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.