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#51742 - 06/02/05 11:54 PM Re: We need you NOW!
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
I suppose if I were one of these young guys then I would feel the same, like nobody is listening.
I would totally agree with them too, because a lot of members have not contributed to them.

When these guys live in an adult World of them and us, then they can only expect the same when they come here, and I suppose it can be really frustrating when you feel like there is nobody to turn to and nobody listens or cares.

I really admire the way these guys push forward and raise awareness to their plight, and we do need to listen.

The letter is going to be hard to push. I wrote to a leading daily newspaper here, the editor did not reply, but a columnist just ignored me on two occasions when I told him that I could give him a story on awareness of abuse, with helplines and web addresses.

I think that even if it can be pushed in any direction, even to websites that will post it, then it will start to take issue, find a politician who is interested in the cause, or maybe pop stars who do work in this field.

Survivors are here because they never gave up, and that is the spirit we need to use, so I say, go for it, if you push enough the barriers will fall.


edited to correct grammar

Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

#51743 - 06/03/05 12:09 AM Re: We need you NOW!
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1798
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
I wanted to say that I have recently begun seeing movement to really begin warning and protecting children.

Here in Westchester County NY they have convicted more than 100 online predators in the most aggressive sting operation in the world; in fact NY has closed the loophole of “there is no victim if the 14 year-old-boy was a 40 year-old-cop.” They have changed the law classification to get these guys jail time.

Also, my little girl was 9 when a local legislator came to the school to present on the " Child Lures " program. I was so impressed with the booklet that came home with her, I took it to the committee I work with in Dutchess County NY and they are going to get it out as well.

The committee is one of many working in Dutchess under a federal grant (only one of 11 in the country) that is working to find the gaps in sex offender management and fix them; the resulting model may be adopted nationwide. And when I brought up the topic of prevention and education for kids and parents they jumped on board right away, and one of the results is a " road show " we put together to help educate parents.

At the board of directors meeting a couple weeks ago, we began to put together ideas about how we want the organization to move forward and we started by picking apart our mission statement:

We are committed to preventing, healing and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through treatment, research, education, advocacy and activism.
preventing and healing

We are going to start looking into how to reach out to parents and children and educate them and those that work with them and make some connections with other organizations.

Kev, don’t ever give up because some people don’t listen, there will always be some who won’t; as you say, the statistics are high, and many of those who don’t want to hear abuse could have been abused themselves and are not ready to deal with it.

Good work guys.

#51744 - 06/03/05 03:43 AM Re: We need you NOW!
Charlie Offline

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 148
This is what all the fuss is about. Our letter to 8th grade guys, the finished product \:\)


Hey guys,

Charlie is 14 almost 15, and Kevin is 16. We have been asked to write this letter 'cause we're close to you in age. It's about a scary topic, child sexual abuse and yeah, it's embarrassing – tell us about it! It's never easy to talk about this – but it happens to guys like us everywhere, all the time.

You may think that sexual abuse only happens to girls, it doesn't have anything to do with you or your friends. Maybe you're thinking "I could never get hurt like that". That's what a lot of guys think. But if you could look at us you would just see a couple of ordinary guys like you. Kevin loves football and plays the guitar and Charlie's into skateboarding and writing. We joke and mess around like anybody else. Sexual abuse doesn't show on the outside, but it happened to us and that's why we're talking to you in this letter. A lot of guys have a hard time believing they can be a victim of something but sexual abuse is a crime and GUYS ARE VICTIMS TOO.

Look at the guy to your left. Now look at the guy on your right. You may think this is just a game, but do it okay? Look at the guys sitting in front of you. Just for a second. There's a real good chance one of these guys has been hurt. Maybe once, maybe lots of times, maybe he thinks it didn't matter; maybe he's too scared to talk about it. Imagine that you're hanging out with five of your friends. Statistics say that one of you could get hurt by the age of 16. That's a lot of us! So if this has happened to you, remember: YOU'RE NOT ALONE.

If a friend of yours is getting hurt and you figure out what's going on, don't blow him off. It's not his fault and he didn't ask for it. He's probably feeling scared and alone right now, so if he's your friend stick with him. Never say "I don't believe you" or "Get over it". Tell him "It wasn't your fault and I'm here for you if you want to talk about it". It's never the kid's fault when someone older forces or tricks us into doing stuff. And we're not just talking about the abuse. All the bad feelings about yourself and the other problems that come with abuse – that's not your fault either. Sometimes that's hard to believe and both of us still have trouble believing it, but this is important: IT'S NEVER YOUR FAULT.

