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Senator Scott Brown And Male Sexual Abuse

Republican Sen. Scott Brown opens up about his childhood sexual abuse. He’s not alone. We’ll have the tough conversation about male sexual abuse.

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. (AP)

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. (AP)

Sen. Scott Brown made his claim to fame as the Republican Tea Party favorite who stepped up from relative obscurity to take the US Senate seat held for decades by Democrat Ted Kennedy.

Now, Scott Brown is making waves on a very different front. Sitting down with CBS 60 Minutes last night to talk about his sexual abuse as a boy. Coming out with a memoir today with details of boyhood death threats and fondling.

This is not standard public fare. But, say my guests today, it is far more common than we acknowledge.

- Tom Ashbrook


Mikele Rauch, trauma therapist with Brookline Psychological Services in Brookline, MA. She’s a member of MaleSurvivor.org, working with male and female victims of sexual abuse and religious and physical trauma.

Howard Fradkin, psychologist, working with male survivors of sexual abuse. He is on the board of directors of Malesurvivor.org, a non-profit  organization that helps men and boys overcome the trauma of sexual abuse.

Jarrod Noftsger, survivor of childhood and teen sex abuse.

Resources for survivors of sex abuse and their supporters:

An online community with articles about healing, moderated chatrooms and bulletin boards. They also run the program “Dare to Dream Weekend of Recovery.”

The National Sexual Violence Resouce Center
A resource center regarding all aspects of sexual violence.

Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE)
An organization that provides services, publications, and training to serve those who typically fall between the cracks of domestic violence services: straight men, GLBT victims, teens, and the elderly.

For more resources, click here.

Watch an Oprah special on male sexual abuse.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://www.mskinnermusic.com Mike Skinner

    Mikele & Howard are two of the best to have for this much needed show. The silence and the shame around this needs to end.
    Take care, Mike [male survivor - thriver!!] http://www.mskinnermusic.com

    • Perspectives

      Senator Brown is receiving great cheers for his courage in coming forth and great publicity as well. But implicit in his story is the “not telling” the name of his abuser. Brown has said he was abused repeatedly and the abuse was accompanied by death threats.
      Clearly, this abuser knew what he was doing, had done it before and did it again to other kids.
      By not naming the abuser Brown sends a devastating message that it’s okay not to hold people responsible but rather to continue to protect abusers. If he really wanted more than publicity for “coming out,” he should be a model of really coming out, he should model naming his abuser. Once named, abusers will think many times before repeating their crime.
      If he who is safer than almost anyone anywhere doesn’t do it who will?

      • Lthurston

        Totally agree. As I said in my earlier post, I was assaulted by a camp counselor at Camp Good News around the same time that Scott was. I was not the only young (6 year-old) female camper to be touched inappropriately. We did “tell” and no one did anything about it. If this was the same person, I hate to think how many more innocent children he “touched” and perhaps, continues to “touch” because no one did anything about it, including the adult Scott Brown.

  • Pancake Rankin, lucky survivor

    Celebrity reports of childhood sexual abuse in middle age, especially by a Senate Republican in a relatively liberal state, have to be acknowledged gingerly. Scott Brown has been an attention seeker his entire adult life, taking calculated moves in the service of changing interests. His hard definition of his “abuse” as unconsummated in his interview with Leslie Stahl qualifies his claims to a degree. If we look at the text of his book, compare the incident reports to those of typical American males as collected by sexual researchers, and then understand that human memory is often inaccurate after so many decades, Senator Brown’s seeking of survivor status is suspect indeed. Most boys who are forced or raped are physically outmatched and unable to fend off the attacker with a rock or a squeal. Most abusers are more calculated and cruel, even having accomplices, than what Brown describes. Pedophiles choose vulnerable and defenseless children more often than not. It is a shame that such a problematic piece of publicity has been chosen as an initiator of more discussion of a problem that is ongoing and increasingly widespread as people are commodified and sadism escalates in our fragmenting society. The pertinent question is: What is Senator Scott Brown doing to prevent the molestation and rape of children?

    • Tina

      Pancake, just one thing. You say, “his ‘abuse’ as unconsummated … qualifies his claims to a degree …compare the incident reports … Senator Brown’s seeking of survivor status is suspect indeed.” If I’ve understood your meaning correctly, I would like to differ with you.

