One survivor of sexual abuse wants the public to know it's not just men who sexually abuse other men — women can be predators too.
As a child, Dan Racicot was sexually abused by a female family member.
He said that's a reality even those involved with sexual abuse counselling sometimes have a hard time grasping.
"And I saw that in a sexual abuse symposium that the women who were on that panel voiced the idea that no woman would ever be a sexual predator on a young boy," Racicot said. "That is simply not true."
The executive director of Rockhaven, a recovery house in Sudbury that deals with men who have struggled with substance and often sexual abuse, said she sees similar misconceptions.
"It's not all the men that are doing the violence … it's women too," Patricia Delyea said. "It's grandmothers and it's females who are doing some of the abuse."
Delyea says there should also be more services available for men who have been domestically assaulted by their female spouses.
Racicot said society should reform its archetypes of women to take female sexual abuse predators into account.
"We revere motherhood to point where it's taboo to think of women as anything other than mothers or lovers," he said.
Racicot said his sexual abuse at the hands of a woman resulted in long term effects on his life, particularly his sexual identity.