April 22-28 is National Victims of Crime Awareness Week.
Because the impact of crime is not always visible, we might not recognize that people in our lives are suffering. Even far more likely to escape our awareness is the fact that boys and men are often victims of violent crime and abuse. Violence and abuse take many forms: childhood neglect, bullying in schools and in the workplace, emotional, physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by family members or figures of authority, witnessing violence, abusive partnerships, and even secondary trauma experienced when a loved one has been affected by violence.
These problems are more common than we realize. For sexual abuse alone, it is estimated that one boy in five is abused by the age of 18.
There are many messages and expectations out there that “real men” must always be tough, independent and in control. Unfortunately these beliefs have caused many boys and men to suffer in silence. Some men affected by abuse have reported feeling isolated, angry, anxious and sad. Other difficulties experienced have included insomnia, less concentration, relationship and parenting issues, anxiety, depression, substance misuse, and aggression. Without support for difficult or traumatic experiences, these problems can escalate over time.
The good news is that healing is possible.
Campbell River is one of the few places in B.C. that has a non-profit society that provides counselling services for men who have experienced abuse. Counselling involves collaboration between the counsellor and client to choose goals and healing approaches that best fit the person, their circumstances and comfort level.
For more information or to make an appointment, call the North Island Survivors’ Healing Society at 250-287-3325.
For our Men’s Counselling Program the Society gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia, United Way and fundraising initiatives supported by our communities.