Sexual abuse does not just happen to girls, and CVTC has New York City's only free program dedicated specifically to working with men who have survived abuse. It is estimated that 1 in 6 boys has experienced sexual abuse in the US, and we know how difficult it can be to talk about.
Men are taught to ignore their pain and "tough it out" in silence. Some fear that talking about the abuse makes them less of a man, or that they might be viewed as weak. Sexual abuse has nothing to do with masculinity or sexuality; it is about the abuser's need for power and control.
Some men believe:
I don't need to talk about my feelings. Some men think that working with an expert therapist who understands the effects of childhood sexual abuse might make them appear weak, or that they're not supposed to talk about their feelings. The fact is that seeking help and talking about experiences of abuse takes an immense amount of courage. At CVTC, we understand that.
This is my fault; I should have been able to protect myself. No child is responsible for having been sexually abused. Children, male and female alike, cannot protect themselves against the manipulation perpetrators employ. This was not your fault.
I'm afraid this made me gay. Sexual abuse does not change a man's sexual identity, and young boys are not targeted by perpetrators because they appear gay or straight. Abuse has nothing to do with sexual identity. Many men experience confusion around intimacy and sexuality. This is a normal reaction to sexual abuse, and CVTC can help.