The Road Forward
...walking with male survivors

Abuse takes place in isolation.
Recovery works well with others.

“You Are Not Alone!"

"One of the most powerful tools is a support group, where you become a member of a group that really understands what you are going through. Finding your way to this is empowering: You will be heard and believed. It's a validation and justification of your experiences, with the tools to help you recover”.

Oprah Winfrey (Survivor)

Who Are We?


The Road Forward Trust is a registered charitable trust.  The Trust provides peer support to male survivors of sexual abuse through empowering survivors to take back control of their lives.

At the Road Forward Trust, we are all survivors and know and understand the pain.  Many of us have experienced the overwhelming feelings of shame, guilt, anger, anxiety, depression, as well as experiencing flashbacks, relationship problems and unhealthy coping strategies including alcohol and drug abuse.

International Statistics indicate that 1 in 6 males are likely to be sexually abused (unwanted sexual experience) by age 18!  Anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse; boys, girls, men and women!

Survivors of sexual abuse are not weak individuals, quite the reverse.  It takes tremendous courage to disclose the abuse and break the silence and shame.

We also provide support to wives/partners and whanau with information and resources to enable them to better support their male survivors.

We will listen, support and we won’t judge.

What We Offer


An opportunity to disclose what happened to you in a confidential, safe, supportive and friendly environment with a trained peer supporter.  We do not judge you as we have all been through similar experiences.

You do not need to talk about what actually happened, you can just talk about how your own experiences are affecting you now and learn about ways of coping with the impacts of the abuse.

We offer the following free peer support :

Our peer support is evidence based and client focused.  We will support you through your recovery journey to help you achieve what you want to in life.

We have walked in your shoes, we understand!  We can help you break your isolation and be happier with yourself and your life.

Survivor Outcomes


One of the benefits of attending peer support group meetings is experiencing the sense of community that develops between survivors who discover that they are not alone in their abuse experiences and recovery efforts.  It makes it easier to share experiences and to start to trust others which are key parts of breaking out of the isolation that characterises most survivors' lives.

Male survivors who have participated in our peer support report the following benefits:

Many of our members have found that peer support works well when combined with their own personal therapy or counselling.

Survivor Stories


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.

Survivor 'KR'

"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”.


Survivor 'GS'

“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”.


Survivor 'SB'

"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”.


Survivor 'LW'

“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

Supporters


We gratefully acknowledge the support of :

We rely on donations to enable us to provide support to male survivors and their families. If you would like to support us in any way please contact us.

Contact


info@theroadforward.org.nz

021 118 1043

Richard Brewer

Wellington Regional Support

Links