A Balcony View: Hoping an admission heals the abuse

November 09, 2010|By Gary Huerta

I often use statistics as the launch pad for my opinions. So when I heard the following statistical data last week on Oprah, I knew I had to write about it.

Her show was about men who were sexually abused. There were 200 men in the audience, all of whom were willing to admit they were molested as children. Statistical data indicates one out of every six men has been sexually abused.

It's worth repeating. One out of every six men has been sexually abused. That one man could be your brother, your co-worker, or your boyfriend.


Glendale's current population is approximately 197,176, of which 48%, or 94,644, are men. That means there could be as many as 15,774 men living in Glendale who were sexually abused. It's a staggering reality.

I know what many of you are thinking. "It's impossible for that number to be so high when I don't have one male friend who was molested." I can assure you that will change soon. You are going to know someone.

For now, there is a reason you don't know. It's because most men live their entire lives without telling anyone. And that was one of the points of Oprah's show. It's a hidden crime, where the victim often carries the burden alone, only to suffer long term issues with personal relationships, anger, substance abuse and other negative manifestations that take a toll not just on their life, but on the lives of those closest to them.

So this little statistic got me to thinking. How can I use my column to reach out to the abused men in our community? How do I help them see it wasn't their fault and that it's time to regain the power that was taken from them?

I figured the best way would be to stand up and tell everyone that I was sexually abused on separate occasions between the ages of 7 and 8.

This is only the third time I've ever mentioned it. I told my girlfriend a few years back. And about 25 years ago, I told my sister, who found it impossible to believe, which is understandable. Why should my sister believe me when I was the one who was emotionally unstable and the perpetrator was a more model citizen by comparison? My credibility was always suspect because I was always angry, bitter and impulsive. I could never blame her for not believing me.

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