Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Teenage Victim of Sexual Abuse

Kids get raped.

Kids, get lost.

Kids.

Who listens to them?

Let me ask you... Have you got five minutes?

Can you spot me just one video (with no audio)?

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I understand that people of all ages are victims of sexual assault.

I can’t speak for everyone.

I can speak out for the kids who’ve been victims of sexual abuse.

One of the kids is now a young – brave – man called David.

Here is David’s story:

The nineteen-year-old tells us – literally – in his own words what’s happened to his life since he was first molested at the age of ten.

TEN.

Ten-year-old boys are supposed to be climbing trees, playing video games, honing baseball skills and enjoying the last couple of innocence-covered years.
See no hope?

They are not supposed to be molested by two “friends.”

Watch David’s eyes – look into these weary, sad eyes.

Did you see his cracked, broken smile?

That smile is way too old to belong to a teenager…

This. Crap. Needs. To. End.

Somehow.

Someway.

Why not start today?

Pass David’s story on.

Every parent should watch and learn to look for the warning signs.

Pass it on to the friend you’re worried about, the colleague who’s missed a few days, or the kid at school who doesn’t laugh anymore?

Watch and please share the video.

Tweet it.

Retweet it.

Forward it on Facebook.
Email it.
Share it.

Please.

Some of you might dismiss this because you don’t know David, so why should you care?

You know me, at least a little, right?

I don’t know David, but teenage victims of sexual abuse are around us.

Don't miss the signs should someone ever reach out to you.

I know I try not to, because my wife and I have three sons.

What sort of world are we leaving them - and their peers?
 


45 comments:

Richard said...

Sexual assault of anyone is wrong, but of children it is heinous. Unfortunately, the abusers don't see it that way. They need to be put away for life--no chance of parole. To be honest, the death penalty for the abuser would be fine with me.

Jack said...

Mark, thanks for this. And for your openness. I'm torn. I just don't know what to say right now...

Stina Lindenblatt said...

We hear about this in the news all the time and I cry every time I hear about it happening. And I cry harder knowing there are a lot more stories out there from teens and kids who haven't told anyone (which is more common than the first scenario).

That's why I've been working on a YA story that deals with rape. That's why I've been donating to our local rape crisis center and requesting the money goes towards programs for teens.

Carl said...

Love you bro' I didnt know... Dont know wat to say. The video was very powerful...

Danielle B. said...

Ummm... what can I say besides ... you are an awesome person for sharing, caring, and being wonderful.

I will share and I will pass it on. Occurances like this make me sick. I have 4 children of my own and talk to them about the harshness of society and how to protect themselves. Hopefully I'm helping.

Linda Jackson said...

Mark, thanks for sharing. The childhood abuse in my own life makes me keenly aware of what children (as well as adults) are capable of. Therefore, I tend to be overprotective with my children. I am especially overprotective of my son, more so than I was with my daughters. For some reason, I think this happens more with boys (as opposed to girls being abused) than we realize.

Morgan said...

It's horrid. It's awful. And it makes me ANGRY.

Mark, I'm so proud of you sharing this.

The video was so powerful---never did I think something so quiet could get my heart pumping and aching at the same time.

I'm off to share this. It's not something I've ever thought about truly... but now that I have kids? Gosh. This FREAKS me out. I'm so glad you shared this today--it's taught me a lot and really opened my eyes. Thank you.

And *HUGE HUGS* to YOU, my friend.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Mark-Thanks for being brave. I can't watch the video right now cuz I'm at work but I know David's story will be powerful when I do get to watch it.

This must stop. People can't turn a blind eye. And the best way is what you have stated. Be aware of people. How they are acting and what they might be going through. Take a second to listen. Or to just be there.

Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

So powerful. Your honesty and openness only make it more so. I can't tell you how much I admire your bravery. You have my utmost respect. And my prayers, as do all victims. Stay strong!

Leigh Covington said...

Some things are so horrific, that its hard to put into words. My heart breaks for David and his story, but I am so grateful for his bravery in sharing it. And grateful to you for passing it on Mark! :)

Ara Grigorian said...

