VASAM

It is now recognized that men can be victims and survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault, either as adults or as children.

VASAM (Victimes d'agressions sexuelles au masculin) offers services and support to male victims of sexual violence. Learn more about why this organization was created, and the type of services and support it offers.

 Transcript

Frank:
I told myself that what had happened was really bad...
Frank:
It was so unimaginable...

Frank:
that I would never tell anyone about it ever.

Frank:
Even under torture, I would never say anything.

Frank:
So, for me I had closed the drawer.

Frank:
I just obliterated all of it.

Frank:
Because it was so shameful.

Frank:
What he did.

Frank:
In doing that...

Frank:
He, the person who abused me changed me forever.

Frank:
The turning point came on August 25, 2008...

Frank:
when I was able to say, yes, I was abused...

Frank:
and it damaged me severely.

Frank:
Starting today, I decided not to bury it anymore, because I hesitated in the days and weeks before.

Frank:
I've just decided to seek redress.

Frank:
I don't know what form that'll take.

Frank:
I'm really scared.

Frank:
But yes, I'll move forward and I'm never going back.

Narrator:
Alain Fortier created VASAM.

Frank:
We had the same vision, which was to help.

Narrator:
VASAM is an organization that supports men who were sexually abused as children.

Alain:
Often men who were sexually abused think they're alone.

Alain:
It only happened to them, but that's not the case.

Alain:
It's happened to many men.

Alain:
We just don't know about it, and men don't talk about it openly.

Alain:
It's a taboo we have to break.

Alain:
One of the first steps really is to go and to talk about it.

Alain:
Starting to talk about it is the greatest relief.

Alain:
When you start talking about it, you'll feel a great weight being lifted off your shoulders.

Alain:
It's a first step.

Alain:
Is talking about it enough? No.

Alain:
After that, it's time to go a little further.

Alain:
Often, what men need at that point is to talk to an organization such as ours.

Alain:
To come and validate what they experienced, to help them and to make it much easier for them to finally free themselves.

Alain:
We're often a role model, and it's funny, because when you start talking about it, when you openly say what you experienced,

Alain:
that's when people come to see us.

Alain:
At that point, people tell you,

Alain:
"I went through that too."

Alain:
"Okay, so what did you do about it?"

Alain:
"Well, that's not important."

Alain:
"Yes, it is important!"

Alain:
So, yes, we will be a role model, and in talking with these people, who were victims,

Alain:
they'll see that there is hope.

Alain:
You can live a balanced life even if you've been abused.

Alain:
So through us, they'll see a way to free themselves from what they went through.

Frank:
The hope I have for someone who's been abused...

Frank:
"One day, VASAM will own all the keys to unlock the broken hearts of men who have been abused."

Frank:
My biggest dream is to have all the keys to, as I call it, unlock every person who's been abused.

 
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