Sexual Abuse Victims – “You Did Nothing Wrong”

July 13, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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Ari Heber heads Queensland’s Jewish Community Services. He has a message for male victims of sexual abuse….all the more meaningful because he was a victim himself.

Ari Heber

Ari uses J-Wire to send an open message to those affected…


To the survivors of male sexual abuse, families and friends.

Shalom Chaverim,

You are not alone; even though there was no one there to stand by you and say no when it happened; you are a part of an ever growing group of men now standing together who were abused by men and women who were supposed to look after and protect us. Currently it is said that one in six young men have been sexually abused in their youth; some think that it is as high as one in four. You did nothing wrong. It is not your fault.

It was not your fault that these people did what they did to you. They were the ones who broke the rules and boundaries; they did what they did for their own perverted pleasure. You did nothing to attract them; they searched for you; isolated you and then abused you. It was not something that you did or about you that caused this to happen, it was them.

Abusers often blame their victims for causing the abuse; you did nothing wrong; you are blameless. They caused this to happen.

Abuse is the use of one person’s power over another to gain something for the perpetrator. It does not just happen; it is done with malice, intent and forethought. You did nothing wrong. In abuse the victim lacks choice; in recovery the survivor has all the choice. You can choose with whom you will share your story and with whom you won’t. With what level of disclosure you are comfortable with; it is now your choice. No one has the right to re-abuse you and demand details or disclosure.

For many years this was also my deepest darkest shameful secret. I felt that I was not worthy of life and acceptance. It drove me to the limits of despair and beyond. I have now found help and support and have been able to grow in self love and acceptance; it is an ongoing lifelong journey.

Some people will try to “fix” you. They want to help you get back on track.They mean well but you are all on your own path and things will be relevant to you at different times. There is no single plan that covers all for recovery. Some people will tell you what you should be feeling or thinking. They should be happy and healthy; some where else. What ever you feel or think is what you should be thinking or feeling. You are the expert on you no one else.

A lot of survivors feel isolated, trapped and alone with no self worth and that the only solution is suicide. If you feel this bad reach out, you are not alone. Jewish House crisis line 1300544 357 Melbourne’s Jewish Care first call 1300133 660, Sydney’s JewishCare 1300133660 Lifeline 131114 are available to talk you through a crisis.

We are all on our own paths to recovery. Some of us attend groups, have one on one counselling with GPs, Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists. Some go to the football and just scream.

There is a lot of confidential support and information on recovery available on the internet.

I am honoured to stand with you,

I wish you along with all the survivors of abuse in its myriad of forms,
Peace, happiness and acceptance

Ariel C Heber
Queensland Jewish Community Services Inc
MARS  [Men Affected by Rape and Sexual Abuse

Heber told J-Wire: “I wish what I wrote above had been available to me as a child”. To this day, 51-yr-old Brisbane-based Heber finds it difficult to develop emotional relationships. He told J-Wire that he had been assaulted by a baby sitter from the age of 6 to 12. He added: “The tragedy is that you find it hard to trust anyone. When you consider it, your parents put you in a situation where others have control over you. School, baby-sitters, youth groups etc. So you think what is happening has been because of their choice.”

Sydney’s JewishCare spokesman, Warren Hurst, added: “There is no doubt that trust becomes an issue. That is why we advocate those with this type of problem should seek help from professionals.”


One Response to “Sexual Abuse Victims – “You Did Nothing Wrong””
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    Who said he did anything wrong?
    Off course you didn’t. Just look at the hundreds of innocent catholic children abused for decades and covered up by the church.
    These chidren are now grown men if still living that is, with many committing suicide over the years and some still couragously coming forward.
    The main thing is it can be addressed not only for your own sake but for the one committing the act, giving them the chance to make reparation without the confessional limitations.

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