Courage... You, my friend, define it. Thank you for sharing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mark, then you know how to reach and help others. Abusing a child in any fashion is sick beyond words.

Cynthia said...

Mark, you are very brave and strong for opening up about this topic.

Elise Fallson said...

Sexual assault is wrong. So very very wrong. It's a topic I am particularly sensitive to ):

Thank you for sharing, for caring, for helping.

Escape Artist said...

Oh,Mark. You just make me want to cry! I loved the way he told his story, without spoken words. So poignant. A secret quietly shared.
We must think of ways, keep communicating within our families, in schools... get children to feel safe enough to speak up.

Anonymous said...

Marc,
Im so sorry you had to endure this as a child.
Thank you for sharing this story and taking baby steps
in healing yourself as well. No child should have to
go through this pain. May God's loving arms embrace
you as you heal and may the horrible memories
be pushed aside and the wonderful memories of
childhood past shine through in your life.

Morgan Prince said...

Thank you for sharing Mark. I think this one makes everyone want to help.

Unfortunately when children are molested they are either afraid to say anything or don't know any better. As adults we need to look for the warning signs and ask questions. It is better to be uncomfortable than have the children suffer in silence.

I will be sharing this post everywhere Mark.

Morgan x

meradeth said...

All I can really say is Amen. This needs to stop in our society. Now.

Bonnee Crawford said...

Dear God... it's always heart-wrenching to me whenever I hear something like this (or see, in the case of silent videos). I so admire the people strong enough to admit it's happened to them like David, and you. Having a voice when you've had something like that happen to you is the best way to deal with it, and stop it. I wish more people had that voice.

Thank you for sharing this Mark.

Scarlett said...

Thank you for sharing this piece of you with us, Mark. Lots of emotions tied up in this posting. I don't know where to start. So I'll start here.

All my love.

Hope Roberson said...

Heartbreaking.
As a teacher of young, young, young children, the cliche's are there. You can tell when something is a little off. It starts small. These are the kids I worry about every day I'm in the classroom.
Thanks for sharing :)

Stacy Jensen said...

No words. Thank you for sharing this and I will share it too.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

I am so sorry. Let's band together and empower the hurting.

Nancy Thompson said...

I know just how he feels.

Rek said...

I read and hear about it so often here, really breaks my heart that the innocent go through some much trauma all because of a pervert and I can't do much other than talk or write about it. Most often than not, the abuser is someone close to them and at times the lack of belief and empathy from parents and loved ones is deplorable, the concept of family honour and respect ensures that the event is pushed under the carpet here but things are changing atleast in cities with people taking action.
And your ending words left me speechless, all I can say is sorry you had to go through it and happy you overcame the pain to lead a happy, successful life now.

elizabeth seckman said...

You're right. It must end. I used to work in social work and sexual abuse and assaults were just far too common.
I have a friend who is dealing with this issue right now with her daughters. Her father in law molested two of her daughters. We've chatted quite a bit about whether or not she should press charges and let it go public. Yes, I told her. Allows let them know they are the victims; the shame is NOT theirs and the guilty will be punished.
And sadly, most perps target boys, because boys are less likely to tell and more likely to blame themselves.
God bless you Mark. You're a strong man.

jaybird said...

Mark- thank you so much for sharing this. It's because of kids like David, (and you) The Husband and I are huge advocates of bringing the CAP (child assault prevention) programs to elementary schools. I was shocked at how many parents PROTESTED and would not allow their children to attend! If parents keep putting their heads in the sand, pretending stuff like this is not happening, it is exactly what will keep fueling it to reoccur! It kills me as a mother to know that not all kids are safe. We need more parents who are willing to step up and teach them how to be Safe, Strong and Free!

Daisy Carter said...

Thank you for this post. And God help any child being abused - send them help, please. Maybe this video will open people's eyes. More importantly, maybe when our eyes are open, we will HELP.

Holly said...

Important post David. Thank you!

I tagged you on my blog this week for a question game. Take a look and pass it on.

