The Almost Forgotten Sex Crime Victims

by Diane Dimond on May 19, 2014

What About the Little Boys?

What About the Little Boy Victims?

In our supposedly enlightened era about sex crimes against children there continues to be one glaring blind spot. Yes, there is more discussion now than ever before about the types of predators who target our children, the cyclical nature of these crimes and how to keep our children safe. And, yes, society does a pretty good job of gathering around to help the little girls who have fallen prey to pedophiles. Not so with little boys.

Discussion about the plight of sexually victimized boys and young male teens has been virtually absent from the national conversation. We all understand the horror and lifelong scars a rape can cause to, say, a 12-year-old female. But there remains this idea that if it happens to a 12-year-old boy they are somehow more able to handle it, less psychologically damaged by the victimization.

Some of the ill-informed even believe the boy is “lucky” to have been introduced to the joys of sex so early. Nothing could be further from the truth. The unsettling reality is that for a variety of reasons young males who have been sexually assaulted don’t readily report what has happened to them. It is tremendously difficult for them to admit that someone has taken advantage of them in that way. Why?

Most Sandusky Vics Took Years to Reveal

Most Sandusky Vics Took Years to Reveal

Well, no matter how evolved we may think we are, our society continues to instill in even the youngest boys the need to be brave, strong, confident and to act tough – to never appear helpless, fragile or fearful. Of course, feeling afraid and ashamed are exactly the emotions a sex victim experiences. So frequently, boys don’t tell for fear of disappointing the adults in their life.

And, boys often stay silent because they believe they will be seen as being gay if their abuser was – as most often happens – also male. Let’s bust the myth right now that this type of sex abuse automatically turns the child into a homosexual. Completely untrue.

Also, when they experience the normal physical response to stimulation – even if it is forced stimulation – it often confuses the boy. His body is reacting one way while his mind is telling him the act is wrong. It’s this confusion that contributes to the child going back to the predator time and time again. The stream of gifts and flattering attention a pedophile offers is lure enough.

Dr. Scott Easton, of Boston College, conducted one of the largest research studies of male survivors of childhood sex abuse. He questioned nearly 500 men and discovered nearly 50 percent were abused for three years or longer. Imagine, boys who endured three years (or more) of sexual assaults before either escaping the clutches of their attacker or becoming too old to be desirable.

Parents reading this might think their son would always come and tell them if something like this was happening to them – but statistics prove that is wishful thinking.

Anderson's Sign Reads, 1 in 6 Males are Sexually Abused

Anderson’s Sign Reads, One in 6 Males Are Sexually Abused

Christopher Anderson kept his molestation secret for 25 years. Today, he is Executive Director of MaleSurvivor.org a support group for male victims of childhood sex abuse. Anderson, 38, says male children’s failure to report sex crimes has created a terrible cycle. Since law enforcement, social workers and courts hear so few complaints from young boys there is a shocking lack of services targeted for male victims.

That’s unconscionable when you take into account last year’s National Crime Victimization Survey which revealed 38 percent of sexual violence victims are men. Left untreated and unsupported many victims become depressed, anxious, addicted to drugs and alcohol and often think about or commit suicide.

I bring up the dynamics behind young men who wait years to report their abuse because there are a couple of cases in the news lately involving young men who stepped forward with accusations from long ago. James Safechuck, now 36, was 10-years-old when he was cast in a Pepsi commercial opposite the late singer Michael Jackson. Safechuck’s lawsuit, filed in L.A. Superior Court against the Jackson estate, alleges Jackson repeatedly molested him for about four years. A Jackson lawyer has called the claim, “false and scurrilous.”

Eagan Accuses Hollywood Bigwigs, Faces Scorn

Eagan Accuses Hollywood Bigwigs, Faces Scorn

The second headline-making lawsuit was filed by Michael Eagan, 31, once an aspiring actor. He says that beginning when he was 15-years-old several men who are now accomplished Hollywood veterans lured him in with promises of lucrative acting jobs but then plied him (and other underage boys) with drugs and booze and groomed them for sexual victimization. Eagan claims the abuse continued for two years. All the named defendants have denied any wrongdoing.

