Break the Silence

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lex, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. Lex

    Lex
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    I was a vicitim of sexual assault. Being male, there is an additional stigma to be "molested/raped/violated" by another male. Many issues from this, obviously, the least of which is my extremely selective attraction to men who look like me. It was an older cousin. Details are irrelevant. What is important is that I am a whole person today and that we must stand united in our effrots to Break the Silence.

    [FONT=verdana,ARIAL,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Approximately one in six boys is sexually abused before age 16.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    Laveranues Cole appeared on Oprah Friday to recount how his step father abused him from age 10-13. To this day, he has admitted trust isssues and is not married. His story can be found here.

    Here are some websites that offer both information and support:

    Male Survivors of Childhood Sex Abuse
    • Lots os good stuff
    [FONT=verdana,ARIAL,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Sexual Abuse of Males
    [/SIZE][/FONT]
    • has information on biases, statisitics and lasting effects
    [FONT=verdana,ARIAL,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]
    I focus here on men as I am one, but the "Break the Silence Plea" is for any person who was a victim. I admire GoneA's openess and felt that I would start this thread as I intended to on Friday as a show of my solidarity and support of all survivors of abusive acts.

    This post is not meant to be a plea for sympathy, but rather a statement that these actorcities happen to real people. People you may not expect. People you might know. And that these people can survive. We can pull each other up and become complete. We can learn to love and trust again inspite of all that happened.

    It's a serious subject that must be handled delicately and compassionately.


    [/SIZE][/FONT]
     
  2. Lex

    Lex
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    Myths About Male Sexual Abuse
    (from Male Surviror.org)

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] Myth #1 - Boys and men can't be victims.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] This myth, instilled through masculine gender socialization and sometimes referred to as the "macho image," declares that males, even young boys, are not supposed to be victims or even vulnerable. We learn very early that males should be able to protect themselves. In truth, boys are children - weaker and more vulnerable than their perpetrators - who cannot really fight back. Why? The perpetrator has greater size, strength, and knowledge. This power is exercised from a position of authority, using resources such as money or other bribes, or outright threats - whatever advantage can be taken to use a child for sexual purposes.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Myth #2 - Most sexual abuse of boys is perpetrated by homosexual males.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] Pedophiles who molest boys are not expressing a homosexual orientation any more than pedophiles who molest girls are practicing heterosexual behaviors. While many child molesters have gender and/or age preferences, of those who seek out boys, the vast majority are not homosexual. They are pedophiles.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Myth #3 - If a boy experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, this means he was a willing participant or enjoyed it.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] In reality, males can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. Therapists who work with sexual offenders know that one way a perpetrator can maintain secrecy is to label the child's sexual response as an indication of his willingness to participate. "You liked it, you wanted it," they'll say. Many survivors feel guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused. Physical (and visual or auditory) stimulation is likely to happen in a sexual situation. It does not mean that the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant at the time.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Myth #4 - Boys are less traumatized by the abuse experience than girls.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] While some studies have found males to be less negatively affected, more studies show that long term effects are quite damaging for either sex. Males may be more damaged by society's refusal or reluctance to accept their victimization, and by their resultant belief that they must "tough it out" in silence.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Myth #5 - Boys abused by males are or will become homosexual.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] While there are different theories about how the sexual orientation develops, experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation. It is unlikely that someone can make another person a homosexual or heterosexual. Sexual orientation is a complex issue and there is no single answer or theory that explains why someone identifies himself as homosexual, heterosexual or bi-sexual. Whether perpetrated by older males or females, boys' or girls' premature sexual experiences are damaging in many ways, including confusion about one's sexual identity and orientation.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] Many boys who have been abused by males erroneously believe that something about them sexually attracts males, and that this may mean they are homosexual or effeminate. Again, not true. Pedophiles who are attracted to boys will admit that the lack of body hair and adult sexual features turns them on. The pedophile's inability to develop and maintain a healthy adult sexual relationship is the problem - not the physical features of a sexually immature boy.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Myth #6 - The "Vampire Syndrome" that is, boys who are sexually abused, like the victims of Count Dracula, go on to "bite" or sexually abuse others.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] This myth is especially dangerous because it can create a terrible stigma for the child, that he is destined to become an offender. Boys might be treated as potential perpetrators rather than victims who need help. While it is true that most perpetrators have histories of sexual abuse, it is NOT true that most victims go on to become perpetrators. Research by Jane Gilgun, Judith Becker and John Hunter found a primary difference between perpetrators who were sexually abused and sexually abused males who never perpetrated: non-perpetrators told about the abuse, and were believed and supported by significant people in their lives. Again, the majority of victims do not go on to become adolescent or adult perpetrators; and those who do perpetrate in adolescence usually don't perpetrate as adults if they get help when they are young.

