Tāne's solo hikoi hopes to highlight help for male sexual abuse

By Stefan Dimitrof

A father of six and a survivor of sexual abuse is walking the length of the country starting from Bluff and aiming to reach to 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 is 11 days into the hikoi and has suffered a setback, with an injury to his leg but after a speedy recovery is back on the road.

He says is getting great support from Male Survivors Otago, with members helping with transporting his pack, providing food and accommodation and moral support.

Troth says he hast been helped by counselling 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.”

If people are in need of help they can 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.