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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 09:40 AM

39. In both my personal and professional life, I've had a lot to do with survivors--and perpetrators--

of both sexes. (Yes, there are some female sexual abusers, but not a high proportion of the total.)

Sexual abuse, as well as other forms of abuse--emotional, physical, neglectful--can have devastating effects on people.

I hope nothing I say is taken to diminish female survivors in any way, but I believe that the incidence and significance of male sexual abuse is vastly underestimated. It's really not OK for guys to talk about it, to admit it.

For well over a decade I provided the psych services for a "boot camp" style prison for young adults, mostly with drug & alcohol problems. I'm fairly good at creating an atmosphere of safety and acceptance in working with people, and fairly early on it became clear to me that almost all of the young guys being referred to me as having difficulties in the program had horrible histories of abuse, and that for many this included sexual abuse.

That prison had some good therapists, but they had been trained in the typical Corrections doctrine that if you allow offenders to discuss the bad parts of their history, you were "enabling their victimstance," i.e. permitting them to see themselves as victims and thereby dodge responsibility for their criminal activities. However, when I started getting results from treating the endemic PTSD, the therapists wanted to know what I was doing. I told them and showed them. With the permission of the patients, I allowed the therapists to sit in on parts of some of my sessions.

These therapists were and are decent, caring people with a commitment to helping people. They started taking continuing ed in trauma treatment, and started using it. Once their eyes were opened, they started getting the results too. Guys who had been failing in the program started succeeding.

The lead therapist commented to me several years later that he had come to believe that the majority of the inmates had had histories of sexual abuse. "Maybe 60%," he said.

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Recursion Nov 2013 OP
trumad Nov 2013 #1
roguevalley Nov 2013 #95
thucythucy Nov 2013 #2
Recursion Nov 2013 #4
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Recursion Nov 2013 #9
boston bean Nov 2013 #13
Recursion Nov 2013 #16
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Recursion Nov 2013 #43
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2013 #59
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Recursion Nov 2013 #47
librechik Nov 2013 #50
Recursion Nov 2013 #52
Ghost Dog Nov 2013 #112
librechik Nov 2013 #123
LineReply In both my personal and professional life, I've had a lot to do with survivors--and perpetrators--
Jackpine Radical Nov 2013 #39
Dorian Gray Nov 2013 #41
Marrah_G Nov 2013 #42
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Recursion Nov 2013 #45
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