Which frequently misused word bothers you the most

Sexual abuse of boys

Outline of housework

1 Introduction

2. definition

3. Type and frequency of abuse

4. The Consequences of Sexual Abuse

5. Case study

6. Therapy options

7. Final remark

1 Introduction:

In the past two decades a great deal of material on the subject of sexual abuse has been published and made available to the general public. However, most of these are reports on the nature, extent and frequency of sexual violence against girls. For a long time it was assumed that the victims of sexual abuse were almost exclusively female, and the perpetrators were mostly attributed to men. This widespread picture needs to be corrected as sexual abuse is not restricted to girls only, but also frequently affects boys and men.

This erroneous assumption could exist because boys are less talked about as victims and they are given minimal risk of becoming victims. Since the sexual abuse of boys also leads to negative consequences for personality development, it is time to address this phenomenon.

Why boys are less recognized / recognized as victims has to do with our society's ideas and expectations of men and their masculinity. Being a victim does not appear masculine, since the general idea is that boys always take the initiative during sex, that they do not let anything happen to them that they do not want and that they know how to protect themselves. In addition, men are expected to know everything about sexuality, that they always and everywhere have a desire for sex and love, that every erection is synonymous with the desire for sex, and that every physical contact must end in sex (Zilbergeld 1978).

These almost mythical assumptions therefore carry a heavy burden of responsibility on the part of masculinity and sexuality, which of course has to be heterosexuality. As a result, their socialization - the way boys are raised in our society - makes it difficult to reveal abuse and possible recovery afterwards.

Boys fear losing their identity and masculinity through abuse. They feel complicit, often silent for years and feel alone with their fate.

2. Definition

Since there is currently no generally valid definition of sexual abuse and therefore different research results have to be assessed differently depending on the definition, I would like to point out and compare some possibilities here.

One of them is: "Sexual abuse refers to sexual acts between adults and children because there is an unequal relationship; the adult person holds a one-sided position of power; the child's freedom and choice are restricted and the realization of the adult's (subjective) sexual desires is an important motive. "(Wolters, 1982)

In this definition, Oudshoorn replaces the word "because" with "if", whereby the points listed are no longer indicative of sexual abuse, but rather preconditions.

According to Draijer (1988b), sexual abuse occurs, if the sexual contacts take place against the will of the child or if the child cannot refuse these contacts due to emotional pressure, the obvious obesity or coercion on the part of the perpetrator. There must also be physical contact. "By sexual contact, she understands," all actual sexual contact (touching and letting the breasts and genital area touch, kissing with sexual intentions, including vaginal, oral and anal sexual intercourse). This does not include urging Sexual contact or showing or showing genitals. " This definition differs from the first two in that it clearly describes "sexual acts" and in that so-called "experiences without physical contact" are not referred to as sexual abuse.

Although Draijer's definition, strictly speaking, only refers to female victims and relatives as perpetrators, it often serves as a model for further definitions.

The above definitions make it clear that there is a clear power imbalance between adults and children when it comes to sexual abuse. This enables the adult to bring his needs and thus his sexual satisfaction to the fore, completely ignoring the needs of the child. The child is forced to deal with a sexuality that in no way corresponds to its stage of development and thus its capacity. To mention more of the innumerable definitions would go beyond the scope of this work. However, I would like to mention another definition by Sarrel and Masters (1982) as it relates to the sexual abuse of boys and men. In their definition of terms, they differentiate between "sexual act" (sexual assault) and "sexual abuse". According to them, sexual abuse occurs when a boy or man is forced under threat of physical violence to participate in an unwanted sexual activity. Sexual abuse exists when the sexually abused man is not threatened openly, but rather has been overwhelmed by psychosocial dominance or sexual conviction.

In this work, sexual abuse is understood to mean when a child is brought to perform or accept a sexual act, whereby the child does not want this or is not able to decide about the situation or to control it. This is possible through physical or psychological coercion, physical violence, deception, anesthesia through intoxicants, bribery, emotional pressure and / or by exploiting the "relationship-related excess weight". Sexual acts only include acts that lead to physical sexual contact (vaginal / anal penetration, active and passive masturbation, passive and active oral sex, palpation and caressing of genitals.