      I did not see the 60 minutes show, but I suspect that the Senator was describing manual or oral contact rather than penetration. When perpetrated on a minor, manual contact, oral contact, and penetration ALL count as abuse; the Degree of the crime (First Degree, Second, etc.) are determined by the exact age of the child AND by the activity, altho it is not a simple, “arithmetic” list. I know that the show was about boys, and it is so good that it was; however, I know more about criminal sexual activity that involves girls, so my example will come from that side.

      Degree of criminality to some extent is based on the exact age of the child — the younger the child, the more criminal the sexual activity is considered. So, when young girls are under a specifically low age (I forget the exact age, tho), even if the girl has been directed to do the touching (rather than being touched or penetrated), her age is considered young enough that the act she was asked to perform constitutes first degree sexual abuse. Above that age, manual & oral contact are seen as different than penetration (perhaps it varies by which State this happened in).

      Of course, to a child, those legal technicalities do not take hold the way that their emotional confusion, and/or shame, and/or their fear for themselves or for their loved ones (whom the perpetrator may have threatened to harm), and/or their thinking “the person was nice to me, so I don’t want to get them in trouble”, or even the length and duration of the abuse, and the emotional claims the perp. has made on the young person, do. A huge portion of the abuse is within these realms.

      Then, as an aside, attorneys general often want to get perpetrators away from working with children and so will seek court cases that do not include a jury. IF an alleged perpetrator has enough friends and allies who might be on the jury (this sometimes involves ethnic differences, or even religious differences between the accused and the victim), the A.G. will go for a Judge trial, because the jury might find the perpetrator “innocent”, and then, not only will no one be found guilty of the immediate crime, but the alleged perp. will be able to go back out, working with kids. When accused of a First Degree crime, a person is entitled to a trial with a Jury of their Peers. Therefore, sometimes, to get their larger, broader aim (perpetrator not able to teach/coach/minister to kids), the A.G. may elect to prosecute based on lower-level charges. That is, if there were penetration PLUS oral sex given BY the child, the A.G. may choose to ONLY prosecute based on the oral sex, so that the alleged perpetrator will NOT be entitled to a Jury of His (or Her) peers. Sadly, not all judges are admirably judicious, even enough to understand the difference between a one-time act and abuse that happened over, let’s say, four years, when, of course, there could be major differences, making either of those extremes (once/long-term) have its own “horrendousness” about it! I am not making this up.

      Another thing which may or may not come into play: if someone who works with kids committed penetration of a minor, a slightly older minor, but was only taken to court for oral sex with a minor, they may not even have to register as having a sex-crimes history of any kind, with those neighborhood disclosure lists, because some of those lists only deal with First degree offenders — that may be changing State by State. Sorry this is written so poorly, I just don’t have the stamina to do better right now.

      Maybe I misunderstood your point, originally. Thanks!

      • Pancake

        Tina, in Barrington?
        Scott was old enough that the penetration issue (consummation) was legally crucial at the time he describes the incidents. I thank you for your hard work, but what I was saying is that Senator Brown protested adamantly that no penetration occurred because of symbolic issues connected with his celebrity and public image. He didn’t scale Brokeback Mountain but only went to the treeline.
        I am commenting on his credibility as evidenced to the convenience of his account. It is parallel to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal mistakenly claiming service in Vietnam during his Senate campaign. He confessed and won, by the way.

        • Ellen Dibble

          Pancake, laws vary state to state, apparently, with regard to the definition of child sexual abuse. Current law in Massachusetts may or may not extend back 30 years, but what was legal then does not seem to be legal now. I’m not a lawyer, and he is. But over and again, in court cases that come up, the prosecutors point out that consummation is NOT part of the definition. Indeed penetration is NOT part of the definition. At least, penetration is defined so broadly that merely touching a girl’s vulva with a body part counts as penetration. I suppose the criteria are similar for male genitalia; conduct can be illegal without being anywhere close to “consummated,” and in many cases there are dozens of allegations of “occasions,” each with a date and the victim’s various body parts, um, itemized. You don’t consummate anything by touching a breast. But that is an “occasion,” an “allegation,” in this state, to the best of my non-lawyerly observations of justice as it plays out here.
          By the way, I keep hearing that rapists do NOT usually consummate; a predator is intent on violating the person, not achieving satisfaction. The satisfaction is in the conquest, the violation of the person, not the sort of intimacy that a healthy person would seek to achieve.

