I’m Jim, 46 and I’m a survivor of child sex abuse.
My story begins as a sea cadet in my local cadet force at 14. As I wanted to be a royal marine, the closest marine cadets were around 20 miles away so I joined them instead.
The man who was the president was a larger than life character, a holder of an MBE and quite famous around the world.
Unbeknown to any of us he was a profile peadophile who groomed and abused me, by the time I was 16 I had left and got a job, only the man who owned the firm turned out to be a peadophile as well and he abused me for years.
I fell down a dark path, trying to mask all the pain and anger I had inside me with drugs, alcohol, fighting, self harm, suicidal tendencies and risk taking behaviour.
It ruined relationships, jobs, prospects and I hated myself, eventually after many years i reported them both and during the investigation they found more victims from the sea cadets and they slowly built a case against him, they arrested the second man but he was released without charge, eventually it went to crown court and he was sentenced to 8 years behind bars.
As I left court the TV cameras were waiting and as they chased us across the car park I decided that I was done with running away from this, I waived my right to anonymity and gave an interview on the news.
After that I wanted to do more so I co-founded an online support group to help other survivors around the world to tell their story and to support and listen and it went really well and eventually it branched out into peer support for men’s mental health.
I now volunteer with https://www.missingpeace.org.uk/ running 2 peer support groups one for mens mental health and one for male survivors of sexual abuse to help others with support and to let other men know they arent alone.
I’m also doing my very first TEDx talk next month and I help out at a local university as a service user using my experience to help mental health nurses and staff understand what it’s like and to tell my story.
You are not alone, people will listen and support you.