Although the term "sexual abuse" actually means the abuse itself, a number of events and their consequences are described in this work, as in other literature.

3. Type and frequency of abuse

Before going into specific figures, let me first discuss the difficulties to be aware of in determining them, which also indicates why the results differ from each other.

As mentioned above, the way in which sexual abuse is defined and with which methods it is operationalized can lead to clear differences. In addition, most studies have only a small number of figures. The surveys often focus on specific social groups, such as students or people who have signed up for some social service, and the question arises as to whether these groups are representative of the population.

The retrospective perspective also poses a problem, since strictly speaking it does not investigate how often sexual abuse takes place, but how many people at the time of the investigation describe the sexual experiences from their childhood as sexual abuse.

In addition, the social structure poses a problem, because sexuality and above all such attacks are still taboo in our society. It is assumed that sexual abuse of boys is discovered much less often, since, as already mentioned, it represents an enormous interference with the male experience of identity. Self-blame, stigmatization from outside through the existing stereotypical image of men and above all fear of homosexuality often make it impossible for the abused boy to report on his experiences. The self-accusations often result from the fact that when boys endure sexual acts, despite the feeling that they are not perceived as pleasant, they may experience sexual arousal which is associated with erections. The boy often no longer knows whether he wanted the contact himself or not. This confusion often hinders the boy from identifying sexual abuse as such.

In a group of 224 Dutch male students, 13.8% reported sexual experiences with adults when they themselves were younger than 16, although it is not clear how many perceived this to be sexual abuse (Cortstjens, 1975). Venix (1984) found, among a sample of 250 Dutch men, that 5% had experienced sexual abuse in their youth, with 4% perpetrated by men and 1% by women. The oldest study in this area is that of Hamilton (1929), which found that a sample of 100 married men found that 22% had experienced "prepubertal sexual aggression".

Looking at the total number of abused children, the percentage of boys fluctuates between 10 and 39%, with most studies citing numbers around 20%. Finkelhor and vander Mey (1988) found that from puberty onwards, proportionally many more girls than boys are abused. If one were to lower the age limit, which is currently 16 years in most studies, to 10 or 12 years, the numbers of sexually abused boys might hardly differ from those of sexually abused girls.

The average age at which boys are abused varies considerably between most studies, from about 4 years to 10 years. Although these are average values, it must be emphasized that sexual abuse occurs at any age (Finkelhor, 1984). I do not want to go into more detail here about the formation of these different average values, as this would exceed the scope of this work.

It is noticeable that many different studies describe the same background of male victims of sexual abuse. According to this, sexual abuse of boys occurs considerably more frequently in socially and economically weaker classes and problem families (families with: alcohol / drug problems, emotional neglect, mental illness, prostitution, experience of sexual abuse of a parent, etc.). Boys who are abused outside the family also mostly come from such families. It can be assumed that these are easier to fall victim to, since they can acquire less social skills in these families than children from other families. It is assumed that such children are "easier prey" because they are easier to intimidate. It appears that children who lack warmth and security in their families react expectantly and clingily to perpetrators.

What often distinguishes boys from girls is the type of sexual abuse. Sexual acts such as anal sex or passive and active oral sex are common in male victims (Friedrich and Lücke, 1988). Boys, more often than girls, are exposed to multiple sexual acts (Vander Mey, 1988). They are also exposed to multiple perpetrators more often than girls. According to Pierce and Pierce (1985), boys are less stroked than girls. The abuse clearly appears to be more genitally oriented in them.

Often boys are forced into active vaginal coitus with female perpetrators. At this point, some people's assumption that boys can only get an erection when they want to, needs to be corrected again. These views are clearly wrong, as many studies have shown that boys and men can get unwanted erections even when situations are disgusting, frightened, or powerless.