Internet wags made immediate and ugly judgments about the two young accusers.

“This is just a ridiculous money grab,” wrote one commenter.

“So, he waits over two decades and for Michael (Jackson) to die to come out with this?”

“It’s amazing that (these) accusers have the same strange quality of voluntarily going to visit their abuser over and over for years.”

safechuckwithMJ

Jackson with young Jimmy Safechuck

Before making snap judgments about someone who claims they were sexually molested as a child could we all just take a deep breath and understand the dynamics at play?

From my experience reporting on these types of cases it is gut-wrenchingly hard for a bona fide victim to go public. It often makes them physically sick. They take their time revealing until they believe it is safe and they realize it is a step they have to take so they can begin to heal their soul. Recriminations about why they, as a child, repeatedly returned to their abusers are meaningless. Questions about why they didn’t tell their mother are ignorant. Criticizing them for asking the court for monetary compensation seems needlessly cruel. Any idea how much a course of intense therapy costs?

Are there false accusations of sexual abuse leveled for money or revenge? Yes, you bet and that’s why we have a court system to weed out the real from the unreal. Here’s a suggestion: Let’s at least wait to hear these accusers evidence before automatically condemning them as undeserving to seek justice.

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Diane Dimond May 19, 2014 at 10:12 am

ABQ Journal Reader Bonnie writes:

“Were you writing about my young great grandson, whom we adopted when he was 6 mo old? I thank you for putting into print the demons who have chased him since the “very nice man we met at church” began to “groom” my Donny, and then rape him, when he was 11 yrs. old. My child has been in counseling and treatment foster care, and finally a residential treatment program for 3 years. My husband and I have also been in counseling to understand the pain Donny has been feeling. Our family has suffered tremendously while the (*&*( goes on attracting more young boys. Only now have the police given concern for him, and here in NM, they had no idea the perpetrator was in prison in Nebraska, found only by a computer wizard friend.
Thank you for your very enlightening column–I hope other parents reading it will be as grateful as I.”

Diane Dimond May 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Twitter Pal Ammerk writes:

“@DiDimond so true! I have a guy I know and he was in his 20’s when he came forward. His wife didn’t believe him!!!”

Diane Dimond May 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Twitter Pal anne_sades34 writes:

” @DiDimond excellent article! Have u seen the #IStandWithSGMVictims discussion? Rape of boys, abuser not reported by clergy.”

Diane Dimond May 19, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Facebook Friend Alan Fountain writes:

“Well said Chris. Coming up on one year since going Public and the abuse from my family and community where I was molested is still at DEFCON 5 for not just staying quiet.
No one goes through this unless you reach a point that the secret is KILLING you. The psychological abuse as a male from publicly disclosing has been unconscionable aside from persons from MaleSurvivor.org. or other enlightened empathetic ears.”

Diane Dimond May 19, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Alan Fountain Thank you so much for your comment , Alan! And good luck as you head down the road to emotional discovery. Thank you for helping others understand why boys keep the secret for so long!

Diane Dimond May 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Twitter Pal DefendAChild writes;

“@DiDimond In 14 of 67 PA counties, victim serivces grants go to “Women Centers” only, making it harder for boys to tell. “

Diane Dimond May 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Twitter Pal remnant0888 writes:

“@DiDimond in the USA the male is always told what it means to be a “man”. By sports, tv, movies, and even schools. // because boys think people will call them “gay”. It’s easy. Girls don’t have that fear upon them. No one judges a girl that way.”

Diane Dimond May 19, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Twitter Pal robwatter writes:
“@DiDimond that’s true with boys it’s a shame thing. There’s more to that as well.”

Diane Dimond May 19, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Facebook Friend Sheila McNeile writes:

“Excellent job. Thanks for bringing light to this.”

Diane Dimond May 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

Twitter Pal tobiedenney writes:

“@DiDimond I think there is still a gay stigma associated to it for many young men.”

