This module provides an overview of research and practice evidence of the effects of child sexual abuse on men's lives. Whilst the effects of childhood sexual abuse can be profound and extensive, there is no prescribed way that men experience and respond to sexual abuse. Effects of sexual abuse can vary in intensity and impact, they can be episodic and appear throughout the life course, with some 'sleeper effects' appearing at critical life stages, as an individual engages in work, relationships, parenting or their independence and health becomes compromised.  Effects of sexual abuse are rarely single and discrete, often producing a cluster of difficulties. Men who have been sexually abused report 'complex trauma', struggling to deal with overwhelming memories and emotions, to establish a sense of self, of personal and relational integrity, separate from the traumatic experience and its ongoing impacts.

Professionals working with people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and/or sexual assault will undoubtedly be personally affected by hearing about these traumatic events, and by witnessing the considerable impact and distress they can cause. Working with people who have experienced profound trauma and injustice is complex. It can be experienced as a privilege, bringing an added sense of connection, value and meaning to our lives. It can also become personally draining, at times overwhelming us.

This module is designed to increase understanding, to provide practical support, and to give an opportunity for critical reflection on addressing vicarious trauma. It is divided into four sections. Some workers will prefer to read the sections in order, and some will skip directly to the sections of most interest to them – maybe even starting at section three.

This module provides an introductory discussion on the topic of gender and sexuality, with reference to some of the particular challenges that confront men who have been sexually abused in childhood. It is very much a work in progress, as research and practice evidence helps us to further develop our picture of how gender and questions of sexuality shape individual and community life.

This module provides an overview of statistical and research data on the prevalence and characteristics of sexual abuse and sexual assault of males. The module content is designed to increase general awareness of the extent of the problem child sexual abuse and adult sexual assault. It is proposed that increased knowledge and understanding of the different circumstances and contexts in which males can be sexually victimised will support preventative action and improve the quality of individual and service responses.

This training module focuses on the act of disclosure, and the discussion of sexual abuse that follows. Information is provided about what can influence men’s disclosure of sexual abuse or sexual assault. These factors should be considered in practice responses to working with men.