As just mentioned here, men are not always the only perpetrators of sexual violence, as was assumed until a few years ago. One has to slowly get used to the idea that there are also female perpetrators. This can be the mother, the sister, the cousin or the teacher. Based on a comparison of many studies, Finkelhor and Russel (1984) found that 20% of the victims were abused by a woman. Although all studies show that the perpetrators are mostly male, it is conceivable that boys abused by women are underrepresented in the studies, since boys are less likely to describe this experience as abuse. This can be seen as a consequence of the stereotypical image of men, since men mostly perceive it as unmanly to have been "overpowered" by a woman.

As far as the relationship with the perpetrators is concerned, no clear statement can be made, as the perpetrators can be found everywhere. For a time it was thought that boys were more likely than girls to be abused outside their families. What appeared to be problematic was what is now interpreted as a family (nuclear family / kinship).

Most of the studies record persons who are at least 5 years older than the victim as perpetrators. In Risin and Koss (1987) half of the perpetrators were between 14 and 17 years old (babysitters).

The stereotypical image that is usually made of perpetrators does not apply. Perpetrators are defined as people who “initiate sexual contacts with children without giving the child the opportunity to influence the type of sexual contact and its course and termination.” There is no specific perpetrator profile, although many of them themselves had difficult youth and come from problem families. Most of the perpetrators act to other people like "normal people", which is why the environment is often very surprised when sexual abuse is discovered. Also, the fact that most men who abuse boys are not attracted to adult men comes as a surprise to most people.

4. The Consequences of Sexual Abuse

As mentioned earlier, since boys are socialized differently than girls, they are confused in different ways after the abuse and thus there is a difference in how boys recover after the abuse.

This can be represented in the following three areas:

a) Power and Control
b) Sexuality and sexual orientation
c) Dealing with relationships

a) Power and Control:

In our society boys learn through their upbringing that they have to master problems and that they shouldn't make a big stir about unpleasant experiences. Men are known to be the "strong sex". This awareness of having power over their own feelings and actions makes it difficult for boys to admit their victim role towards others. They have to invest a lot of energy in denying and minimizing / belittling them in order to keep them for themselves Being a victim is scary. Often they feel stupid and weak because they have not been able to prevent the abuse. They feel powerless. This creates a negative self-image, which has various negative consequences On the one hand, this feeling can be so strong that the boy feels powerless. These boys often become shy and passive and have the feeling that they have lost all control in their life. This often leads to a feeling of unsuccessfulness. Often there is withdrawal and isolation result, with the victim blaming himself for the lack of social contact n is used in some sources as internalizing behavior described.

On the other hand, the boy can escape this feeling by constantly trying to prove himself as a boy or a man. This can lead to a kind of perfectionism or excessive ambition in work, sports and in the sexual field, whereby the sexual contacts are often anonymous contacts. However, this behavior, which is aimed at control, does not allow great intimacy, especially not with other boys, as this seems too dangerous. This evidence of masculinity can often be brought out in an aggressive way. This behavior is also known as the externalizing behavior designated

b) Sexuality and sexual orientation:

As can be seen from the foregoing, sexual abuse often leads to severe problems in sexual development. Sexuality can be experienced as something very threatening through abuse.

It is especially confusing for boys if they had an erection or even ejaculated during the abuse. They mostly don't understand the ambivalence in their body. On the one hand they know that something is wrong with the experienced situation, on the other hand the body sends them signals that indicate that something is perceived as beautiful and pleasant. Often this results in great shame and the victims interpret their physical reaction as a sign that they wanted what they experienced themselves.It becomes difficult for the victims to understand their own sexuality and find it pleasant. As a result of abuse, victims often have the problem that they think all intimacy and closeness must lead to a sexual act, relationships with people are often sexualized.