    [/FONT] [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Myth #7 - If the perpetrator is female, the boy or adolescent should consider himself fortunate to have been initiated into heterosexual activity.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] In reality, premature or coerced sex, whether by a mother, aunt, older sister, baby-sitter or other female in a position of power over a boy, causes confusion at best, and rage, depression or other problems in more negative circumstances. To be used as a sexual object by a more powerful person, male or female, is always abusive and often damaging.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] Believing these myths is dangerous and damaging.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]So long as society believes these myths, and teaches them to children from their earliest years, sexually abused males will be unlikely to get the recognition and help they need. [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]So long as society believes these myths, sexually abused males will be more likely join the minority of survivors who perpetuate this suffering by abusing others. [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]So long as boys or men who have been sexually abused believe these myths, they will feel ashamed and angry. [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]And so long as sexually abused males believe these myths they reinforce the power of another devastating myth that all abused children struggle with: that it was their fault. It is never the fault of the child in a sexual situation - though perpetrators can be quite skilled at getting their victims to believe these myths and take on responsibility that is always and only their own. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]For any male who has been sexually abused, becoming free of these myths is an essential part of the recovery process.[/FONT]
     
  3. Rikter8

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    HUGS.

    The best part is that you turned out to be a Very intelligent, warm caring man.

    *Corey says to himself* to think I had to pay for sex....
     
  4. chrispy

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    Lex -

    Thank you for your posts. I was sexually assaulted by another man in my early twenties.

    I have always been fat and rather homely, and at the time was trolling for sex in an adult bookstore. He did not understand the meaning of the word "No". How do you tell someone about something like that when you look like me, and it happened in that situation? When I first tried to tell anyone about what happened, I got responses ranging from "I deserved it" to "I should count myself lucky he was even interested".

    Thanks to lots of therapy, I worked through it. I also discovered that it happens to men much more often than is reported. I also learned that sexual assault has nothing to do with sex, and everthing to do with power, rage, and domination.
     
  5. GoneA

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    Lex you already know i love you: :tongue:


    on a serious note, this thread is very powerful, deep, and insightful and considering my background, i have a very personal interest in it.

    what i love most is the way it has been formatted: the myth is listed and then the truth is unveiled - GREAT. my hope is that this thread becomes the cynosure for very many posters here that have suffered from said "relationships."

    thank you Lex ...... thank you.
     
  6. Dr. Dilznick

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    Last year I got the most homoerotic pat-down I've ever gotten from an officer of the law. This cop was juggling my nuts with his nightstick and everything. I felt violated.
     
  7. D_Herin_Ghan

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    Lex, I was in a similar situation. Semantics aren't important, but for me it was 7-9. It means so much to me that you would have the courage to post something like this, and dispel all rumours at the same time. It's also comforting to know other have gone through similar things as me. Much respect.

    I hope you all can now understand my POV on the incest/pedophilia issue.
     
  8. rawbone8

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    Kudos to you Lex for dealing with your experience and sharing the good news about recovery. I'm guessing it was a burden to keep that secret.

