Men are not good at opening up about most things. We feel safer in our own little walled fortresses. Our feelings can often be cauterised regarding our abusive childhoods.
So, what do we do with these raw feelings? We bury them deep in the darkness of our past. We don’t need to deal with these feelings, do we? Then without rhyme or reason something triggers what happened to us. It may be a touch, a look in the eye, a certain smell, a certain phrase, a news item about child sexual abuse - any of these can transport you back to the abuse inflicted upon your body as a young boy.
Remember throughout life ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ (Bessel Van Der Kolk) of what happened and it will impact on our physical and mental health throughout our living years.
The 17 Percent of Men is a new organisation in Herefordshire with the remit to help and support men who were sexually abused before the age of eighteen years. Child sexual abuse is defined on the IICSA website as:
"Sexual abuse of children involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities. The activities may involve physical contact and non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse including via the internet. Child sexual abuse includes child sexual exploitation."
We will run safe, facilitated, inclusive groups for men where they can speak of their abusive boyhoods. Meetings will be throughout Herefordshire. Men can receive the information and the support they need to unshackle themselves from the ties that still bind us to the past abuse perpetrated against us as boys. We will expand services as necessary, after listening to the men we are here to help.
If you live or work in Herefordshire and need our help, please get in touch by clicking the links below.