Another problem is that heterosexuality is still seen as the desired sexual orientation in our culture. This often becomes a problem for sexually abused boys because they often believe that they cannot have prevented the abuse because they may themselves have a homosexual predisposition. In addition, any excitement during the abuse increases this fear. For the male victims, this also makes it more difficult for them to interact with other boys for fear of being identified as homosexuals if they are too close. Often they avoid any contact with other boys / men, especially homosexuals, which can lead to homophobia.

c) Dealing with relationships

Since victims of abuse have mostly only got to know human relationships from the point of view of being used for the needs of others, they have often developed a wrong picture of how people in general lead relationships. Sexual abuse has a profound effect on one's ability to participate, trust others, and feel accepted. This is often reflected in later relationships.

Bolton (1989) found the following different ways of life in male victims:

The rock: The man does have relationships, but not with emotional depth. He has trouble trusting other people.

Come close but not too close: The man constantly protects himself, allows intimacy in small doses, but fears the consequences.

Cling on: Desperate search for love and affection and clinging to others. He is very dependent in relationships and has unrealistic expectations of those around him. He needs attention and usually has the feeling of being rejected. Don't deserve better: The man who has been so confused by the abuse that he believes he is constantly guilty and does not deserve better. He doesn't believe in the possibility of a good relationship for himself

Hypersexualization: The man who confuses intimacy and sexuality so that there is a tendency to sexualize all relationships.

Power and Control: The man who wants power over others in relationships. This can lead to abuse.

Even if it can be established that perpetrators often had experiences of abuse themselves in the past, it must be warned against the reverse conclusion that male victims will inevitably become perpetrators sooner or later. Often it is even the case that male victims of abuse can be found in caring professions (teachers, social workers, clergy) because they feel the need to "protect" and "guard" other people.

These different forms do not have to appear in isolation, but can also occur in a mixed manner.

Since boys reveal themselves less often after sexual abuse and try to camouflage everything that indicates the abuse, Sebold (1987) made a list in which he indicates disorders and behaviors that, in his opinion, indicate sexual abuse:

- homophobia - the boy will do everything possible to prove that he is not gay by not allowing himself or other boys to behave unmanly.
- Aggressive and controlling behavior - the boy behaves threateningly and
dominant to convince himself that he can ward off future sexual advances. He is often intimidating towards women, girls and small children, but freezes as soon as someone touches him.
- Childlike behavior - dealing with peers is through fear and
Avoidance behavior marked. In contrast to sexually abused girls who seek contact with older children, abused boys have more contact with younger children, which affects their own language and play behavior.
- Sexual Expressions and Behaviors - Sexually abused boys are sometimes obsessed with sexuality and nudity, in thoughts as well as in words and behavior (sexualized language).
- Paranoid / Phobic Behavior - The abused boy reacts fearfully to touch and coercion. He often feels the fear in connection with certain events or objects that played a role in the abuse situation
- Physical Evidence - Sexually abused boys have a tendency to care very much or not at all about their appearance. Bed-wetting and defecating are particularly indicative of sexual abuse when it is accompanied by severe anxiety.

Sebold also lists other points (e.g.: boys play with fire), which, however, can apply to almost all boys, so these are not mentioned here.

Finally, under this point, I would like to address the possible relationship between consequential damage and experiences of abuse. A clear connection cannot be established, but trauma research speaks of the fact that the severity of the trauma is partly responsible for the resulting disorder. Mrazek and Mrazek (1981) identified 6 factors through their research:

- The intensity of sexual contact: The more extensive the sexual contact, the more severe the trauma and the resulting disorder.
- The age and development of the child: The younger the child at the time of the abuse, the more severe the trauma.
- The relationship with the perpetrator: The closer the relationship, the more severe the trauma.
- The affective nature of the sexual relationship: The less positive feelings there are in the sexual relationship, the more severe the trauma.
- The age difference to the perpetrator: The trauma increases with the size of the age difference.
- The duration of the sexual relationship: The longer the relationship lasts, the greater the trauma becomes.

Finkelhor (1979) mentions violence as a clearly trauma-exacerbating factor.

Since the sequelae differ in children despite similar extrinsic factors, intrinsic factors of the child, such as personality, seem to play an important role. It seems understandable that the personality before the trauma determines the way in which the child processes his negative experiences. So the question arises as to how other factors, such as IQ, health, temperament, etc. affect the ability to cope with the trauma.