    I haven't been assaulted. My older brother and I had a playmate who in retrospect most certainly was. He was an adopted child, about nine years old or so, when I was six and my brother was seven. This boy initiated us into a secret game called "machines" which was pretty typical show me yours I'll show you mine. We found it exhilarating as most boys would. And it had to be secret, so we did it in his basement. We got caught once by his mother and didn't take the risk after that of a repeat. Pretty normal innocent stuff.

    However, he had a serious problem. He had been adopted from Children's Aid by a childless couple. He had a badly broken nose (rare for a little boy), and few or no friends his own age. He was continuing to attempt lure us into participating. He was unusually sexualized and knowledgable about adult sex (in retrospect) and had a fascination for anal touching and penetration which bewildered me. As he got older he continued to find younger children including my best friend's little sister to prey upon with offers of money for sexual touching. He became a social outcast in our neighbourhood.

    Many years later he devolved to become an adult predator and raped a 3 year old daughter of his friends. The dad beat the hell out of him and had him charged. He jumped bail and ran away and I have no further information on his story. This was 25 years ago.

    It seems obvious that he experienced his own victimization at an extremely young age. My mother and his mother were friends, and yet the secretive nature of our culture kept him from getting any counselling when it might have helped, and his adoptive mother claimed to have no knowledge of that particular abuse before adopting him. They were just told that he had a very "rough" family, and that he had to be removed and placed for adoption.

    The cycle of violence can continue when it is silenced.
     
  9. CUBE

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    Great post Lex
     
  10. prepstudinsc

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    To those who had the courage to open up, thank you. For some reason, our Puritanical culture always wants to hush abuse up, but those who are courageous enough to come forward and help break the cycle.
     
  11. D_Barbi_Queue

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    Ok, here goes mine: *takes deep breath*

    I too was molested from the age of 5 to 11 by my older brother. He passed away when I was 11 so I never was able to confront him about it and ask WTF was going on in his head. When I was younger, I always felt like I was a participant in it and never told b/c I thought I would get in trouble too. As I got older, I found out otherwise. I told my mom when I was 16, she didn't believe me and said some hurtful things. I partly understood b/c I was talking about her deceased son, but it also really pissed me off. It took 10 years for her to appologize and she still only did a half-ass job at it. But I forgave her.

    When I was 7, I was also molested by a customer from a bar that my mom managed. We lived in a trailor right next door and he stumbled over. My mom happened to be gone that night, leaving me in the care of my older brother and when he discovered what happened, he beat the shit out of the guy's car using a rifle....busting every window and light. When my mom got home later that night, we told her. She said that she was going to call the police the next day and never did. I was pretty hurt by that.

    It is hardly ever difficult for me to talk about, especially when it lets someone else spill their own guts about their own victimization, but I'm usually hesitant b/c it usually (and understandably so) solicits the "I'm sorry" responses and then I feel like some sort of attention whore....which is not why I reveal my story. I realize that it's something I need to overcome...but I also wanted to address this in case that is how someone else feels but otherwise wants to talk about it. Don't let it stop you. It's a huge relief to get it out of your system.
     
  12. Lex

    Lex
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    I was never able to confront my perp either. He joined the army, had a bad experience, subsequent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), loss of the majority of his mental faculities, drug abuse, and death. I sat at his funeral behind two other cousins (female) who were witness at once thankful that he was dead and angry that I never got to confront him.

    TAG, GoneA, LINittanyLion, chrispy, Dilznick--thanks for sharing.

    I stand hand in hand with each of you, a human wall of strength, knowing that we are helping SO many more people who may read and never choose to reply. Our voices scare the perps who live in fear that their power over their victims eventually fades. We are the proof.

    Break the Silence.
     
