Transcript of Chat With Harish Iyer

Q. Thanks for taking out time for this chat. Can you start by telling us about what helped you heal?

Ans: Talking about it helped me heal. And I started speaking not to any human, but to my dog, who listened to me without judging.

Q. And speaking to your dog who was non judgmental helped?

Ans. yes it did. My dog used to lick my tears when I cried. Listened to me and responded too. Jimmy was my savior. #csaam #csaam

Q. what advise do u have for other survivors so that they can heal?

Ans ADVICE! SPEAK UP! READ UP! Interact with other survivors. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. IT was never your fault.

Q. considering it was abuse over an extended period of years, did it affect your self-image/esteem?

Ans. I was abused for 11 years, by a male relative. I did not seek therapy. Because I didn’t muster the courage to speak. My self-esteem was mauled thought my body was disfigured. Thought I looked ugly.

Q. Do you feel that had you had therapy it would have helped?

Ans. yes, therapy would have helped. But even for me to seek therapy, I needed to speak about the issue first. #csaam

Q. Do you fear having sex now, post all that abuse?

Ans. yes, I did have the fear of sex in the beginning. But, over years and thx to lovely ppl in my life, have gotten over it.

Q. Is it hard for the abused to trust people and relationships?

Ans: very difficult. Most children make friends with darkness all their lives. But, I have been rather lucky.

Q. does this experience affect your outlook towards older men with a familiar image? Do you feel hate?

Ans. don’t feel hate. And my outlook towards older men isn’t related to CSA  

Q. But how do they start trusting people??? And I have even come across people who just want to hear that it wasn’t their fault.

 Ans. I did have that big wall surrounding me. And it took me 11 years of abuse to finally break the deafening silence. Yes, most often children are asked “why you didn’t tell me then”. It is sort of “blaming” them. which is incorrect. Trusting is a gradual process. You need to find that first friend. The first hope. And then the journey begins.

Q. What can a parent do to help a CSA victim?

Ans. The parent should first be a friend. Needs to “trust” the child. Look 4 signs of CSA – deviance from “normal” behavior

Q. how important is the parent standing up for the child to the abuser for the child’s self esteem?

Ans. very very important. That the child finds support, the best strength cld be the parent. (If the parent isn’t the abuser)

Q Are there any Awareness books for children on Child Sexual Abuse like in the West?

 Books w/ case studies, therapy books -very few. @thewordjockey is coming up w/ #Aham which is my story w/ a survival guide #csaam

Q. Did you confront your abuser? Do you recommend it to other CSA victims?

Ans. I could not legally confront. There is NO law that protects male victims of child sexual abuse. #

Q didn’t know that incest could also be abuse. What if I’m a 13 year old and my cousin 17?

Ans.  Yes incest is also a form of abuse. In fact, I could say, the most common form.

Q. agreed. I know of men who were abused by aunts/neighbors and are now only into older women. They can’t think of a woman their age!

Ans. yes, parents need to understand. But speaking about CSA and sexual evolution – I am gay, and I am not gay because of abuse. Here are 2 things. Sexual habits and sexual orientation. Habits cud be cultivated by experience, orientation is innate

Q. how would you advise adult CSA survivors to move on from the abuse?

Ans. seek professional help. Believe that you were a child, and it was not your fault. You didn’t “invite” abuse. It happened.

Q. what is your opinion on the new bill against CSA?

Ans. it is nice and comprehensive. The best thing is that it also speaks about male CSA. And about procedures in detail

Q. any aspects you would like to touch on re male CSA. There is misconception that only girls are victims

Ans boys are equally vulnerable. And many boys are abused by women too. And it is more diff to deal in our patriarchal macho society. Still, it is not so often that we speak about the possibility of a “boy” being sexually abused. Though, boys are more vulnerable.