  • Michael

    It’s sad what happen to him as a little kid and abusive fathers, yet I get the feeling this and the relationship of his book release is playing more of a part than meets the eyes.

    Esp since we did not see such or a outcry from him with Catholic priest all over the country/world who were touching little kids, Hate to say he’s insincere and all but his record for standing up for abused children is pretty weak and a elections season is coming up in 2012

    • Pancake Rankin

      I think a publicist with consumer research access handed Scott a biography recipe. I remember how Bill Clinton “wrote” about defending his mother from his abusive father with a baseball bat. It went over big at the beauty shop. Tabloid stories follow a formula.
      Not on a “humanitarian wavelength” and it’s such a shame. (paraphrasing Van Morrison)

  • Digitalcommuter

    You can say that again. OH you did say it again.

  • Michael

    Sincere or not, I hope it does help children and people who were abused to seek justice or come to some type of closure. But I believe stats show your more likely to be abused by someone you know and trust before one would a stranger.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Surely we aren’t going to generalize based on one exemplar who’s written a book we mostly have not read. How then to frame a discussion? Based on conduct that is convicted and where the abusers are in an online database, managed by law enforcement, with verified addresses and photographs?
    Or without convictions, based on “mere” allegations, where those abused are being threatened and bribed to keep silent or at least misconstrue circumstances? Where newspapers do not publish names or those abused, and child welfare departments an agencies certainly do not publicize suspicions and allegations, how then is one to corroborate? How then can scientists come up with statistical studies of cause and effect, or risks and preventions?
    Back about 1970, there was no science to this at all, as I understand it, and psychologists had to approach “diagnosis” and treatment (of abusers and abused) without funding (i.e., treating on a volunteer basis whole families and/or perpetrators and/or victims) and doing so without “studies” as groundwork. Anyway, the “field” seems to be growing and branching into, um, conflicting, ahem, approaches.

    • Zeno

      …and there is the other side of the coin of injustice…

      I’m all for the predatory scum that abuse children to spend the rest of their lives in the prison general population and get their justice from their fellow criminals, but justice is supposed to be blind to emotions and propaganda, and base its verdict on factual evidence alone.

      But, lets not forget the daycare witch-hunts… the witch hunts of the eighties and nineties where many innocent people were accused and convicted… Fells Acres being a prime example of injustice backed by media hype.

      Many innocent people were tried and imprisoned based on the testimony of children’s stories backed by frantic and driven parents to share the limelight of victim-hood. There is a Munchhausen by proxy element to this that is rarely discussed or even acknowledged due to legal pitfalls.

      Indeed once the charges are made, then the parents are committed to keep the lie because acknowledgment of the lie would open them up to prosecution for slander.

      It is now generally believed that no abuse had occurred at Fells Acres Daycare, but the public inflamed by media wanted someone to go to prison. But, NO prosecutor EVER made their career by finding no basis for charges in a media feeding frenzy.

      The system is deeply flawed, and media based paranoia and money grubbing for a good story to be sold to the public is behind this jittery paranoia. Strange Danger? Most kids are abused by someone known to the family.

      This exchange of rationality for hyper emotional propaganda is literally tearing our society apart. Would you comfort a lost child at a shopping mall, or would you think twice and just report it to security?

      I heard that the rate of pedophilia is generally constant as a percentage of society (I don’t know if this is true), but from the media reports we would never know this, or any other boring FACTUAL information on the subject.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Good point, Zeno. If you want to be a mentor, a “big brother/big sister,” and help out the schools, you’ll be part of an organization, probably, that is wired to the Nth degree defensively against allegations of abuse by those mentors. Why? How convenient if a live-in boyfriend happens to have abused a child, who is acting out and getting all sorts of attention, to then blame the mentor who has no idea that all that sort of Social Services attention is getting stirred up. For a few years I was volunteering with an afterschool program, and would take the children, usually in groups, on adventures. One day I took a five-year-old girl, by bus, from her home in the outskirts to something in town, probably the library or a museum, or a pizza place. And when I mentioned this to the administrator, she was shocked and appalled. YOU MUST NEVER BE ALONE WITH ANY OF THOSE CHILDREN. Well, the bus driver was actually there, but we were pretty much alone on the bus. Still, an administrator gets upset like that for very real reasons.

