Transformative Lessons from Research and the Lived Experience

The 4th Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference is on again next week at the Mantra on View Hotel, Gold Coast on 15th – 17th May.

Prof Patrick O’Leary, Head of the School of Human Services and Social Work at Griffith University will join us at the conference to discuss Recognising the influence of child sexual abuse on addictive behaviours of men: Transformative Lessons from Research and the Lived Experience’.

This workshop provides a research, practice and lived experience perspective on the relationship between addiction and child sexual abuse for men.

Research has shown that male survivors of child sexual abuse often find it difficult to disclose and seek specific help. There are also few specific services for male survivors. In response to the ongoing effects of this trauma and isolation men may often use of alcohol and drugs. These attempts to cope can add to their isolation and add to cumulative effects of trauma. Men presenting to professionals working with addiction or mental health issues often do not disclose child sexual abuse and may not be aware of the connection.

This workshop uses available research on the effects of child sexual abuse on male survivors. It highlights the importance of professionals being aware of possible indicators of child sexual abuse for male survivors as well as creating a ‘space’ where men can disclose and discuss the issue. This requires a trauma informed response.

The workshop draws on experience from a Survivor led service providing professional and peer support for male survivors of child sexual abuse. Responses from 175 men who attended therapeutic groups indicate that addictive behaviours are common. It also shows the value of attending groups in dealing with effects of child sexual abuse. The lived experience of survivors is critical to understanding the need and type of services that can best assist male survivors. This issue has important implications for intervention prevention strategies at population level.

The workshop will include 20 minute presentations from the following speakers:

  • Professor Patrick O’Leary, Head of the School of Human Services and Social Work Griffith University, will discuss supporting research on the relationship between addiction and male child sexual abuse.
  • Shane McNamara and Craig Hughes Cashmore, Co-founders of Survivors & Mates Support Network, will share their journey from abuse to addiction to survival and the lessons of resilience.
  • Mark Griffiths, a registered psychologist and Chairperson of SAMSN will discuss strategies and factors that can assist men who have experienced child sexual abuse build resilience and promote positive coping.

A 30 minute Q&A with the panel will follow.

For more information on the upcoming 2017 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference and to secure your spot, please visit addictionaustralia.org.au.

 

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