics to continued professional development guidance.
I am in the early stages of training in counselling skills, as accredited by the BACP.
I can write for a variety of audiences in a number of formats, including academic journals and commercial magazines.  I can also assist with the use of SPSS for quantitative data analysis or provide thematic content analysis or interpretative phenomenological analysis for qualitative data.

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July 30, 2014 Posted by | Medical, WELCOME TO MY GUEST, Writing | 2 Comments

Patricia Singleton – You Deserve Your Own Love

I would like to introduce you to a shining light, a lady in every sense of the word. I feel so fortunate that she has written this for my Wednesday guest slot. Knowing her is both a privilege and an honour.

I will let Patricia introduce herself further in her own words.

I have been on a spiritual path my entire life but only in the last 12 years have I known what that entailed. My spiritual beliefs are taken from varied religions and my inner knowing. On my fireplace mantle, you will find pictures of American Indians, wolves, buffaloes, and eagles. You will find feathers, stones, crystals, essential oils, and candles. You will find pictures of Jesus, Mother Mary, Krishna, Ganesh and Sai Baba. I believe in all of them. The more I grow spiritually, the more expansive the Universe and my God become. I have been to India three times to visit Sai Baba. I was told to go home and worship the God of my understanding and to pay more attention to my own inner teacher. My stories are just a point of reference for who I am today. I don’t go around identifying myself as all of my experiences. Before I started blogging, I had even stopped calling myself an Incest Survivor because that wasn’t who I was any longer. I only do it now as a point of reference to offer what I have learned about myself because of the incest to others who might need the hope and love that I have learned. We are all so much more than our experiences can define us as.

You Deserve Your Own Love

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha

If you asked me what had the greatest effect on my healing from incest, I would tell you learning to love myself brought about the best changes in my life.  The book Learning to Love Yourself: Finding Your Self-Worth written by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse helped me to begin to love myself.

Another book that helped me was Compassion and Self-Hate: An Alternative to Despair written by Theodore I. Rubin. Before I could love myself, I first needed to accept that I hated myself.  I grew up hating myself because I believed all of the lies that my abusers told me. I believed that some part of me was so bad that I kept attracting new abusers into my life.  Also, I believed that I was so bad that even God wouldn’t love and protect me or hear my cries.

Some of the things that loving myself taught me were:

1.  Love doesn’t hurt and doesn’t lie.
2.  Love and fear don’t live in the same house.
3.  Loving myself means liking who I am, faults and all. I don’t have to be perfect to be loved. Incest happened to me. Incest is not me.
4.  Loving myself gave me the right to have needs and wants.
5.  Putting up healthy boundaries was part of loving myself. Those boundaries protected me from being abused again.
6.  I have choices. I will make mistakes and that is okay. Mistakes are just lessons to be learned from. I am not a mistake. With my choices, I began to trust myself.
7.  I am worthy just as I am. I am always enough just as I am. I can feel confident in who I am and in what I can accomplish.
8.  Loving myself gives me the ability to truly love others. Real love is unconditional.
9.  My value comes from who I am, not from what I do.  I have value just because I was born into this world.
10.  Loving myself means feeling all of my feelings and reconnecting with my body and my spirituality.

Some people teach you that loving yourself is selfish. Abusers and controllers especially do not want you to love yourself. If you love yourself, you are not easily controlled or abused. Abusers don’t pick children who are likely to tell their nasty secrets. So nurture and love yourself so that you can teach your children to love themselves. You often teach more by your actions than you do by your words.

Meditations to Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay, Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, California, 1994, page 252-253:

“I am comfortable with my self-worth.
I can do it.
The more I support myself with love and acceptance, the more worthy I feel.  As I feel worthy, I feel better.  In fact, I feel really good. I begin to let good things happen to me.  I begin to see opportunities that I never saw before.  I let life take me in new and interesting directions.  I let my mind go beyond what I thought was possible.  I become worthy of the totality of possibilities, and life suddenly becomes very exciting. I realize that I have a right to have the life that I want.  I might have to shift this or that, scrap an old belief, let go of an old limitation, but I can do it. YES! I am worthy. I am deserving of ALL GOOD!”

Patricia Singleton
Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker
http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com

September 14, 2011 Posted by | #lightwarrior, WELCOME TO MY GUEST | 23 Comments