First Step Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland
Supporting male survivors of sexual abuse and rape, and their loved ones

[heading_block]Frustrated with the Lack of Support for Male Survivors[/heading_block]Paul Leduc was frustrated with the lack of support for Male Survivors of sexual abuse, so he decided to do something about it.

Paul Leduc was only a child when he was sexually abused and like thousands of other victims, the horrific trauma left deep scars. These wounds took many years to cope with.

The historic abuse came back to haunt him when he began studying to become a paramedic at Cambrian College. Feeling alone and vulnerable living on his own for the first time, he said he “hit rock bottom” and contemplated suicide.

Paul Leduc decided to seek out help from a professional counsellor, who helped him work through his feelings and his trauma. The counsellor also provided his services free of charge to Paul.

However, Paul said that the lack of resources and support available for male survivors of sexual abuse and rape was frustrating. This led Paul to create his own non-profit organisation, the Canadian Society for Male Survivors of Sexual abuse, in 2013.

Leduc said the organisation connects men who have been through sexual abuse and helps them gain the valuable support they need, and it works in conjunctions with other organisations which work primary with female sexual abuse survivors.

“I saw there were needs out there that hadn’t been filled,” Leduc said. “I think it’s something that’s overlooked. That’s what it boils down to. My thought process was as simple as ‘I can’t be the only person who’s going through this.’ ”

Paul Leduc earned attention from Cambrian College who honoured Leduc for his work and help to fellow survivors. He was presented with the Cambrian College Alumni Award. The award is given to people who make outstanding contributions to the college and society through professional excellence and extraordinary service to education.

“Yesterday was really an incredible experience,” he said. “It was really humbling, and I was filled with nothing but gratitude to go and accept the award.”

Leduc said he told graduates that the moments in life that are the most telling are the times when you’ve faced a major challenge, or even failed.

“How you react in those moments of stress or challenge will ultimately decide your success,” he said.