5 case study (Erwin)

Erwin is 21 years old and comes from a well-to-do family. He was regularly sexually abused by his father from the age of 7 to 13.

Erwin has been teased by his father for as long as he can remember. In his opinion he is not a "real guy" but too "girlish". When Erwin was 7 years old, his father went to bed with him in the middle of the night. Erwin wakes up from it, but pretends to be asleep. His father starts caressing Erwin's penis while pressing his own erection against Erwin's butt and making harder and harder thrusting movements. His father notices that he is awake and does not defend himself: "Do you see that you like this? You are a gay ... I'll get it for you ..." When Erwin starts to cry and begs his father with it stop, he says: "But you want that, you like this. Stop crying, I'll pamper you now." It is above all the words of his father that throw Erwin into great confusion. Does he really want it, does he like it, is he a gay? Why can't he do anything about the intrusiveness? Erwin feels increasingly guilty, dirty, and powerless, which is compounded by the fact that he often gets erections and an orgasm during the abuse. His father then confirms that Erwin likes it.

The abuse continues until he is 13 years old. Then his father leaves the family to move in with a friend. A year earlier he made it public for the first time that he was homosexual. Erwin's mother doesn't want to know anything about the abuse.

Erwin is still doing well at school, but socially and emotionally he is getting worse and worse. He has almost no friends at all and is withdrawn and gloomy. He doubts himself and his sexual identity. He's afraid of being gay or being viewed for it. He develops a stomach ulcer and often has lower back pain. After graduating from high school, he attempts suicide and ends up in a psychiatric clinic.

He makes individual attempts in the clinic to talk about his abuse experiences, but he is not believed. This increases his feelings of guilt, especially after some staff members alleged that it was voluntary sexual contact with his father. Erwin then punishes himself by using knives to wound his arms, legs and chest. At times he hears voices saying: "You wanted it that way yourself, you actually thought it was nice, you are a gay:" At times he thinks he recognizes his father in these voices.

After renewed self-harm, attacks of hyperventilation up to another suicide attempt, Erwin is transferred to a closed crisis department, where he stays for a few months, but receives no support in his problem of abuse.

After Erwin did not notice any clear improvement after almost a year and a half of psychiatric treatment, he reported to a psychotherapist, where he was cared for individually as well as in the group. The detailed discussion of his experiences and the thoughts and feelings that have developed as a result helps him to gain more insight into his problems and thus to better deal with them.

One of his biggest problems, namely the question of guilt ("Am I to blame for the abuse? Would I have had to defend myself? Am I gay because I had erections?"), Which plays a major role in his depressive and anxious moods, could be significantly improved with the help of psychodrama sessions, he accused his father in such sessions and interacted with his various internal roles, which was very important to him on the path to identity.

He has not injured himself since then. He wrote his father an accusing letter and subsequently filed a complaint. This report does not lead to a lawsuit, which, however, is of no great importance to Erwin. He received a reply to his letter from his father, in which he admits part of his guilt and asks for forgiveness, which has a very positive effect on Erwin.

After further working on his confidence and making him more confident

Contacts, Erwin starts studying. Although he had relapses a few more times, he was able to stabilize again without outside help.

6. Therapy options

Before I go into specific forms of therapy, I would like to point out the difficulties or preconditions that professional helpers should consider in the case of male victims of sexual abuse.

- Downplaying or trivializing by the abused boy / man

Many male victims tend to gloss over or play down the abuse. Often this is done for reasons of loyalty, as an intimate relationship existed or even still exists between the victim and the perpetrator (parent / relative, etc.). Another reason for this is to deprive the anger, which appears to be uncontrollable, of the reason for its existence, since one is afraid of the consequences of this.