Diane Dimond May 20, 2014 at 9:28 am

Twitter Pal LilMissK8175 replies:

“Of all the SAV* guys that I’ve met, not one was gay, I think that’s a myth.”

*Survivor Abuse Victims

Diane Dimond May 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Noozhawk Reader JJAW007 writes:

“Diane, you should also look at the possibly of FALSE repressed memories. According to an article I read, families are being torn apart when ‘recovered’ memories of childhood sexual abuse are introduced into the minds of vulnerable people. University of Washington also did a study on “Creating False Memories.” Maybe you should look into that. I’m not referring to the other cases you mentioned, I’m specifically referring to the Michael Jackson case because it appears you are very bent in “nailing” him with molestation AFTER he has been found not guilty…twice. He is now deceased and you are still after him. The man is gone and cannot defend himself. Just saying.

I’m not disagreeing with your whole article, but I had to mention the Michael Jackson case since I’ve seen you (in your writings and interviews) after him for so many years.”

Diane Dimond May 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Dear JJAW007,

Let me disabuse you of the notion that I am “after” Michael Jackson. Yes, I have covered the stories about allegations of sex abuse against him for many years – and I continue to report on new allegations against him (now totaling five young men) since I have experience with the subject. That’s what reporters do…we report on things we know and we follow up when there is new information.
Your idea about looking into FALSE repressed memory cases is a good one. Thanks for the tip.
~ DD

Chris Anderson May 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm

With regards to FMS, I would strongly suggest you review the following website by Jim Hopper, Ph. D.

http://www.jimhopper.com/memory/

“I have published this page to direct people to quality scholarly work on traumatic memory, especially:

Research evidence showing that it is NOT RARE for people who were sexually abused in childhood to experience amnesia and delayed recall for the abuse. This body of work shows that claims to the contrary are contradicted by scientific evidence.
Research and theoretical works by qualified specialists who increasingly agree that: a) traumatic and nontraumatic memories have some different characteristics; b) the construct of “dissociation” best explains many traumatic memories, e.g., those involving fragmentary sensations and feelings which are disconnected from verbal narratives, and associated with amnesia and delayed recall. These works show that making claims about traumatic memory based on generalizations from research on nontraumatic memory, and focusing on the constructs of “repression” and “repressed memory,” can often be confusing distractions and misleading tactics.”

Diane Dimond May 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm

ABQ Journal Reader Caroline Redbrook · Top Commenter
Crimes against children are so heinous that accused pedophiles like MJ, Singer, Sylvain Kustyan, Jerry Sandusky, etc. and their enablers, must be apprehended before they have years to continue to destroy young lives. Sandusky is now safely behind bars.
But unfortunately, Kustyan, who has been formally charged with two counts each of 1st Degree Sodomy and Sexual Abuse of a ten-year-old little boy, fled to avoid imminent arrest.
Kustyan, formerly of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Hermin/ Mazingarbe, France, as an English teacher, has led numerous groups of schoolchildren on trips to the US, the UK and Ireland..
Pedophiles condemn their victims to a lifetime of emotional and psychological trauma and often permanent physical ailments as well. Since the average pedophile has 300 different victims in their lifetime and since the recidivism rate among pedophiles is virtually 100% and since there is no effective treatment and no known cure they must be stopped ASAP!”

Diane Dimond May 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm

DD Website Reader Todd Ross writes:

“Thank you for giving a voice to those who are afraid to use theirs!!

This is a short part of my story. Writing this tonight was unexpected so it may be a bit rough, and not well written! I apologize in advance!

I was 15 when I first met Jo Ann. She was the older sister of my good friend. She moved back into her parents house, (which was across the street from my parents home) when she was going through a divorce. It started so innocently, at first it was just her coming out to watch us play sports. Then she joined in and slowly found ways to touch, and hold, and rub against me. She was not aggressive, but just enough to let me know her interest. After a couple of months she would actually wait for me to be outside by myself and would come over to talk, or shoot hoops. She paid me attention, and listened to my thoughts, and troubles.

