If it's true that 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 6 boys are victims of sexual abuse by the time they are 18. If it's true that 1 in 3 sexual assault victims are under the age of 12. If it's true that 44% of boys are abused by an acquaintance and one-half of all victims are abused in their home or the home of the offender. If it's true that 75% of children that are victims of child sexual abuse do not disclose it at all during their childhood. Then I guess I am a statistic. I am that 1 out of 6 boys. I'm that 1 out of 3 victims under the age of 12. I am part of that 44% abused by an acquaintance and that one-half abused in their home or the home of their offender. I am part of that 75% that didn't disclose it at all during my childhood. I was sexually abused and raped (forced to perform unwanted oral sex) by an older teenager (age 12-17) while I was between the ages of 7 and 12 (it stopped only because my family moved to a different suburb). I don't even know if what happened would be considered rape or sexual assault because the offender was under the age of 18 even though he was about 5 and a half years older than me.

There were two other boys around my age that were being abused by this same individual at the same time. Many times the three of us were forced to do things together that were humiliating and degrading. I can remember times when the three of us would do things together, even when the offender wasn't around. He enjoyed hearing about what we did when he wasn't around, and that was partly why we would do it otherwise he was more likely to force us to do it with him present. He enjoyed hearing about what we did when he wasn't around, and that was partly why we would do it otherwise he was more likely to force us to do it with him present. He still did, but I know I felt that if we did it when he wasn't around and just told him about it, he would leave us alone. Looking back, that was just my way to rationalize it, he would still do things to us and force us to do things that we didn't want to do even if we did talk about what we had done when he wasn't present. I know we didn't want to do things when he wasn't around but we were afraid of him and what he would do if we didn't do what he told us. I remember feeling shame over what had happened. I felt that I should have been able to do something to stop it. I felt that I was to blame over it. When I was younger, no one ever talked about boys being sexually abused you would only hear about girls being sexually abused and raped.

I remember always feeling alone. I couldn't talk to anyone about it, because I felt that no one would believe me. I couldn't even talk to the other two boys that were experiencing the same abuse I was because they refused to admit that it was even happening. I was humiliated and ashamed about what was happening to me. I had/have parent and younger siblings that loved me. I had/have many friends and acquaintances at church that I knew/know loved/love me, and I know I put on a happy face and made everyone think that I was/am okay. Even though I knew I was loved, I still was afraid to talk about it.

I never allowed anyone to see the pain and hurt that I was experiencing. I still don't. I lost a friend in the attacks of 9/11 and I was able to let some people see the hurt and pain I was experiencing about that, but I couldn't and still can't allow someone to see the hurt I feel over the sexual abuse and rape.

For years after it started and ended, I have questioned my sexual identity. I know that I want to marry a lovely young lady, have kids, and have a happy family, but that hasn't stopped the homosexual thoughts. Because of the hurt and the pain, I have had a hard time making friends and forming relationships. I have formed friendships and relationships, but it takes a while. The other person typically thinks we have a friendship long before I consider it a relationship. I am more likely to consider you as an acquaintance for months before I'll consider you as a friend. All through middle school and high school, I had to deal with people calling me gay. That caused a lot of confusion and fear. Fear because I was afraid that everyone knew my secret and confusion because I would wonder if what they were saying was true. I know now that I am not gay, even though I still struggle with homosexual thoughts.

I believe everybody copes differently. My way of coping was to separate myself from kids my age (because I was forced to do things with two other boys my age) and people that are about 6-7 years older than me or younger. After the abuse started, all I wanted to hang out with adults. I would only hang around people my age when I had to, but it was never my preference. Even now, a lot of my close friends are all years older then me. I have very few friend my age and younger.

For years I have blamed myself for what happened and felt all alone, that I was the only one that had ever experience this kind of abuse. It was only recently when Nicole Braddock Bromley, author of Hush: Moving from Silence to Healing after Childhood Sexual Abuse and founder of One Voice Enterprises, spoke at the university that I am at. She made me realize that I was not to blame for what happened to me and that there were other boys and men out there that have suffered from the same abuse that I have.

The statistics used at the beginning come from One Voice Enterprises web site.