Sexual Assault Against Boys: My Story

  577 views

In the 47 years since the assault incident, I have never told this story except to my wife. Shame and emotional trauma, exhibiting internally through fear, prevented my honest truth telling.  The current climate of victim/survivor advocacy overshadowing abusers of power, is causing perpetrators to pause and fear themselves. Males, because of gender socialization issues to never exhibit vulnerability or "weakness", very rarely tell their stories. They remain silent.

Before I tell my story here is a brief summary of the facts.

From the National Association to End Sexual Violence is a brief description of the issue:

About 14% of reported rapes involve men or boys, and that 1 in 6 reported sexual assaults is against a boy and 1 in 25 reported sexual assaults is against a man . As with male sexual violence against women, sexual violence against men is motivated by the desire to dominate and use sex as a weapon against the victim. The majority of the perpetrators of sexual violence against men are white, heterosexual men .

Male victims experience similar effects of sexual violence as female victims such as shame, grief, anger and fear. Male victims may also have issues surrounding their sexual and/or gender identity after a sexual assault. Issues of reporting and talking about their experiences, challenges for all victims of sexual violence, may be especially difficult for male victims because of gender socialization issues.

For our society to acknowledge that men are raped, we must first recognize and acknowledge that men can be vulnerable. Both men and women are socialized to see men as powerful, assertive and in control of their bodies. It may be challenging for some to think of men being the victims of sexual crimes because it is challenging to recognize men as “victims” and still think of them as men. This socialization can make it less likely for men to seek services and can make it less likely that appropriate services are available.

I was fourteen years old attending school and of course at midday made my way to the Boys Washroom to relieve myself. The halls were quiet as most students had returned to their classrooms. I was a straggler that day... I never heard the bathroom door open, so I assumed I was alone. While finishing up at the urinal, facing the mirror-less wall, I suddenly felt a strong arm go around my middle and a large body pressed against my back, he was much larger than me and had the physical advantage. His grip tightened as he whispered, "let me just feel you", his hand groping my genitals. The only way I could get out of this was to scream as loud as I could, "Let me go!" I screamed again, his grip released and he fled. I recognized my attacker but out of fear and shame have kept silent to this day.

Posted in:
Image Credit

The Network hosts user-submitted content.
Posts don't necessarily imply CRCNA endorsement, but must comply with our community guidelines.

Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.
Community Builder

Thank you so much Kelly for your courage in sharing your story - I applaud you and am truly grateful. Thanks to for the helpful "summary of the facts" of sexual abuse against men. This story is so important for us to truly hear. I would invite us to look out over our congregations, 1 in 6 ... What are we doing about this, as the church? What message is sent by our silence? Lord, have mercy on your people.

 

Participant

Thank you for sharing your story. My heart breaks for you; no one, much less a child, should experience such violence. It also reminds me that your response - crying out - is a good one to teach others. My grandchildren will hear that message from me.

Breaking the silence is happening more and more thanks to courageous people like you. It is also good to hear stories about male victims to heighten our awareness that abuse happens to all people. It is my prayer that your abuser has or will repent, and that you may find the peace that only God can give. Shalom.

Community Builder

Thank-you for your support. I am thankful to God for the healing that has taken place. This was a single incident that did not morph into a serially abusive situation as has happened with Boy Scouts and sports teams.

Not a small number of hockey players have come forward in the past 10 years who have reported serial abuse from coaches and authority figures where there is a power differential. A few have taken their lives and most are substance abusers with severe depression. One of the saddest cases is that of NHL professional hockey star, Theoren Fleury . Theoren was serially abused by his coach, Graham James for several years while he was in minor hockey. Fleury has overcome his addictions and won a criminal case against James and now advocates for boys who have suffered sexual violence.

Dare I say it? I'm wondering about the Cadets programs over the years in our denomination? How many boys are suffering in silence with addictions and depression or have taken their lives due to abuse there? I must bring it up and I am not afraid to raise the question. I know I will get push-back on this and my prayer and hope is that the statistics in our denomination for serial abuse against boys is far less than the known averages.

Community Builder

Thank-you for your support. I am thankful to God for the healing that has taken place. This was a single incident that did not morph into a serially abusive situation as has happened with Boy Scouts and sports teams.

Not a small number of hockey players have come forward in the past 10 years who have reported serial abuse from coaches and authority figures where there is a power differential. A few have taken their lives and most are substance abusers with severe depression. One of the saddest cases is that of NHL professional hockey star, Theoren Fleury . Theoren was serially abused by his coach, Graham James for several years while he was in minor hockey. Fleury has overcome his addictions and won a criminal case against James and now advocates for boys who have suffered sexual violence.

Dare I say it? I'm wondering about the Cadets programs over the years in our denomination? How many boys are suffering in silence with addictions and depression or have taken their lives due to abuse there? I must bring it up and I am not afraid to raise the question. I know I will get push-back on this and my prayer and hope is that the statistics in our denomination for serial abuse against boys is far less than the known averages.

Hi Kelly,

Thank-you for sharing your story! That takes a tremendous amount of courage!  I would love to talk with you more if you are interested?