        • Zeno

          Ellen.. It is a shame that either sex cannot experience the world from the others perspective for a few days. Perhaps technology will someday provide this and there will be a revelation of understanding.

          If you think it is bad for women…its ten times worse for men. We are all child molesters until we prove otherwise. Now add being treated like that by the total of Female society, and add having been a victim on top of that.

          Do you know why men are leaving certain professions in huge numbers over the past 30 years?

          All men are guilty now…until proven innocent (but even that is tenuous). I have tried explaining this to the women in my life and some get it (about 50%) and some never will. I’m not complaining here.. and I’m not saying that women are not important, or not better than men, or ect… But women have to realize that men have been under assault with great vigor for the past 40 years and it is producing results.

          This would be a topic for an entire program, but it will never be one . In America women (and men) have corrected the great injustice that male dominance had historically created, but now there is an entirely new environment that men must survive in, and we all have to adapt… and that includes the need for women to accept men as having a place in our society, however small and unimportant that may now be.

          Perhaps men have a perspective that IS valid, because it is different. I greatly value the female voices and perspectives in my life, but I am aware that the reverse is not true. Men are getting ever quieter, and non communicative…and this suits our current society dynamic just fine.

          It takes real courage to give a give a gift that has no value. We try, but we don’t speak female…and we will never really understand each other.

          Now if science could only invent that machine that would let us walk an mile in each others shoes!

  • Ellen Dibble

    Psychologists divide sexual abuse (of children anyway) into abuse that is predatory (anyone snatched off of a park bench, any hitchhiker, that sort of thing), and abuse that waits for opportunity (relationships of trust and proximity, as with family or priests, coaches, teachers, etc.). Actually, I’m not sure where experts put the “grooming” that is supposedly part of sexual predation of minors. One might “groom” someone by bringing them INTO a relationship where there is opportunity, so that is half predatory. The enablers — cowed family members or people in an institutional hierarchy who seem to consider abuse along a continuum with verbal harassment and bullying — that’s where I can’t quite focus my lenses. Where is the line?

    • Panncake? Rankin

      Horatio Alger myth: A successful man takes a wayward destitute boy under his tutelage and gives him entree to financial success. These were not explicit stories but they would not have been published had they been. Somehow what began as homosexual pedophilia expressed was transmuted into a mainstream version of how to become a “self-made man.” The “maker” was forgotten. How deluded and byzantine is our Dale Carnegie world! I think a homosexual milieu so permeates the corporate culture that even women must now play the “boy” role to rise within it.

      • ChadMulligan

        Yup, I never understood corporate life, or why I couldn’t understand it, until I realised that I just don’t ‘get’ homophilia or S&M.

        • Redlair6

          How joyous it is when someone sees the same evasive bird and confirms you are not hallucinating. Yep, even the corporate women have to be “punked.” No exceptions. It’s right there in the manual.
          The children and the non-corporate spouses can see the change. Your special person is now a pod. Unionism is the antidote. Spread it around. Art treats the symptoms. Golf is the corporate sport because it originates in cuckhold murder and snipe hunting attacks in Scotland among the gentry.

  • Yar

    I recommend On Point have an online clinically approved therapist available to talk off air to any caller who has the courage to call the show and the screeners or guests think it would benefit. This is not a subject to take lightly. Please do not make this about an individual who happens to be selling a book.
    Focus on the abuse of power more than the acts of violence. Talk about sex slave trade in America. Talk about sexual violence in prisons and jails, and why there isn’t public outrage about that.

    I hope your goal in presenting this topic is to guide victims to resources for help, not just re-victimize them.
    There is plenty to discuss without turning the show into a sadistic how to discussion for perpetrators.
    This is one show where you best keep control, you are bringing up PTSD issues for many in your audience.
    Try to create a safe space and keep your hand close to the mute button. Good luck. You are braver than me. I think I would have recorded the show first and then broadcast it.

