Characteristics of Better Blokes Peer Support:
- Facilitated by a trained peer-support-worker not a professional therapist.
- People engage with each other and others for support that is based on mutual learning from their shared (lived) experience;
- The support may include a mix of self-help, mutual (one-on-one) support, group support and mentoring
Many male survivors of sexual abuse face relationship challenges with friends, family/whanau and workmates and experience great difficulty interacting with support service providers. Effective peer support hinges on building a trust-based relationship between the survivor and their peer-support-worker. It is this safe and trusted relationship that can provide a real opportunity for the growth and recovery of the survivor…and also for their peer-support-worker.
life experience of the peer-support-worker creates common ground
The life experience of the peer-support-worker creates common ground from which the trust relationship with the person is formed. Empowerment, empathy, hope and choice along with mutuality are the main drivers in purposeful peer support work. There is a great deal of strength gained from knowing someone who has walked where you are walking and now has a life of their choosing.
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You may find going to a peer support group helpful if you feel lonely because of the isolation that the shame associated with sexual abuse can often create. In a peer support group, male survivors of sexual abuse can share their feelings and experiences. Sharing with those who have gone through similar experiences offers connection and an antidote to isolation..