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Below are some words of advice or support that men have suggested could be offered to a partner, friend or family members of a man who has experienced sexual violence. These words have been offered by men who have experienced sexual assault or abuse themselves. They are taken from some of the responses to the Men’s Experiences Survey.

Thợ lành nghề, Age 49, lạm dụng tình dục từ tuổi 10-17

Be patient. Don’t push too hard. Allow your partner to talk when he needs to, but don’t try to MAKE him talk

Skilled Tradesperson, Age 50, sexually assaulted at age 9

Assure them that part of the healing is being able to discuss it in a safe and non judgmental environment. Reassuring them that it was not their fault. (There was a sense of guilt in getting myself into the situation in the first place).

Chuyên nghiệp, Age 48, lạm dụng tình dục từ tuổi 9-12

Don’t be afraid to ask. Give spacebut not for too long. Hug but don’t hound. Don’t try and take over or fix it. Allow him to run away without leaving the room but bring him back to the here and now. Above all believe him, we don’t make this stuff up. Don’t tell him not to crylearn to appreciate the privilage of holding him while he does cry. It’s not your job to protect him from the past.

Chuyên nghiệp, Age 51, lạm dụng tình dục từ tuổi 9-15

Do not rush thembe open, supportive, caring and patient. If they have kept the abuse a secret for many years, they will have built layers of protection (based on guilt and shame) around it that will have to be broken down slowly and carefully. Listen, but do not judge. Support them, but do not tell them what to do or how to feel. Expect tears, anger, sốc, sự rút lui, sleepless nights, phiền muộn, changes in personality and behaviour, more tears. Watch carefully for signs of self harm or suicide and act quickly if you suspect. Be there for them, and they will come out the other side.

Administrative Worker, Age 34, sexually assaulted at age 23

Hang in there, be honest with how your feeling and how the experience effects you. You cant put the jigsaw puzzle back together again, but as you recover and start to develop some self esteem and repect again, the missing pieces of the puzzle will be replaced with new and wonderful experiences. I used large amounts of sex, drugs, and putting up unbreakable walls and distrust, and no intimacy as survival coping mechanisms as this made me feel less like a victim for a short while. I used to re create the rape, as I thought this was all I was worth and deserved, with no thought for my own health and safety. You can replace these old surviver mechanisms with healthy and life changing ones. If I can do it, even thogh its a process, trust me you can too!!

Business Owner, Age 25, lạm dụng tình dục từ tuổi 2-14

Healing takes time. Each man and boy are different and their needs are different. Respect their boundaries and try to understand that even if they push you away, it is not to hurt you but because they are hurting.

Tradesperson/Labourer, Age 35, sexually assaulted at age 12

Love them for who they are, don’t judge them by what has happened to them. Don’t try to ‘fixthem.

Chuyên nghiệp, Age 38, lạm dụng tình dục từ tuổi 5-16

Be supportive. listen when he wants to talk about it. don;t try to say you know how he feelsyou can’t possibly even if you’ve had similar experiences. DON’T pressure him to tell more than he’s able to. when he’s going through a tough patch & seems to be taking his anger out on you, remember its not him, but the abuse thats coming out. understand that he may have trust issues & not want to partake in physical relationships.

Skilled Tradesperson, Age 43, lạm dụng tình dục từ tuổi 11-14

There will be good days and bad days, emotionally, PLEASE don’t push your partner / cha, etc away. It hurts more to be pushed away.

Age 38, sexually assaulted at age 13

Acknowledge the feelings of the victim, recognise sysmptoms of anxiety and depresseion. Be the comforting ear listeing to what they have to say

Chuyên nghiệp, Age 52, sexually assaulted at age 16

Believe him, encourage him to talk if he wants to. Ask him what he needs to feel safe enough to get through this. Encourage Therapy. Remind him again and again that he is not alone. Encourage participation in group if he is able and it is available.

Manager, Age 38, sexually assaulted from age 12-13

Understand we don’t mean not to tell you, we are ashamed of the events, it is very difficult to admit that it happened, to do this is to somehow almost not be a man.

Chuyên nghiệp, Age 49, lạm dụng tình dục từ tuổi 9-12

Listen. Believe him. Don’t interrupt. Don’t try and fix him. Don’t make excuses for him. Don’t leave him alone for too long when he needs to isolate for a while. When he’s in a dark place ask if its ok to touch before doing soits a respect issue that he didn’t have as a kid and right now its the kid in him thats reacting.

