Forget everything and remember
For everything a reason
Forgive everybody and remember
Ian Brown F.E.A.R
So I thought I’d start this blog with a few lines of Ian Brown, you may have noticed each line spells FEAR. That as you may have worked out is the theme of this post. Tonight I participated in the Twitter hashtag chat #CSAQT. Being a few minutes late to the party the chat was already underway and chat host Athena (cofounder of the #NoMoreShame project and the Trauma Recovery University) was posting various facts about male victims of sexual abuse. I joined the chat when she posted this:
This instantly hit my radar and sparked a few memories and emotions. For as long as I can remember child abuse hitting the public conscious in the UK with the creation of childline there was a misnomer that male victims of child sex abuse go on to become a perpetrator of sex abuse. I still don’t know where it came from, I assume that some offenders found themselves in court and their legal representatives decided making them victims was a good defence strategy. I also assume that the feral media in their insatiable appetite to sell a few rags decided to whip up a moral panic.
Whatever the reason people bought into it. Thirteen years ago I was in a class at college about eugenics. I didn’t particularly get on with many people in that group and this particular day justified my feeling towards some members of the class. Were as I admit even then it wasn’t a subject as understood then as now, this class was only a couple of years after Sarah Payne was abused and murdered and the News of the World had run it’s infamous name and shame campaign and feelings in society around child abuse was raw. The debate in the class was around the use of eugenics by the nazis when one of the women in the group said that eugenics should be used to predict and identify paedophiles. Interested where the debate was going the tutor let it run, I tried to argue that eugenics having been disproved by the scientific world wouldn’t be a safe way to ensure child safety. In response the woman who bought the topic up said we could easily apply eugenics because paedophiles are genetically predisposed to their philia. I was not taking this so well because of the levels of ignorance on display. She then followed it up with logic that falsified her previous point. She then decided to spout off the “we all know men who are abused as children, go onto become child abusers” bullshit. Needless to say I flipped, she was by default, even though she didn’t know she was, saying I was predestined to repeat the cycle of sexual violence. I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE THE NOTION I WILL PERPETUATE THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE AND PAIN TO ANYONE, LET ALONE A CHILD. Despite this, there are people who believe I am going to repeat this behaviour because I have learned it to be normal. It is not normal and never will be normalised or acceptable. Children regardless of gender have a basic human right to have a childhood free from pain and trauma, no one regardless of gender has a right to neglect a child these to satisfy their warped, selfish desires.
I started this blog referring to fear, and whether dear reader you think it is rational, I very much fear how people percieve me as a male survivor. I am terrified beyond reason that people will assume I am going to become an offender. I always feel uncomfortable around young kids, because not only do I see myself at that age, I am thinking does the parent trust me?
It may all sound ludicrous but these are the fears I hold. To me it is important we understand perpertrators of child sexual abuse come in all shapes, all sizes, all ages and most importantantly all genders. Victims of abuse may vary in age from baby to teenager as well as being male or female, we must remember NOT every survivor of child abuse will become the thing they fear the most. I won’t nor will any of the brave survivors I’ve encountered over the year.