We know a lot of you guys are gonna be giggling and whispering while this is being read to you. But check this out. Sexual abuse isn't about love or "doing it". If we're talking and I suddenly beat the shit out of you, is that a chat? If we're in the kitchen and I smack you across the face with a frying pan, was I teaching you to cook? Of course not. Sexual abuse is about power, violence and control. It's like saying to a kid "You don't have the right to be a kid anymore; you're just a body. You can't stop me so I'm just going to help myself." ABUSE IS ABOUT POWER.

What's the worst thing about abuse? For me, Charlie, it's the feeling of loneliness, it's like you're looking at the world from the outside. Feeling different and thinking that you're labelled in some way. Missing out on being a kid and having to deal with grownup stuff and make grownup decisions. When you're being abused nothing feels safe or private. I thought my body belonged to other people. I felt trapped and scared 'cause if you don't feel safe in your own body where do you go? For me, Kevin, it's the emotions of the whole thing. I don't feel safe in my own room and I'm scared of the dark. I hate it if someone touches me and if I don't see it coming I feel like I'm going to be sick. No way I will go into a room and be alone with a grownup. I cry or start trembling for no reason, even in class. I don't like myself much and even if something cool happens, like getting an A+ in English or scoring a safety that wins us the game, I still look at other kids and wish I was one of them. What we mean by this is that part of dealing with abuse is feeling like your whole life is a wreck and you're totally messed up. You're not. YOU'RE GONNA BE OKAY.

It's the abuser and all his/her lies and tricks – that's what's messed up. Feeling guilty or bad is another one. You keep looking back, thinking I could have done this or that. "I'm a guy and I should have said no". But we can both tell you most times it's not that simple. It happens too fast. You can't believe it's happening to you. You just get mixed up and scared, you freeze up and panic and feel like you don't have a choice. Maybe it's been happening for so long that it's become "normal", you don't know any different. Abusers have a million lies to trick and confuse you. You believe them because somehow it explains why this is happening: "This is our secret time", "Other guys do it", "Dads do this with their sons all the time", "You are special to me". Or you get threatened: "If you tell you will get thrown out of the house", "If people find out you'll get the blame". It's all lies and remember: YOU'RE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSE, THE ABUSER IS.

So if you're being abused what can you do? First thing, guys, you have to know it doesn't stop until you do something. Most abuse is done by people the kid knows, a member of your family or someone you see a lot. It's not easy when you have to face that person over and over again. A lot of times a guy being hurt gets desperate bit by bit. You don't see how everything is falling apart and you try all kinds of stuff to cope. Like drugs, cutting (self harm) or running away for example. None of that helps – we know, okay? Drugs just get you into a different kind of hurt and running away isn't cool like it looks in the movies. We've both been there. Ask yourself: if I do this, is there any way things will be better afterwards? If the answer is no, forget it. YOUR SAFETY AND HEALTH IS IMPORTANT.

Every kid knows that dealing with grownups isn't easy. For a kid who's being hurt it's even harder trusting grownups. You feel like you have nobody to talk to. But sometimes you have to be brave and ask for help. Tell your best friend or a grownup you trust. If the abuser is a family member you can talk to a teacher, school nurse or call a child abuse hotline. They'll help you get safe. Telling someone might be the scariest thing you'll ever do, but you can make it stop. For me, Kevin, the problem was feeling scared. I didn't tell anybody 'til I got hurt so bad I thought I was going to die. I finally told my dad by waking him up in the middle of the night with a letter telling him everything. I, Charlie, tried to let grownups know by acting bad and getting in trouble. I felt like grownups didn't want to see or believe what was going on. People around me didn't find out about the abuse 'til I had to go to hospital for emergency surgery. There are different ways of telling. A letter is a good idea if you can't make yourself say the words. If you tell someone you trust then that person is on your side and they will help you. Grownups will believe you: a kid who's being abused always thinks he won't be believed but that's just another lie that abusers tell us. If you find yourself not being listened to, keep trying 'til you find someone who will. Don't risk your life. IT'S YOUR BODY! YOU CAN MAKE IT STOP!