Age 43, sexually assaulted at age 12

Read as much as you can to help you to understand the effects of what was done to him. Many of hisbehavioursare because of the childhood sexual abuse and NOT personal! It is extremely important to try to understand this, and I believe the only way is by educating yourself.

If you have words of advice or support of your own you would like to offer to partners and friends, you are invited to participate in the Men’s Experiences Survey.


  1. Comment by Clare

    Clare Trả lời June 5, 2017 tại 9:12 am

    My husband has not yet told me that he was sexually abused as a child. Do I wait for him to confide in me or let him know that I am already aware? He has been in therapy for a year, progress seems slow & I wonder if it would help him to know that I know or would it hinder his progress?

    • Comment by Jess [Living Well Staff]

      Jess [Living Well Staff] Trả lời August 3, 2017 tại 12:10 pm

      Hi Clare,
      Please check out ourInformation and advice for partners‘ pages, đặc biệt ‘Common questions answered. The following is quoted directly from that page:

      Vì vậy, chúng ta hãy nói rằng bạn nghi ngờ bạn đời hoặc người thân đã bị lạm dụng hoặc tấn công tình dục, nhưng bạn không biết chắc chắn. Bạn có thể hỏi anh ta đã, nhưng anh sẽ không nói về nó. Nếu bạn đang ở trong tình trạng này, there may be things that sadden or concern you about some of his experiences or his responses. You might not know how best to help, hoặc làm thế nào để khám phá nhu cầu tương ứng của bạn trong tình huống này, mà không gây khó chịu hơn.

      Nếu ông đã không đã nói với bạn rằng anh ta đã bị lạm dụng tình dục, it is generally recommended to not pressure him to talk about it until he is ready. Remember, bạn không biết chắc chắn nếu điều này là trường hợp, nhưng ngay cả nếu nó là, ideally it is his decision to tell or not to tell. Điều quan trọng là bạn rời khỏi quyền lực của quyết định đó với anh. Know that it is extremely difficult for men to disclose. If he is not ready to do so, đó là không có sự phản ánh về bạn, or on your relationship with each other.

      We have heard from some men that they do not mind being asked, but they do not find it helpful to be pressed about it if they are not yet ready to talk.

      It can be very difficult to want to support someone but to feel unable to do so. While it is not up to you to ‘fix’ him, there are ways you can support your partner if he ever does feel ready to broach the subject.

      Hãy để đối tác của bạn biết rằng bạn luôn luôn mở để nghe cảm xúc của mình, kinh nghiệm, suy nghĩ và những câu chuyện. Hãy sẵn sàng để lắng nghe trong một mở, non-judgmental manner.

      Nếu bạn cảm thấy anh có thể tiết lộ, lạm dụng chức bạn, take a look at our page Men and disclosure: How you can help for some more information about how loved ones can support men through disclosure.

      And through all this, above all else, make sure you take care of yourself. Step back for a while and look after your own well-being in the here and now. Engaging in self care in this way serves two purposes. The first is that it builds up your resilience and your ability to manage and cope with stress. The second is that it also means you are “modelling” self care for your partner – healthy behaviour tends to be “catching.” In either case, the importance of looking after yourself cannot be overstated.

      We acknowledge and appreciate that you want to support and care for your partner, no matter what has happened — but it is important to keep in mind that you cannot make everything alright. Especially if you are losing sight of your own needs.

      Best of luck to you both.

  2. Comment by Mike S

    Mike S Trả lời Tháng mười một 2, 2017 tại 9:38 pm

    Hi everyone. I am a 50 year old father of one. He’s 29 and has been in relationship for 8 years now. He and her have a son (7). His girlfriend became very close friends with his cousin; she is 4 yrs older than him. He and his girl were always arguing about her hanging out with his cousin, and one day it escallated to the point hwere he confided in her that his cousin molested him when they were young, then she told me. Wow, mind-blowing it was. How can a person, well, tôi, being his father, approach this situation n be supportive to him? and also my niece, his cousin, I work with her and see her every day. Not to mention my sisterWhat am I to do so the whole family isn’t torn apart? Thanks for any advice, I need it.

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