Then one day she asked if I had ever kissed a girl, and when I told her yes she said prove it by kissing me. We kissed but it felt strange. I had girlfriends and this felt different. More pressure. More aggressive.

One day she asked if I ever had sex, which I told her no. She said we would have to be careful seeing each other because our parents couldn’t understand our love.

One day she showed up at my school to pick up her brother and I! She drove us home and as I left her car she handed me an envelope with a letter. She told me she wanted to see me alone so she could show me how much she liked me.

We met up after I snuck out from home and we sat in her car across the street. She was wearing a sundress with no underwear. She showed me her body in the moonlight and took off my shirt and shorts. She gave me oral sex and we did everything but intercourse. I was torn by my feelings. I knew it felt wrong, but it was exciting and pleasurable.

The next time we were together was at an apartment she had access to. It was a full encounter. Intercourse and all. I felt ashamed after. I was not sure why but felt like I did something wrong, but she told me that as long as I kept it quiet and didn’t tell anyone that she would always be there for me.

She gave me some beer the next time to relax, and that made it easier during, but worse after. She showered me with clothes, and albums, and other stuff, which I had to hide from family.

I will say that the whole year I saw her regularly everything in my life was more difficult. Family, school, sports, were all adversely affected by it. I started drinking heavily, and had difficulty knowing why I was so messed up. During this time I had no one in my family ever tell me they saw us together, or even knew of us.

It was when I was halfway into my 16th year when she moved on. I became very promiscuous and drank often. I was hyper sexual and had many broken relationships.

I only confided to my best friend who thought I was lucky. He of course told the other guys in my circle who were jealous and also wanted to be set up with a friend of hers.

It wasn’t until I was 30 or so that I told my family and wife at the time. I am now since divorced and a father. I have had much therapy, both psych, and spiritual.

Today I find it a difficult memory to relive, but my hope is that my story will be the thing that one person needs in order to talk to someone about what they are experiencing at that moment, and take back their power and control.

Sexual molestation is about power, manipulation, and control! Losing ones control and being manipulated at a young age has lasting effects on us, especially if untreated!

Again thank you Diane!! You are an exceptional lady, and a very talented journalist!!

Sincerely,
Todd from Cali

Diane Dimond May 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Dear Todd:

Your letter is VERY powerful. It explains what happens to sexually abused youngster’s minds better than anything I could ever have written. Thank you so much for having the courage to write it and to allow me to use your full name.

I wish you only the best in your life!
~DD

Todd May 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Diane… You get it! It’s as if I had been frozen st that age for
Quite a long time! I was 16 until my 30s. Therapy and my
Voice are how I recovered. That’s me. For some it may be other
Actions, but we all need help! FIND IT! Find that person who will
Listen, and by talking with someone you can take your control back…

Diane Dimond May 21, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Anonymous writes:

“Diane:

I just read your article on LinkedIn and started to shake.

We’re going through this exact situation right now with my step-son. He was 7 years old when his father started raping him – prostituting him to his Uncle for drug money – and other horrible things. He just now revealed what happened at 15 years old. All of that pent up anxiety, stress, fear, etc. led us to numerous counselors, suicide threats, psychiatrists. Finally, he cracked and told all – but he has been so damaged, we’re not sure what the future holds for him in regards to ‘normalcy’.

We now have multiple law enforcement agencies involved, but the resources for HIM are almost non-existent. And what little there is, has to be fought like Pearl Harbor with the insurance company.

If there is ANYTHING I can do to help any of the causes or people you mentioned, please let me know. Likewise, if there are resources that you know of that could help us, I would appreciate any info.

Thank you for a wonderful – albeit sad – article.”

Diane Dimond May 21, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Facebook Friend TapGeorgia writes:

“@DiDimond My experience is that it has more to do with trust with what happens after you tell- Fear of the unknown and of a greater injury! //I reported it but the adults shamed me back into the closet to protect their unresolved shame and personal secrets: Family Stigma//This is a generational curse and when parents have not processed their sexual shame or molestation: It creates Shame Blinders!//Homosexual stigma for heterosexual victims and gay victims wrongly assume they invited it due to orientation so a Shame / Guilt ~//My experience is that it has more to do with trust with what happens after you tell- Fear of the unknown and of a greater injury!”

