Washington DC (May 24, 2011) – MaleSurvivor, a leading, global not-for-profit organization dedicated to overcoming sexual victimization of boys and men, issued a statement today officially saluting three prominent U.S. figures who have come forward with their stories about sexual abuse. This past fall, Tyler Perry stood together with 200 men on The Oprah Winfrey Show to bravely tell the world his story. In the past few weeks, Sugar Ray Leonard and CNN anchor Don Lemon have both found the courage to speak out about the abuse they experienced as young men and the damaging effects that abuse had on their lives.
“The honesty, bravery, and strength of these men must be commended, and MaleSurvivor stands in unity with them to salute their courage,” remarked Founding Board Member, Dr. Howard Fradkin, who also appeared alongside Tyler Perry on The Oprah Winfrey Show in November 2010 to share his experience and educate the world about the realities of male sexual victimization.
According to MaleSurvivor:
- It is estimated that 1 in 6 men were sexually abused as children. This statistic increases to 1 in 4 men if sexual abuse done by someone who does not actually have physical contact is included.
- Most men NEVER talk about their abuse because boys are socially taught they should withstand emotional and physical pain without complaining.
- Most adult males that were abused report difficulties with intimate relationships because their ability to trust others has been damaged, often by people who told them they cared about them.
- For many men, their abuse leads to sexual orientation confusion, sexual dysfunctions, and difficulty believing it is possible to combine sex with love.
- Most men NEVER talk about their abuse because of extreme shame, because they believe it was their fault, and because they learned men are supposed to be strong and should never need help.
- Although the number of therapists in the world who specialize in treating male sexual abuse survivors has been increasing as organizations such as MaleSurvivor offering resources and education, the number needed to adequately treat this population is vastly underrepresented.
The courageous actions of these men are further proof that men and boys from all segments of our society are sexually victimized. By sharing their stories so openly, each of these men is making it easier for others to step out of the shadows to speak their truth and seek out the help they need. Abuse survivors are at much higher risk for suffering from depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide. However it is possible to overcome the painful effects of abuse.
MaleSurvior (www.MaleSurvivor.org) is not-for-profit organization committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism. Founded in 1994, the organization has reached over 50 million individuals whose lives have been forever impacted by sexual abuse. Twitter: @MaleSurvivorORG