In such cases, accusations from the perpetrator should not be responded to from the helping side, as this could possibly lead to defensive attitudes on the part of the client and this can disrupt the therapeutic relationship. It seems much more sensible at this point in time to let the client go back in his memory, so that after a self-determined dose he can make contact again with what he has gone through. At this point, helpers should go into the reason for the trivialization. An attempt could now be made to re-structure the victim-perpetrator relationship. This is also a possible time to review your attitude towards your own anger.

- Provocations by the helpers

Since many victims have problems trusting other people, their attitude towards other people is often defensive and defensive. It could be possible that they therefore try to check the trustworthiness of the helper or even to prove to themselves that their worldview is correct and that they cannot trust anyone.

These provocations can take place openly but also subtly. Helpers must be careful not to respond to such provocations. If helpers feel indifference or even feel that they are being seduced into something, these are signs of subtle provocation.

Since the client is often not aware of his behavior, it is now important to talk about it and to learn more about how he treats other people and what he does himself to maintain the distrust of others.

- Erotic behavior of the person concerned

Victims of sexual abuse can be overly sexualized and have learned to gain attention through such behavior.

Helpers must be careful never to respond to such behavior, to reinforce or encourage this behavior. This behavior should also be brought up in an analytical way.

At this point, helpers need to rethink their own sexual availability.

- Dissociative reactions during treatment

If clients with dissociative disorders also react dissociatively during therapy, this can be very confusing for both client and therapist. This is possible if the client feels too much pressure from the therapist or if the therapy and the therapist offer too little structure. Professional helpers can counteract this by offering support, security and structure. · Withholding or factually changing events related to the abuse Because of feelings such as shame and guilt, the client can withhold certain events, experiences or aspects of abuse or reflect them in a modified form in reports

A trusting, open relationship can already contribute to the fact that it does not seem necessary for the client to maintain his facade.

- Dependency / symbiotic relationships

Since some victims of sexual abuse tend to become entangled in symbiotic relationships, there is a risk that the client will also become dependent on the therapist. This can lead to a strengthening of the victim's identity. This makes it less likely for the client to be able to solve his own problems himself.

- Lack of motivation

Especially children and young people who originally come to counseling centers for conspicuous social behavior do not come of their own accord. But even adults are often not very motivated at the beginning of therapy. It is therefore important to motivate the client at an early stage in order to counteract a termination. This can be done by showing development opportunities, but also correcting expectations that are too high. At the beginning of the therapy, the client must be informed of what it entails.

- Prejudices of the helpers

Due to the already mentioned stereotypical image of men, the possibility of sexual abuse may not be taken into account, or may be portrayed as being wanted.

There is also the risk that the frequently asked assumption that victims would become perpetrators at some point will result in the client being implicitly stigmatized. This would possibly have dire consequences for the client, as he would again get the feeling that he is not believed or that he is guilty.

It is therefore important as a helper in supervision to pay attention to such phenomena and also to be critical of one's own treatment methods and, if necessary, to check one's stereotypes and ideas.

- Lack of impulse control in the client

Victims who aggressively direct their anger and frustration outwards (externalizing) often have great difficulty controlling their own impulses and thus mastering their own behavior. Exclusively verbal therapy is not advisable in such cases. Behavioral therapeutic techniques are necessary here so that the therapeutic process can continue to be made possible by promoting self-control.

- Problem to recognize own limits on the part of the victim

Victims of abuse are often not very self-confident and cannot clearly represent their own limits, longings and wishes. Fears, frustration, but also complaints about the therapist are often not mentioned or not noticed on the part of the therapist.In order to avoid this and thus a possible interruption of therapy, it can be advisable to spend the last minutes of each session evaluating the therapeutic process of the previous hour.

- The therapist trivializes and represses the problems

Above all, inexperienced helpers try to support the sexually abused man by naming the negative events positively. At an early stage in therapy, this can result in the client feeling not being taken seriously. The positive naming at a later point in time can stimulate the client to develop positive learning experiences from negative life experiences.

In general, it should be pointed out that regular supervision of the therapist is of great importance if difficulties or ambiguities arise in dealing with clients. In addition, a lack of information about sexual abuse of boys and men should be addressed so that caregivers can be open to those affected and their experiences.

