The Champ Speaks of Being Molested

When it’s time to revisit some issues, I am convinced one must simply face the facts that perhaps some things have changed, and it’s time to turn the prism to see another facet. Now is one of those times. We have always known there are hidden masses of adults who were victims of sexual molestation as children. In recent years the stigma associated with female victims has been slowly chipped away, as more and more women have chosen to step forward and break their silence. We are learning the potential is there that a majority of women have or will be victims of child molestation or sexual assault.

It appears we are entering the next phase of openness and honesty. Men who are high profile are stepping up and speaking out about their own sexual abuse as young boys. I anticipate (and look forward to) the next wave of victims bravely breaking into their place of freedom from power and control their perpetrators have held over them for most of their life. You see, the physical act of molestation may only take place on one occasion, last for a few months or be extended for years, but its effect never ends. It leaves scars. Sure, the wounds may heal, but the scars are always there to remind us of the atrocities perpetrated upon our young bodies. It takes boldness and tenacity to disclose your victimization. Sugar Ray Leonard has written his autobiography, and a portion of the book deals with the molestation he experienced as a teenager, committed by his Olympic coach. A former professional wrestler, “XPac” made the decision to disclose just recently, as well. These are two manly men, and that can only help quash any shame, disgrace or humiliation the public would normally try to cast upon a male victim of molestation. Then you add professional wrestler Mick Foley who has joined forces with RAINN, along with some professional athletes right here in theTampaBay area who are joining forces with agencies to take a stand against all sexual abuse, and we have potential to change society. For you see, sexual assault is not a female-specific assault, but having men step up to the plate and hear them say, “No more!” is so gratifying. Most male victims of sexual molestation have not or will not disclose because society judges them to be “pansies,” “sissies” or “limp wristed.” Let me make this as clear as I can—Being molested does not make you gay, and being gay does not make you a molester!

Remember: Every 2 minutes someone in the United States of America is sexually assaulted. They can’t all be women. Knowing how much a victim has to put on the line when they choose to cross the line and proclaim their abuse, I salute the men who have stepped up to a whole new level of bravery!

Listen to Carolyn’s interview with Cynthia Brennen, on “Help, Hope & Healing.” Visit her Everyday Health blog, Emotional Wellbeing, or her website at

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