Make time and space for them to privately discuss their abuse for as long as they need and as soon as possible. Pick your time and location carefully, away from anyone around whom they don’t feel safe. Ensure they know that there are professionals who can help and encourage them to seek such professional help. Support organizations for male childhood sexual abuse survivors are listed below. If the individual is a child, reassure them that you will help—and do it.
Ask for more information, and be careful about jumping to conclusions after partial disclosures. Ask how you can support them, and offer a few supportive words, like “I’m glad you told me” and “I’m sorry that happened.”
Listen and let them know you believe them. Don’t tell them to put it in their past, forget it, or get over it. People need to organize their thoughts, see your reaction, and process their emotions. Don’t offer solutions. Listening is helping.
Expect that they may be confused about how they feel about their abuse and don’t judge their thoughts or feelings. Sometimes negative or abusive attention is the only real attention a child receives, and parts of the relationship may have been what they needed at the time. Normalize and validate their thoughts and feelings as valid as best you can.