Beyond a doubt, Killing Your Batmancan be used to help more than male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The analogies used to describe hypervigilance, loss of control, feelings of anger, and overwhelming sensations of grief and regret can be helpful for not only female survivors of sexual abuse, but also military survivors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is because no matter what the trauma may be, it has similar effects on the mind, body, and brain of any survivor. However, the stigmas applied to each form of trauma throughout our society, make understanding the trauma and the road to recovery for each survivor different. It is for this reason I write for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
I am not a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor for trauma or sexual abuse. I am a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse. This means, for now, I am only comfortable writing about the trauma I know and have experienced. It is a trauma I have suffered and continue to recover from. This book is an extension of my recovery. It is an attempt to help other male survivors while understanding the affects my sexual abuse has had throughout all aspects of my life. It is a refusal to remain silent while providing a voice for myself and other survivors who feel they must remain silent.
This book is written specifically for male survivors because male survivors of sexual abuse are often ignored and made to believe they do not exist. Writing specifically for male survivors helps to foster a safe community for male survivors. Creating this community allows awareness of male survivors to be recognized throughout society.
To ensure healing for male survivors the community must take an active role in acknowledging the survivor’s abuse, and that it did occur. This cannot be done in the shadows. While the “Me Too” movement has begun to shed light on the sexual assault, abuse, and rape of women, much more still has to be done to provide the needed support for female survivors. Although this is true, there are even fewer supports available for male survivors. Without the same light being shown on the sexual abuse of boys and men, male survivors continue to feel shame humiliation, and guilty for an abuse they had no control over. Without an recognition and restitution by the community in which we live, male survivors will never be given the opportunity to heal.
In their article “Rape Trauma Syndrome”, Burges and Holmstrom found that women who made the best recovers were those who had become advocates of the antirape movement, so why shouldn’t the same be assumed to be true for male survivors? Unfortunately, male survivors feel as if they must continue to hide and that the only individuals who have suffered this trauma, forcing them to feel weak and victimized throughout their lives. Soldiers and survivors of war have living monuments they can visit to express their grief, loss, and trauma while survivors of sexual assault and of sexual assault and abuse suffer their abuse without the possibility to living anchor to tether their trauma. Judith Herman explains that, “in refusing to hide or be silenced, in insisting that rape is a pubic matter, and in demanding social change, survivors create their own living monument.” This book, and others like it, are my attempt to not be silenced and create a living anchor for male survivors.