Survivor, male, 26 years old, married with one child.
His wife had given him 4 weeks to “sort out his behaviour, or she and their daughter were leaving him”.
At the initial meeting with him it was established that he had low self-esteem, identified himself as a loser as he didn’t stop himself being abused, nightmares, anger issues, history of self-harm, shame, guilt, not worthy and using drugs to “get him through”. Two initial meetings with him to externalise the problem to help him understand that there is
a link between his unhealthy coping and the abuse of him. We identified and addressed his behavioural problems and agreed what he wants to change about himself and his life. Two further meetings with him and his wife to discuss healthy options for him to cope and how his wife can support him.
After 6 weeks of peer counselling he had stopped drug use, started being a husband and father and was communicating with his wife. They agreed that separation was no longer the solution. He had become the father to their 1 year old daughter that he wanted to be.
Survivor, male, 26 years old, successful door to door Sales Rep.
One evening he was physically and sexually assaulted by a client. He lost the ability to continue sales work.
Hyper-vigilant, not sleeping, not able to work, anxiety, saw no future for himself, continual crying, ashamed of what happened to him, blamed himself, lost the will to go on and suicide ideation.
Over a two months period, weekly meetings, talked things through with him building on his past success at work.
He returned to work, re-established his sales performance and is currently considering Trust support to go to the Police to lay a complaint. No longer considering suicide as a way through his pain.
"I would like to say that I have had the support of The Road Forward Trust run by Richard Brewer. I also contact Richard himself once a fortnight to keep myself on track with life’s healthier decisions. What Richard offers is a phone call on the spot, his service to men in our position is like the rock in an ocean, an oasis in the desert… a place for the strange
and odd to become suddenly normal.
I have to wish Richard Brewer all the best in his journey to reach out to men like myself. I hope people will realise what’s important to us is not only being understood, but having that understanding ear when you need it most, like in peer support”.
“I have struggled through my life and had issues which impacted dramatically in two failed marriages affected my career and struggled to socialize in public.
The peer support group has given me the confidence in myself, the tools on how to cope with anxiety and I know by my involvement in the Peer support group I am not judged as all that are in the group have been through similar and as a group we can assist each other by learning tools on how to cope, confidence building and a male survivor group is a great environment for all males to learn how to deal with life's up's and down's, ensuring mostly we are not left in a
depressive dark hole ,that we realize our worth as men and that we do have a voice in a group environment.
We as men cannot often discuss what we have been through with our family or close friends due to the nature and also because we are so often tarnished as weak and so often not believed in society”.
"meetings with Richard have helped me to regain the self worth and desire to build the life for myself that I had been pursuing. Thanks to The Road Forward Trust I am feeling conﬁdent, I am happier. Recently, for the ﬁrst time since my attack, I am feeling excited about moving forward with my life and am motivated to nurture the aspects of my life that I
am passionate about. The Road Forward Trust has helped me overcome so much, helping me become a happier and kinder person. I believe the work they do is both vital and eﬀective in the improvement of abuse survivors lives. With current global discourse the job that they are undertaking will only grow larger and more vocal. They ﬁll a very diﬃcult role, but one that every person deserves access to and I wish them the best with the amazing work they do”.
“not having a voice due to the trauma of childhood sexual abuse is one of the most disabling conditions of PTSD. Anxiety and depression combined make the road to a normal life difficult and the drive to go forward can be blunted by the symptoms. Pretending everything is alright when it clearly isn’t was my story. Without the understanding of someone who has been there and who has found a way forward, the quiet voice has no way to be heard. While counselling has many benefits, I have found that peer support has been invaluable; I am not the victim but communicating on equal terms with another. I found discussions supported by an empathic listening ear and a non-judgmental easy manner allowed for shared honesty and healing.
Peer support is a positive experience, one which could benefit many survivors of sexual abuse, both men and women”.
Recovery is a journey not a destination