I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Questions and Answers (Part 2 of 7)

"Is it typical for molested boys to keep quiet and not tell?"

It's definitely typical and there are many reasons they say nothing. Sometimes they fear they won't be believed. They think it's their fault. In my case, I believe it was because I didn't think anyone cared.

The official-and-conservative figure is that one out of every six boys has been abused before they reach the age of sixteen. Oprah Winfrey commented on that and said, "Those are only the ones who speak up."

I think Oprah was correct. I was abused and didn't speak up until I hit 50. I wonder how many more men are around who haven't talked. I wonder how many men carried the dark secret all their lives and died without telling anyone.


wondering04 said...

I think Oprah is right, many don't tell. And the guilt is pervasive. The abuser lays a groundwork of guilt and shame that doesn't permit telling. I spent years believing if I told of my abuse I would be the one arrested and put in jail. In the 60's when my abuse occurred, it just wasn't talked about. People turned a blind eye to problems, preferring ignorance. I think the signs were apparent to people, but they chose to ignore them. It is courageous to speak out. It just saddens me that it is so hard for men, there seems to be a double standard there. Thank you for these questions and answers. Heather

Cecil Murphey said...

Dear Wondering. Thank you for your insightful and honest comment.

I fully agree with what you've written.


stanw said...

I was almost 50 when I told my mother I was molested, she turned around and didn't even acknowledge the question, I took that to mean she didn't believe me. I never broached the subject again but I did find out after her passing something really startling; so many secrets she kept that would have helped me to understand the mysteries of my childhood. Helped me to know why it was hard to trust people.

These posts are so good, thanks for posting them.

Cecil Murphey said...

Stan, thank you. That's what many of us call the conspiracy of silence. It's sad, isn't it, that we couldn't simply speak up and stop the abuse?

In my book, When a Man Was Abused, I related a couple of accounts of other boys who tried to break the silence. The one I can never forget took place at the dinner table and the entire family acted as if the boy had said nothing.

When we speak up and get no helpful response, it says she knows but can't admit the abuse. To admit it means she'd to do something.

That's the problem: She's unable to stand up for her child.

And the abuse goes on.