Male victims of abuse need help, support

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Another accusation, another cover-up, another betrayal, another lawsuit — as reported in the June 24 Times, “Former St. Cloud bishop accused of abuse cover-up.”

The news details the claimed lack of effective action demonstrated by religious hierarchy who were aware of monk Bede Parry’s inappropriate sexual behavior with several students about 30 years ago.

Whereas I was once shocked and dismayed by past clergy sex abuse revelations, it is as if I have drifted into a psychological pall — an emotional numbing that blunts the impact of apparently never-ending revelations of more clergy sex abuse and questionable religious leadership responses.

And lately, as I read these articles, I often wonder why the religious organizations don’t include a monthly clergy felony report along with their request for donations. I know: It’s my problem.

Regardless, amid this confusing and perplexing set of unfortunate and outrageous circumstances, is there really any question about who is the victim?

As someone who has worked with men who as boys were sexually abused by clergy, family members and other adults, I found the following information alarming and telling. You might have a similar experience, as you peruse the data.

» 1 out of 6 boys is molested by or before age 16.

» 93 percent knew their attacker.

» 90 percent never tell.

» Age of male child at abuse or attempted abuse: 37 percent are age 6 or younger, 44 percent are ages 7 to 12 and 19 percent are 13-16.

Perhaps you are scratching your head, dismayed about the reported frequency and the ages in which male sexual abuse experiences have occurred over time and perhaps even overwhelmed by the potential numbers of boys/men who have been living with this unresolved trauma.

Unfortunately, many men do not acknowledge their childhood sexual abuse until much later in life. Oftentimes, they address this issue when they are in their 30s — or later. There are a variety of reasons for this: Male socialization does not necessarily support safe discussion about it with other males. It is a significant source of guilt and shame.

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Your turn: Male victims of abuse need help, support
Jul. 1, 2011
St. Cloud Times
Doug Greenlee

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Topics: Bede Parry, Opinion, Victim Support, Visiting Clergy/Professors, Visiting Monk/Priest

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