Twelve-year-old Sam asked his neighbor for assistance on a school project and while working together, the man inappropriately touched him. The abuse didn’t stop at just touching, but included violent rapes and other crimes and continued for five long years. The man manipulated and threatened little Sam so he kept quiet, but the abuse affected him deeply.
His grades slipped, people noticed his withdrawn and depressed state, but no one came forward to inquire how an enthusiastic child became so depressed. He tried to get help but to no avail and it was twenty years later that he found help on the internet where Sam found a community of survivors.
Like thousands of other survivors, Sam’s healing process began with the support and acknowledgment of the community.
At least one in six boys has experienced sexual abuse before turning 18. Shocking, isn’t it? Research shows that men are less likely to tell anyone when they are victims of rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault or domestic violence.
Although men in our society still occupy the highest and powerful platforms, they rarely use it to stand against the criminalization of our society. This toxic culture of silence is conditioned into us from birth; boys don’t cry, be a man, take it like a man.
On this International Day in support of Victims of Torture, we stand and pray with all the victims and urge them to come out to seek help and give help.
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