Millions of people around the world have found that hotlines, helplines, and various kinds of peer support have “saved their lives,” given them the hope and support they need to carry on, and greatly helped them to heal and overcome current problems.
However, as mentioned on the main Finding Help page, and as suggested by the names of the organizations and websites below, they may have points of view that do not feel true or comfortable for some people. Only you can determine whether that’s OK with you or presents some problems (however easy or difficult to overcome) when it comes to getting your needs met.
Also, some peer chats, discussion forums and groups are not helpful for some men. They may feel that other participants are somehow fundamentally unlike them. They may get freaked out by what others are saying, have bad memories triggered, and/or feel misunderstood and even attacked by others. Of course this may not be the case, and online peer support can be extremely helpful in many ways. But for some men, it doesn’t work out that way.
As always, we recommend that you pace yourself, take what works for you, and leave aside or ignore whatever doesn’t.
Finally, if you are in immediate danger, of seriously harming yourself or being harmed by someone else, we recommending calling 911 or going to the nearest hospital emergency room.
United States and the Web
RAINN: Free confidential telephone support is available 24/7. You can use RAINN’s phone hotline at 800–656-HOPE (4673), which automatically links callers to local counseling centers in your area with trained staff members who know about (1) the effects of unwanted or abusive childhood sexual experiences and (2) available local services; please note that someone answering the phone at a local center may not understand issues and concerns specific to men, and others may be trained on issues and concerns specific to men. All calls are confidential, and callers are encouraged to remain anonymous.
MaleSurvivor: Overcoming Sexual Victimization of Boys & Men — Their mission is “preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism.” Their site has many resources, including a Discussion Board with forums moderated by experienced therapists and a page where you can search for therapist– and peer-led support groups in the U.S. and Canada (search results provide information about each specific group, and contact info for learning more; see also Survivors Helping Survivors, an excellent guide on the benefits, risks and challenges of peer support groups, how to start and maintain them most effectively, etc.).
isurvive.org — Abuse Survivors Learning to Thrive — Volunteer-run web site and non-profit organization provides a forum for people to help each other by sharing their experiences, struggles and hard-earned wisdom. There are online chats and forums, including for those struggling with addictions and those who are abusing others, as well as friends and family members.
Survivors Helping Survivors: A Practical Guide to Understanding Peer Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence — This guide, from The Men’s Project in Ontario, Canada, is a great resource on the benefits, risks and challenges of peer support for survivors of sexual violence. It also has practical suggestions for creating and maintaining groups that can provide the greatest possible benefits for their members.
National Association for People Abused in Childhood — Another UK organization with an anonymous and confidential helpline.