CHICAGO — Men are often neglected in the pool of individuals affected by trauma, resulting in unhealthy responses that lead them astray, according to the CEO of a sexual trauma support group.
Robert Marshall, the CEO of ‘I Am Man:’ Sand Survivors Circle joined the Weekend Morning Show to discuss the importance of killing the taboo against sexual trauma against men.
The organization started in 2019 with the goals with healing as the journey and wholeness as the destination.
Marshall says he recalls over nine times of when he was sexually abused and was only able to identify them years later.
“Like most men who experience some sort of sexual abuse, they don’t realize it until 20 or 25 years later,” Marshall said.
Marshall identifies the years up to the realization as a ‘Trail of Tears,” years of broken relationships and strained identities that need help.
“I always ask everyone, ‘Where do broken men go?’ And I’ll tell you. They either go to a prison or an early grave.”
Marshall shared how many survivors suffer in silence due to the expectations of masculinity on men and his organization existing as a platform for men to start their healing.
The group launched a book in 2022, “Echos: The Stories of Male Survivors, Overcoming Sexual Trauma,” that dives into the healing journeys of 14 different male survivors across the country.
They have also launched an art exhibit at the Oak Park Public Library for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“It humanizes the livid experiences of male survivors, provides a safe space for their journey to wholeness and empower them.”