Nicole said...

Cheers to you for bringing awareness to Sexual abuse today! I did not know that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and having known some people who were assaulted, I do agree that the crime needs to stop.

It is a shame that children are assaulted in this way or in any manner (non-sexual physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, etc.), for that matter. It's even more unfortunate, however, that people who are close to them or people who know what's going on and are in a position to stop it just look the other way or protect the abusers, when they should be protecting the child.

~Nicole
Blog: The Madlab Post
*Rockin' the A to Z Challenge!*
@MadlabPost on Twitter

Trisha said...

:( My heart just broke a little bit for you, Mark. I haven't watched the video yet, but I will. It does have to end, and preferably yesterday. It can't go ignored the way it has for a long time.

I actually came by here to let you know that I finally posted my post-Ireland post...yes, there's a lot of 'post's in this comment! But you can find it here:

http://thefarseas.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/revisiting-ireland-post-blog-ohop.html

Now I'm going to watch David, and thank the lil Lordy I have a glass of wine here with me to drown my sorrows in afterward!

P.s. I commend your bravery in speaking out here too.

Tracy Bermeo (aka A2Z Mommy) said...

Mark I haven't visited in a couple of weeks, but am so glad to have visited today. David's story is powerful and heart breaking. I admire your bravery for sharing your story.
A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

Empty Nest Insider said...

David's story is such a horrific one, and it's frightening that it continues to happen to so many children. Thanks for sharing this, and I admire your courage in coming forward. Julie

Ciara said...

My heart is broken. I couldn't get all the way through the video. As a mother of three boys, this crushes me. We recently had a sexual assault happen during a church run activity. It actually happened to multiple kids on multiple occassions. I haven't been able to take my boys back to church out of fear. I will, but I'm not sure they will leave my side. My eldest son knew him and said. "No mom, he's innocent. He's a cool guy. I helped him unload stuff from the truck out back and I wouldn't have thought twice about going anywhere alone with him." I told my son, "He confessed and there were witnesses."

baygirl32 said...

after being on that side of the fence once myself, I could not watch the video. Thank you and David for speaking for those who can not even years later.

Liz said...

Oh... this is a subject dear to my heart. I was assaulted by 3 different people as a child. One was my Consultant. I knew it didn't feel right - but it wasn't until I was much older that I realised it wasn't and I spoke up. This sort of thing is rife throughout society I'm afraid.

http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

Mina Burrows said...

Wow, this is intense. Thank you for sharing and letting me know about Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Did now know this.
New follower.

Hart Johnson said...

It's such a sad sorry thing. And I think it's horrible that we seems to often be blind to it. Thank you for spreading the word.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Me, too, Mark.

I'm a firm believer of shinning a bright spotlight on it. Where there is light there are no dark corners where this crap can happen.

I was a Rehab counselor for 15 years and I worked with several organizations helping kids and a couple of those for adult survivors.

I bet, like me, you've watched your kids like a hawk while trying to let them be kids. So many assume boys are safe from sexual abuse and they'd assume wrong.

Nice to meet you, Mark!

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

David P. King said...

It takes great courage to come out and say what you have, Mark. And yes. This must stop. I've worked with plenty of young victims, and these are the ones lucky enough to be receiving help now. Great post, Mark. Thank you for sharing.

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

Thank you for sharing this, Mark. :(

Johanna Garth said...

Hi Mark, new follower from Alex's blog. So glad I stopped by today to read this great, important post!! Will RT!

rch said...

Hey Mark I can so relate, if you ever have time look up a post called Shake on my blog. People that do this are sick and need to be stopped. Powerful post!

Claire Hennessy said...

Wow, what a powerful video - so sad but so brave. Thanks for sharing this and for being brave enough to share yourself. I am an abuse survivor too. The more open we can all be, the more healing, and, hopefully, the more we can begin to put an end to child abuse for good. Thanks Mark.

cleemckenzie said...

Assault on young people makes my flesh creep. You are so right, it's something that is the most heinous of crimes with such long lasting effects.

Most touching U-Day post, Mark.

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