Thanks Frank

Community Builder

Thank-you Frank.

You can e-mail me here: chaplainkjs@gmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kelly

Guide

Kelly, Thanks so much for sharing your story! We need more men in this conversation boosting awareness. In my role here at Safe Church I have heard quite a few stories - abuse has so many repercussions and its never part of God's shalom. I'm stunned by some of the resistance that we face. So glad you were able to share yours in this way. :) 

Let's stay in contact!

Community Builder

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your acknowledgement and support. Abuse awareness is not a popular topic.

I applaud you in your work to dispel the darkness by bringing the stories too light and exposing fraudulent leadership. The ast 15 years of ministry have been partially devoted to helping victims hang onto to their faith when faith was out of the question. Trying to explain where God was when an abuser violated their person was an extreme, rigorous test of the foundations of my faith. How do you tell a clergy sexual abuse victim that God had their back? How do you prevent the suicides and ruined lives? Thankfully even in the depths of this kind of darkness, God finds a way to comfort and gradually heal some victims and they become survivors, some never heal and die, all are scarred and permanently disfigured from the image that God had intended for them  because their spiritual leaders did not honor their ordination vows and practice fiduciary trust the office requires.

Its painful for all involved as we are witnessing the unfolding of greater awareness at the top levels of power.  I applaud your work, and yet we are just beginning. Thank-you for your courage.

To the victims and survivors, men and women in the CRC that remain silent out of shame and fear. God give you the courage to come forward, we are here for you. Please join your sister in Christ who started this post, tell your story. You will be supported, you are not to blame,  you will be believed and helped. We are praying for you.

Kelly

Thank-you for trusting us with your story Kelly.
I am sorry this was done to you.
You said that you have kept this secret for 47 years except for telling your wife. Your silent shame and fear is one more example of how much even one incident of sexual abuse can affect us. The shame belongs to your attacker and in no way belongs to you     -as I am sure you know.
May you have peace and healing and be encouraged that you are a courageous man who has supported all abuse survivors by sharing your story.

Community Builder

MJill,

Thank-you for your support! It is so interesting the parallel that resonates with me between the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford regarding her memory of assault by Judge Kavanaugh. The chemicals released during sexual assault create the "Kodak Moment" of searing the event in the memory, permanently. Its part of the mechanism of the fight or flight response. The vise-like grip of my attacker's arm clutching me tightly, overpowering me physically along with his groping are unforgettable and terrifying. I can't even imagine the horror of full-blown rape, man on boy.

I have fabulous support systems and lead a relatively normal existence. God has brought tremendous healing. 

I am ready to support any man or woman who is willing to come forward with their story of office bearer sexual abuse.

For some who may sense a vendetta against the CRC, please, understand this process  of truth telling is long overdue in the church.

Kelly

Participant

wow, i'm in tears... how can it be heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time... by the love and grace of God...  thank You Lord!

and thank you Kelly and safe church and all of you who have been in the trenches fighting these abuses for decades, often facing so much resistance... and now seeing these stories coming into the light for healing, so God will be glorified and people will be healed in the midst of this ugly, horrific mess that is being exposed (and it should be exposed)... a difficult and painful process, but in the long term, so healthy and it will bring righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by the painful process...  through this He is strengthening the feeble arms and weak knees (the victims, those who still have deep unresolved trauma, the advocates that have been fighting for decades and running into resistance, the families that have suffered with no support from their spiritual leaders)... He gives us the privilege to partner with Him to make level paths for our feet, so that the lame will not be further harmed, but rather healed...

Kelly, I believe it, but can I get backup if possible for the statement...  The majority of the perpetrators of sexual violence against men are white, heterosexual men . EOQ  

 

 

 

 

Community Builder

Praise our God, who is an amazing, healing, transforming God, able to bring something beautiful out of the darkest places. 

Community Builder

     Your interest in this blog is so encouraging! Since sharing this story, I have been encouraged in so many ways by a number of people interested in providing more resources for men and boys who sit in silent shame.  These men and boys have suffered and continue to suffer.  Abuse of men and boys at the hands of leaders meant to be trusted, in the roles they were ordained to serve, is appalling. 

     My goal going forward is to provide resources on a denominational level, that encourage men and boys to sense that it is "safe" to exercise courage within, to come forward and report abuses suffered. Recovered male survivors, vetted and qualified to listen without judgment or prejudice to survivor stories will be available for front-line intake . Resources in place will ensure that funds and counseling are available at no cost to bring healing and hope to each individual that presents to intake. In addition, the need for a bi-national educational process, specifically addressing the phenomenon of abuse perpetrated against men and boys will be addressed, outlining the phenomenon of abuse against the male gender. 

     Please feel free to contact me if you sense a a call in this direction. A long term goal, mission statement and strategy need to be put in place to make this work. Its time to focus light on this dark part of our story to bring shalom and hope to those in need.

Peace,

-Kelly

Kelly, You are a brave soul! Thank-you so much for taking the initiative on this! It's time to shine the healing and life giving light of God's Holy Spirit on some of the darkest and most destructive work of the enemy especially as it relates to men and boys.  I look forward to working with you in this important ministry!

Frank