There is currently relatively little experience with the forms of therapy for sexual abuse of boys / men. There are some forms of treatment that are mentioned more frequently in the literature. I would now like to briefly list some of these.

The Hypnosis therapy or Hypnotherapy, which has only been used again in recent years, is one of the forms of treatment mentioned for male abuse victims. This method is particularly suitable for PTSD and dissociation disorders such as psychogenic amnesia, twilight states, psychogenic fugue and multiple personality (however, it is a misconception that sexually abused men suffer more or less from such symptoms).

Hypnosis can be a suitable means of bringing repressed or dissociated events and feelings back into memory and consciousness, which is of enormous importance for processing.

Hypnotic suggestion can also be useful in strengthening a positive self-image. An important limitation with these methods, however, is that not every person can be hypnotized equally well. (However, there is also the possibility that the persons who are more easily hypnotizable also have an increased risk of reacting with dissociation or PTSD symptoms to traumatic events, since hypnotic trance and the disorders mentioned are similar).

A combined therapy for sexual trauma, which is not limited to

Hypnotherapeutic procedure is limited and consists of 4 parts is that of Oudshoorn (1989).

- First, the family is accompanied
- Processing of the trauma by the child ("exposure"), this can be done with the help of imaginative or hypnotic methods.
- Restoring the victim's damaged self-image and self-confidence
- Problem solving by those who have worsened by the traumatic experience

Another form of treatment is that cognitive therapy.

According to Finkelhor (! 987), a large part of the trauma resulting from sexual abuse is in the field of thinking. In his opinion, the worldview and the image of other people are tinged negatively as a result. Other thought patterns such as those about sexuality, dealing with other people and problem-solving strategies have also been negatively changed. Therefore, cognitive therapy appears to be very suitable as a method for treating victims of abuse.

Van der Kolk (1988) names a combination of three forms of therapy which, in his opinion, appear to be very effective.

- Verbal therapy

Which therapeutic method is used here does not play a major role for van der Kolk. In his opinion, it is only important that the traumatic events are discussed, which are stored on the iconic and on the motor level. Thus, the events can be integrated into existing thought patterns, and thus the meaning of the trauma is changed.

- Medical therapy

Sedatives or other psychiatric drugs can be useful to activate memories, according to van der Kolk. In addition, they help the client to make life more bearable during therapy.

- hypnosis

According to van der Kolk, this is recommended to bring about the necessary reliving of the trauma so that the intended changes can be brought about.

In addition to individual therapy, most literatures focus on the effective treatment of male victims of abuse Group therapies pointed out. Advantages of such groups are that the group makes it possible to increase trust in others and to promote self-esteem. Since the people in the group experienced similar things, the feeling of isolation is reduced or eliminated, and possible stigmatization is broken. In addition, contact with other victims of abuse makes it easier to put your experiences into words and to understand them. The members of the group can support each other and even be conversation partners outside of the group.

Numerous methods could be cited here, but what remains unclear because of the only successfully published cases is how effective the various methods are.

7. Conclusion

Not only the sexual abuse itself is a problem in our society, but also the situation that makes it so difficult for boys and men to come out with their experiences in public.

Even if the sexual abuse of boys and men is trivialized and it touches a taboo, it is still there. The victims have to be given the opportunity to communicate and exchange ideas with other victims. That means not only "care" for the victims, but also necessary training for helpers. They should be open to the possibility that male victims of sexual abuse may encounter them in their everyday work.

Information on this topic should also be made available to the general public so that they do not live with the false belief that boys are not victims of sexual abuse.

In addition, it is necessary to break the conventional thought structures that lead victims to remain silent for years or even a lifetime. Attitudes towards what men should do and how they should "function sexually" must be abandoned. This also includes the image that a functioning sexuality is a matter of heterosexuality.

These solid structures must be freed from their old, long outdated encrustations, so that general thinking becomes more free, and thus revealing a painful secret does not lead to agony but to redemption.


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