Duncan Craig, a researcher in the UK, has recently published his valuable work online looking into the use of the Internet and online resources by male adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Here is the abstract:
“Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is one of the most under-reported crimes worldwide, especially if the victim is male. Unable to speak out, many boys carry this ‘secret’ into adulthood, remaining silent through the use of maladaptive coping mechanisms. However, with the advancement and acceptance of technology within daily life, specialist survivor websites appear to offer a way to safely break the silence. This study sets out to explore the use of specialist survivor websites by adult male survivors of CSA, using an online survey that will look at: the participant, his current and first use of these sites, and capture his general thoughts and opinions. The use of mixed methods, including standard quantitative analysis and Thematic Analysis, ensured that both quantitative and qualitative data was collected. The results show three main overriding reasons why online resources were being used by this participant group. These were: the use of online anonymity to discuss issues, often shrouded in shame, that one finds difficult to discuss face-to-face in an offline environment; the importance of being able to connect with others that have had similar experiences to one’s own that allow one to feel less isolated, whilst still retaining a level of anonymity; and most interestingly, and contradicting the need for anonymity, the fact that there is little or no face-to-face or offline alternative to online support as a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The author concludes that in the absence of specialist face-to-face services in the community, male survivors of CSA are beginning healing using professionally developed and managed specialist websites. However, it seems that many men require face-to-face services to complete this journey.”
The full research paper is available at www.virtuallyhelping.co.uk, and the website developed as a result of the work is at http://www.survivorsmanchester.org.uk/
Congratulations to Duncan, a member of OTI, for his valuable work into this area.