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Male sexual abuse survivors struggle in relations with health care providers -- study

n to for care and support."

Lasiuk and her colleagues compiled their research data from 46 interviews with male childhood sexual abuse survivors. The researchers found that in some cases health care providers--which include nurses, physical therapists, physicians, chiropractors, dentists and massage therapists--harmed more than healed the male survivors due to their lack of knowledge and insensitivity to the male survivors' lot.

However, the situation is not totally bleak for male survivors. Lasiuk said that high profile disclosures--like former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy's--are changing societal attitudes and making it easier for male survivors to come forward.

"Given that 5 to 10 per cent of men and 20 per cent of women are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, all health professionals encounter survivors every day in their practice no matter what their specialty. The key to sensitive practice with male survivors is to treat them with respect and to create a sense of safety by using language that communicates an understanding of their experience--one survivor referred to this as 'malecentric communication'," Lasiuk said.

"The onus is on health professionals to increase their knowledge about the health effects of childhood sexual abuse and to create safe health care environments. To do otherwise breaches the ethical obligation to 'do no harm'."


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Contact: Ryan Smith
ryan.smith@ualberta.ca
780-492-0436
University of Alberta
23-Jun-2006


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