  13. D_Barbi_Queue

    D_Barbi_Queue Account Disabled

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    More Statistics

    • 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 14.
    • 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 16.
    • More than 90% of all sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator. Almost 50% of the offenders are household members and 38% are already acquaintances of the victims.
    • The average serial child molester has between 360-380 victims in his lifetime.
    • Only 12% of all cases of child abuse are reported.
    • 38% of girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.
      16% of boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.
    • The most common ages of children when sexual abuse occurs are between 8 and 12.
    • 21.6% of women who reported being raped during their lifetime were under age 12 at the time of their first rape. 32.4% of these women were 12-17 years of age. Therefore, over half of all female rape victim/survivors surveyed in this study were under the age of 18 at the time of their first rape.
    • Persons under 18 years of age account for 67% of all sexual assault victimizations reported to law enforcement agencies. Children under 12 years old account for 34% of those cases and children under six years account for 14% of those cases
    • 1.8 million of the 22.3 million adolescents in the United States have been sexually assaulted
    • Juveniles are responsible for victimizing 40% of the child sexual assault victims under six years of age.
    • Teens 16 to 19 years of age were three and a half times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
    • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, victims of rape and sexual assault report that in nearly 3 out of 4 incidents, the offender was not a stranger. Based on police-recorded incident data, in 90% of the rapes of children younger than 12, the child knew the offender.
    • Like rape, child molestation is one of the most underreported crimes: only 1-10% are ever disclosed.
    • 2/3rds of babies born to teenage mothers were fathered by adult men, not the fellow classmates long suspected.
    • Just 14% of child victimizers used a weapon, compared to nearly half of those who victimized adults.
    • The United States has the world's highest rape rate of the countries that publish such statistics. It's 4 times higher than Germany, 13 times higher than England, and 20 times higher than Japan.
    • 100 Children are kidnapped by strangers each year in the United States.

    • 74 percent of abducted children who are murdered are killed within three hours of the abduction. In 80% of the cases, the initial contact between the killer and the victim was within 1/4 mile of the victim's residence, and the majority of cases (57%) were based solely on opportunity.
    http://www.childluresprevention.com/research/statistics.asp
     
  14. D_Barbi_Queue

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    Dilz's experience reminds me of another. When I was just hitting puberty, I had to get glasses. While the doctor was examining my eyes with his little hand light, he took his time looking at each one and the back of his hand was slowly rubbing back and forth on each of my breasts. It was my first eye exam and I thought that maybe he just needed to get that close to see what the hell was going on. Years later it occurred to me that it wasn't at all necessary. From now on though, I will ALWAYS be in the office when my boys have an appointment with any stranger.
     
  15. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    I've never been certain whether or not this constitutes abuse in the classic definition but here you are:

    My parents, when we were little, had a couple who were their best friends. "Mrs. Jones" was my mum's shopping buddy and they were together.. almost inseparable when I was little.

    They had a house at the ocean in coastal Massachusetts and often (since they had two children roughly my brother's and my age) we'd spend summer weekends as a family with them or they with us on Cape Cod.

    One Saturday for whatever reason I was dropped off at "Mrs Jones's" seaside house to "spend an overnight". It was simply Ruth ("Mrs. Jones") and me and I recall thinking that, in and of itself, was unusual. I had to have been 7 or so. We spent all day Saturday on the beach. I recall her well since she was no more than 28 and had jet black hair and a really white, white one piece bathing suit. She looked like a movie star.

    After hours at the beach we made our way up the dune to the house which had a detached, fenced in outside shower. You could see up to the blue sky and the shower head was dead center as you looked up.. but once the gate was closed it was entirely private. Ruth took me by the hand and had me go into that shower with her that afternoon and, though I remember it quite dimly, she took off my swim trunks first then she pulled off her own suit.

    What's clearest is the memory of that event is her gentle caress as she touched ever place on face and my torso. Without going into detail, she went everywhere. She held me at her "area" for what seemed a very long time and gently stroked my back and told me how beautiful I was.

    That's about all I can tangibly recall.

