Sam Troth is on a 55 day hikoi to raise awareness of male sexual abuse victims. Photo / Whakaata Māori.
A father of six and a survivor of sexual abuse is walking the length of the country starting from Bluff and aiming to reach Cape Reinga to raise awareness of male sexual abuse.
Sam Troth hopes that his 55-day hikoi across the motu called The Road to Healing will help remove the stigma attached to sexual abuse, and make it easier for men and boys to seek help.
Troth’s message to the abused yet to speak out is “it’s not your fault, no one is going to judge you. Find someone that you feel safe with and disclose to them, speak to them, seek help and it can stop now and we can start healing now”.
Troth was two weeks into the hikoi before he suffered a setback, injuring his leg. But after a speedy recovery he is now back on the road.
He says he has great support from Male Survivors Otago, with members helping with transporting his pack, providing food and accommodation and moral support.
Troth says counselling has helped and that the final stage of his healing is giving back and helping people by generating positivity out of a negative situation.
Troth said that other media outlets haven’t shown much interest in the kaupapa that he and Male Survivors Aotearoa have been trying to advertise.
“It needs to be acceptable, we need to be able to talk about it, we need to be able to educate about it and, ultimately, we need to be able to prevent it from happening.”
Do you want to support? Call Freephone Male Survivors Aotearoa at 0800 044334 or text 4334 The sexual harm helpline can be accessed free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone, text, website, online chat and email.