It isn't easy writing this letter. Both of us have been hurt and dealing with abuse is hard. It's not easy to start over, learn to live and act like a normal kid, trust grownups again. We have so many questions but there are no easy answers. We feel confused and mixed up a lot of the time. What happened to us doesn't make any sense to us – we're just kids, it's not fair. How can we stop this from happening to other guys? Speaking up is one way. Abusers try to make us feel embarrassed, dirty, alone and scared but they can't win if we start talking to each other about it. Knowing the facts makes us stronger and it gets easier to speak up and say "No! My body belongs to me!". Then if something happens to us or a friend we will be brave and tell someone and not let it go on for years and years, like we did. We all need each other. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS AND STAND UP FOR EACH OTHER.

Thanks for listening.

Kevin and Charlie
3 June 2005

Reading material:

How Long Does It Hurt : A Guide to Recovering from Incest and Sexual Abuse for Teenagers, Their Friends, and Their Families
ISBN: 0787975699

When Something Feels Wrong: A Survival Guide About Abuse for Young People
ISBN: 1575421151

We Are Not Alone: A Teenager Boy's Personal Account of Child Sexual Abuse from Disclosure Through Prosecution and Treatment
ISBN: 0789009277

Phone numbers:

Abuse Hotlines/Local Police


#51745 - 06/03/05 07:18 AM Re: We need you NOW!
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1798
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
Charlie and Kev,

You guys are so brave, and I'm so proud of you for going out of your way to do this, I only wish I had seen that I needed help back then.

I'm going to print this out for my 8th grader.

Keep it up.

Edit: Would you guys mind if I copied this to hand out at lectures?

#51746 - 06/03/05 09:22 AM Re: We need you NOW!
Soccer Kid Offline

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 273
Loc: Missouri

Deviant of Many Talents

"Reality is just an illusion."

#51747 - 06/03/05 11:10 AM Re: We need you NOW!
ShyBear Offline

Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 149
Loc: The American South

Both my Mom & Dad used to go off into these huge fits of self-pity, which made me worry about *them* so much that I never felt like it was ok for me to talk about what had happened to *me* (the SA).

Zach, your last post is just pure wallowing in self-pity, which does not solve ANYTHING.

Kevin & Charlie have done a truly remarkable & courageous thing writing that letter, trying to help. Even if it NEVER gets read at school, there is enormous power & healing in the act of writing it. So, Zach, instead of pissing on their accomplishment, try to look at the pain that's probably getting triggered in *you*.

Please hear me - I am NOT dismissing your pain ! What I AM dismissing is self-pity as a way of trying to deal with it, because self-pity always puts the power "out there" - it's always somebody else that's doing it TO me. Once upon a time, that was indeed true - a filthy perpetrator did indeed do something TO me - but the ONLY way to healing is to grab hold of the situation with the attitude that as cruel and unfair and fucked up as the abuse was, as an adult it's up to ME to do whatever it takes to heal.



Don't for a single second think that this heated discussion between the older guys here is your fault - it's not.

#51748 - 06/03/05 11:53 AM Re: We need you NOW!
Nathan LaChine Offline

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 5407
Loc: Washington State
Charle and Kevin,

Way to go you guys. This is a very well written letter. I too would like the permission to download and hand this out at training session for advocacy. This letter could really help others in need. I am very proud of both of you guys. I know this is a very hard topic to talk about and you did a great job.

Great job, Nathan

#51749 - 06/03/05 04:35 PM Re: We need you NOW!
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Hi Charlie,

Since your letter has been posted twice I think you each should get a comment. As I have just said to Kevin, what you have done shows a lot of courage and talent. This is not an easy subject to write about, and it must have cost you pain as well as time.

Just as I thought it was possible to see a lot of Kevin in the letter, I also think there is a lot of Charlie. For one thing, you have put a leash on Kevin's online English \:D . Bravo! Seriously, in this letter I see so much of the punch and pace and discipline of your writing, and the great idea of placing capitalized topic sentences at the ends of each paragraph is an inspiration and looks like its your idea. There is so much of the angry 14-year-old boy here, and the way you shout "this is my body" is both startling and right on target. You have said that in your poetry so many times and it needs to be here. There is no pretense here, no facade, no effort to be anything other than who you are. Your own comments about the worst aspects of abuse and the themes of loneliness and depersonalization - important and perfectly expressed for your audience.

I imagine that you have both learned a lot about yourselves and each other as well. The results of your project are marvelous and all I can say is thanks and well done.


Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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