    I think I kissed her where she instructed but I'm not sure. I do recall we were in there... under that shower on that hot summer afternoon for a very long time. But what I don't recall at all was feeling pressured, or threatened, or repulsed. I also don't remember being particularly "turned on" either. I don't believe she ever told me I was to "tell no one". And it never happened again.

    I spent that night at the beach house that Saturday night and in the afternoon the following day my mother came to get me.

    That's about it. If that constitutes "breaking the silence" so be it. I've never told anyone as it never occured to me it constituted abuse.

    I know I don't feel as though I was abused but then again I was very small and I made no effort (nor was I inclined) to resist.
     
  16. sexycobra

    sexycobra New Member

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    I admire the courage of people posting here (no, I wasn't abused myself). Perhaps posting stories and statistics such as these will help people realize the severity of this problem (I, for one, was shocked to see that it's much more common than I would have thought) and force a global, proactive effort to report, discourage, and eventually (hopefully) all but eradicate such behavior.

    Stronzo, my feeling from reading your post is that this definitely constitutes abuse. Some forms of child abuse are perhaps less traumatic for the child than others are (it's obviously your case), but I don't think that the criteria for defining abuse should be whether the child felt pressured, threatened, repulsed or forced to do something he/she doesn't want to do.

    My definition is: having sexual activities, of any kind, with an underage person constitutes abuse. Period. What's wrong is the adult using his/her power and authority over someone who is too young/not mature enough to understand what's happening and to object - from that viewpoint it is irrelevant whether the child actually suffers and is thereatened or not, although it goes without saying that some agressions are much more severe and traumatizing than others.
     
  17. naughty

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    Workin' up a good pot of mad!
    Hi,

    most of you have heard about my attempted acquaintance rape experience but in retrospect I can remember instances where I had close calls. When I was 14 I won a slot on a MD public television show as a singer/actor with two adult actors. I will never forget on one occassion when changing in my dressing room the producer of the program quietly slipped into my room and announced that he was there to "Help " me dress and touched my shoulder. I turned around and informed him that I had been dressing myself quite satisfactorily for about 10 years at that point and was not in need of assistance but I would let my mother know that he had expressed concern, You have never seen anyone leave a room so fast. At the time I thought it was funny but I later realized how very lucky I had been, That was my first experience with on the job sexual harrassment.

    Naughty
     
  18. SpeedoGuy

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    Lex:

    Kudos for being bold and confident enough to post that. Well done.

    I never suffered any molestation but was shocked to find out (years later) that my sister had from an extended family member. I'd never given the subject much thought before I learned that.
     
  19. GoneA

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    This is exactly the reason I didn't post a very detailed account of what has happened to me, in the incest thread. Yet, after reading your post it occurred to me that my experience might help someone else.

    Well, to make long story short, and to make a short story shorter: I was sexually molested, on a continual basis, from the ages of four (4) to nine (9) years-old. My Uncle and Aunt were the perpetrators and, as in most cases, were quite surreptitious in their behavior. During this period in my life, I simply reconciled within myself that somehow I was to blame and kept it quite like they told me.

    As it happens, I finally mustered up enough courage to tell my parents … I appreciate them [my parents] as they dealt with the situation very well and made sure it never happened again. The actions of those five years between the three of us [me, my Aunt and my Uncle] reverberated trust issues through-out the rest of my life.


    It’s quite alright though; I’m a lot better now. Although, if it's taught me anything, it's taught me that a smile is no more an indicator of a nice person than a frown is a bad person.
     
  20. D_Herin_Ghan

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    I've never talked about it for similar reasons, and honestly I don't want to. I hope everyone here can understand that. For me, the perp was a next door neighbor whom I haven't seen in yrs. He was 6 yrs older than me. That's all I really want to divulge.

    I try not to let it bug me at all, but I wonder if it has a role with my trust issues, and my terrible ability at picking up women (I highly doubt it involves the latter, it's probably that I just suck :mad: )
     
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