Support Groups May Be Worth the Trouble

Before starting a support group, a church should count the cost.
—Randy Christian

One man's face began to redden. His jaw muscles bulged. Another said, "You can't be sure they haven't already sexually abused someone themselves. Once they cross that line, they're not safe. They can't be trusted alone with kids."

Eight men, most of them professionals in their late thirties or early forties, sat in my office, part of a support group for the husbands of women sexually molested as children. They were voicing their fears about my suggestion: "What do you think of starting a support group for adult male victims of sexual abuse?"

The idea was clearly not a popular one.

Months earlier, a young man had talked with me after church. This likable, wise believer had been involved in several ministries in our church. Having been sexually abused as a child and having endured a lot of inner torment, he had asked, "Can we start a support group for men abused as children? I'm really struggling with this, and ...

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