Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Assault Reveal an Important Truth

By | September 2, 2019


I was sexually abused when I was about eight,
by an older male cousin. I have been sexually assaulted
on four different occasions. I was six years-old the first time that I was molested. A neighbor named Hank took me into his house.
And at first it was hugging, and then his hands traveled, and when I tried to push him away he beat me. And then he raped me. And I was haunted by the fact that this happened
in a little girl’s bedroom. For a long time, I blamed myself.
I was just angry, because I’d go to school,
and nobody in school knew what was going on. When I tried to tell my mom,
she kicked me out of the house and laughed at me, and told me I would never deserve
anything better. It became something that lasted
until I was 17 years-old. I remember after it happened, and after he left, sitting on a bed for a while, torn up and saying, I am never going to tell another living person about this. I went and got my friends and I drove them home. Thank you for reading that, Katrina. Thanks. Now, if you had the chance, how would you respond to this person’s story? I just feel like… I would just like, hug her, and just, you know, let her know it’s not her fault. You were a little girl. It’s not your fault, honey. You actually have the chance to meet
that person because they’re here today. This is James Meadours This is Mark Godoy Jr. This is Isaac Andrade This is Walter Castaneda This is Glen Hull.
He served in the Army for 30 years, retiring as Command Sergeant Major,
and what you just read is his story. Hi, my name is Glen. Hi, nice to meet you. What you just read was his story. Oh my gosh. How are you doing? Good, how are you? Doing good. (crying) I’m so sorry. Thank you for reading my story. I know the statistic is 1 in 6. I’ll go into a room, and I’ll count six men, and like there’s somebody else in here. Yeah. And they’re probably dealing with it the same way I’ve dealt with it, which is not talking about it. To share the same experience… I was young, and I was in college, I was sexually abused.
You know, we don’t talk about these things, but it happens, you know? I grew up in a Latino household. I know what that’s like. My dad telling me, “No llores cabrón, no eres vieja… …you’re not a girl, don’t cry,” and on the other side you’re getting abused, and you don’t know what to say. I joined the army to die. I was abused from the time I was born until I was 17. Masculinity made me put away
what I was feeling and not really deeply feel what had happened to me, and recognize and acknowledge what happened to me. Getting suspended in the fourth grade, getting in a fight, getting expelled from one high school. it’s all part of the abuse, and it’s all part of me, my child, my inner child acting out and starving for attention. Mm-hmm. One of the reasons I rose in the rank of the military—
they like tough guys. But inside, I was dying. It still makes me emotional.
(sighs) That what happened to me wasn’t because of who I am, it was something that was done to me. It’s not me. I know a lot of males are too afraid to speak up, but I’m real open because I want to inspire the male survivors. Yeah. Not just males with disabilities,
but also males without disabilities. I identify myself as a black gay survivor. I had a lot of fear, and I just posted
a link on Facebook saying, this is my story,
if you want to read it, you can read it. And the response I got after that was nothing but kind. Every time I share my story, especially as a man,
I always hear back, “Hey, can I talk to you?”
“Yeah, what’s up?” “This happened to me too.” “This happened to me too.” “This happened to me too.” I’m not doing this just for myself, it’s for many others whose voices have not been heard before. It’s really hard not to cry.
(laughs) I’m really glad you’ve done the work and
I know that you’ve changed somebody’s life. So, that’s all I can say without crying.
(laughs) You can survive it. You can get through it. I think you’re just, so strong. (laughs) I don’t know if you know it, but you’re very strong. Thank you.

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