Frank LaFerriere May 29, 2014 at 6:21 am

In March of 1975, I ran away from a foster home. I was brought by a police officer to St Thomas More parish in Durham NH. No sooner did he drop me off and leave, that my night of living evil and hell began.

ex-Father Leon Gaulin, pedophile pervert of St Thomas More, decided to turn my life upside down that night, he raped my body, he destroyed my mind and soul, he destroyed my faith in a God or anything else.

What I want to talk about though, is how we as priest rape victims are truly treated by the church, it’s leaders and others from the Roman Catholic Church that shows a direct contradiction to the Roman Catholic Churches empty words and promises to help us victims become whole again.

First we have people like Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, funded mostly by the Roman Catholic Church with big paydays from one Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

Bill goes on television shows and states that:

“Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are male and most of them are post-pubescent. While homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay.”

“If a 15 to 17 year old is being messed with by a priest and he does not punch that priest, then he not only wanted what was happening, they are a homosexual.”

He said of me the same thing when he testified in a harassment court case he brought against me, for standing up to his evil words against us priest abuse victims. Matter of fact, because I went off on him, never threatening him, but telling him where he is going to spend his eternity for attacking us priest rape victims, he did his best to have me arrested for hate crimes.

Then we have Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Not only did he cover up for pedophile priests, he also took money that was meant to pay off priest abuse victims from a court settlement, moved it into a cemetery fund, then declared bankruptcy to avoid paying priest abuse victims. He was then promoted to the head of the bishops and made Archbishop of New York. But Cardinal Tim stated in relation to his feeling betrayed that New York passed the same sex marriage law, and was going to open a victims window and put a stop to the statue of limitations, so that victims could sue the church and he came out with this gem:

Dolan also explained that he wanted to keep the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims to one-year, because if the church gets sued, “The perpetrators don’t suffer. There’s no burden on them. What suffers are the services and the ministries of the apostolates that we’re doing now. Because where does the money come from? So the bishops of 30 years ago that allegedly may have reassigned abusers, they don’t suffer. They’re dead. So the people that suffer are those who are being served right now by the church. We feel that’s a terribly unjust burden.”

This is because HE KNOWS that if the statue of limitations were done away with…especially for this crime…he would be arrested and prosecuted. Though note please…at no time did Dolan mention the terrible unjust burden, the suffering and pain of the priest abuse victims. Oh and Dolan is still alive, with overwhelming evidence against him he did in fact cover up for some of the worst pedophile priests in Milwaukee and other places.

We are insulted and denigrated by the Parishioners of the Roman Catholic Church. They demand we stop picking on their holy people. That we should just forgive them and never seek their prosecution, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of god. That we should never go after and demand the arrest and prosecution of their leaders of their church. They have proven to me, that they would rather protect and defend the rapists and those whom covered up the rapes of their own children, than stand up and defend their children and demand that all of these scum be arrested and prosecuted.

See this is all bs from the RCC. They are not helping us. They are continuing to insult us, denigrate us, blame us for our rapes as if we had control over their much bigger, stronger pedophile pervert priests. They tell us to shut up, they call us liars, gold diggers out looking for a payday from their church.

Oh and they denied me any justice for my rapist priest. Why?

Because one I thought it was a Somersworth NH police officer whom brought me to the church and I got the color of the tiles wrong of the church. Funny thing is though…when we went back over the church interview…everything the church claims that I lied about that gave them the right to deny me justice….I NEVER SAID. They twisted my words around plain and simple. Then when we went to fight them….they won…by….you guessed it…using the statue of limitations to avoid paying for their crimes.

Is it any wonder why, among sex abuse victims…those of religious nature sex abuse…have the highest rate of suicide among rape victims?

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