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Child Abuse Negl. 2019 Feb;88:455-465. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.08.015. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Barriers and facilitators affecting self-disclosure among male survivors of child sexual abuse: The service providers' perspective.

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Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Western University, London, Ontario, N6G 1H1, Canada. Electronic address:
School of Health Studies, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 4L6, Canada.
Department of Physical Therapy, Western University, London, Ontario, N6G 1H1, Canada.
Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University, London, Ontario, N6G 1H1, Canada.


Research regarding child sexual abuse (CSA) indicates significant gender differences in disclosure rates, with males less likely to disclose their abuse compared to females. CSA can have lasting impact on a children's emotional, physical, and psychological wellbeing. While service providers play an instrumental role in providing care and support for male CSA survivors, little is known about their perceptions and experiences related to disclosure among these men. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore service providers' perceptions and awareness of disclosure-related barriers and facilitators amongst male CSA survivors. Individual interviews were conducted with eleven service providers. Study findings reveal four key themes related to the disclosure process among male CSA survivors: (a) personal characteristics, (b) interpersonal relations, (c) institutional elements, and (d) societal norms. Findings indicate that service providers understand and respond to complex challenges associated with disclosure of CSA among this marginalized population. Study findings demonstrate the need for additional research on the specific issues of gender bias and stigma associated with male sexual abuse. Along with their empirical significance, these findings can be used to develop more tailored public health and social service-related programming for male CSA survivors, their families, and the broader community to promote a safer and more supportive environment in which to discuss these sensitive and important issues. Recommendations to service providers are discussed.


Barriers; Child sexual abuse; Disclosure; Facilitators; Gender; Male sexual abuse survivor; Service provision

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