When a story is told, it can save your life.
I didn’t want to believe that it had happened. I wanted to deny it. So for quarter of a century I told no one about the abuse I suffered as a schoolboy.
Then I wrote a play to share the truth. It has helped me to heal and I hope it will help you.
I wrote GROOMED simply to tell the truth. I had no idea it would take off as it has. I worked hard to keep it short, powerful and bold, but never for one moment depressing.
Audiences seem to be on the edge of their seats, and at the end I am always startled by how many people say I have told their story, including many with no experience of abuse at all.
We all have different wounds from which we have to recover. You will think about your own life. The truth really can set you free.
There is this huge thing that if a man admits to having had some kind of sexual victimhood, that is seen as weak.
I also feared I would be labelled a potential abuser myself because of a myth that persists that many men who were abused as children go on to perpetuate that abuse.
Where child sexual abuse is concerned local Authorities, especially Education Authorities are experts at lip service. Child Protection all too often means not Protection of Children, but rather Protection of the Authority from Reputational Damage or worse Litigation. Here is a genuine quote from a local government officer:
“Those officers at the top of the chain see reds under the bed everywhere and steer clear of possible dangers to their careers and it’s not about the survivor of the abuse, it’s about their own futures that they worry.”
“Historic sexual abuse is just not part of their current strategic priorities.”
“This stuff happened so long ago. We don’t need to respond to it”
For men the average length of time between an incident/s of sexual abuse and even speaking about it, is 26 years. During those 26 years the survivor is living with the psychological consequences.
Don’t let anyone fob you off with that “you should have got over it by now” excuse. I sought help in my later life and have learnt that it is possible to be happy and fulfilled.
I am passionate about men’s healing and I work with Mankind UK and Survivors UK to use my experience to help encourage other like you to seek the help you deserve.