    • Ellen Dibble

      I wonder if there novels or nonfiction accounts of sexual violence in prisons and jails. Or sex in jails, period. Sometimes when I think I’m going a little too far with my comments here, and I think of the numbers of ways people can be framed and sent at least “temporarily” into some form of incarceration, I try to imagine how I would handle the situation. I would get as good a picture of the interactions of different power brokers (jailed and jailers), and find alliances that would keep me as safe as possible. It would vary depending on the particular circumstance, but I would use my body and suffer the consequences if I judged that was the best way. As with so much in life, whether we evaluate the whole situation accurately plays a certain role in whether we thrive or not.
      On the other hand, looking at today’s topic, a boy sexually molested, we have a child who sees himself as a victim from early on, a secret and sexual victim. And as I understand it, he is liable for life to have that template of self as a victim, a secret victim (so it doesn’t get explained or turned over; never do the winner and loser switch places).
      And in response, the child grows into an adult who can only push back that victim-shadow/paradigm by something like serial sexual conquests (as the guest set forth this morning). Or by other conquests, I’m thinking; he can come to view conquest and success as the bottom line to everything, and learning NOT to consider the feelings of the “other” — pretty much a definition of certain brands of greed that plenty of men buy into. I won’t specify which party, because it seems both parties, if you look beneath the surface. Look at someone obsessed with becoming the Big Guy, and let the little people fend for themselves, and you see someone who was once a little guy and has succeeded in growing into a full-size human being.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Regular life is coming to resemble jail more and more, Ellen. The right wing sees utopia as a concentration camp turned inside out embracing all, with themselves as vendors, guards and administrators. Corporatism idolizes the chickenhouse model for a profitable society. Plenty more goes on in jail besides sex. Sex takes a few minutes a day. But then sexual order is a strong determinate of prison hierarchy. Guards make a fortune on contraband including the sexual.

        I think you spoke too soon about adapting in jail. We in the outside jail have some time to prepare. We all should not all be looking for a muscled domineer with tattoos and piercings. Men should not be stampeded to shave their butts. We have not yet been reduced to putting up or putting out, but we better understand that resistance requires preparation before the thugs come to the door.
        We should focus on the universe of possible human relationships besides sex that can protect and console us and reach out. Good government is one of these relationships. History has shown it works better than guns. Don’t let the pervert’s view of taxation land you in prison.

        • Tina

          Grady, That was one of your most brilliant treatises yet!

  • Michael

    Try googling “Scott Brown and Catholic church abuse” and see what you get or try “Scott brown helps abused children” “Scott brown helps battered women” “Scott brown helps poor children” “Scott brown volunteers homeless shelter”

    See if you can find anything of the above before this came out,

    Than try googling Sen. Scott Brown DREAM Act, delay in the 9/11 responder bill, Delay in unemployment.

  • Escobedo

    Scott Brown is a rabid supporter of abortion, which is the ultimate form of child abuse.

    • Pancake Rankin

      Boys don’t get pregnant usually. You’ve got pregnancy (in others’ bodies) on the brain. Please don’t stick that pencil in your ear.
      Subconscious Reasoning: Ifa the priesta only molesta da boy, den nobody havin’ a baby an’ da Pope , he happy.

      • Yar

        Abuse is related to a desire for power. What causes one to desire power? The Church is an hierarchal organization, it is reasonable to expect some of its leaders to be abusers. Protect yourself from anyone who desires power over you. Possessive individual in your relationship, get away fast!
        Empowerment is the best defense against abuse.

        One way I thought might curb the War Rape in the Congo is to send emasculators to groups of women victims there.
        That is a violent response to violence, but what solutions offer more hope?
        We don’t have a very good track record in dealing with sexual violence, Do you think it is because most political power is held by men?

        • Pancake

          To maximize profit products are subdivided into categories. We can’t exactly buy power but the illusion now is marketed in myriad forms, vicarious forms and symbolic forms, in cars, sports tickets, gambling chances….

          If sexual aggression is a subcategory of power then this too must be broken into marketable categories in order to maximize profit. Paedophilia has become a premium forbidden brand like Cuban cigars. Wealth or institutional authority has protected these highly cultivated consumers. The virginal costs many times the experienced. Within the Catholic Church hierarchy, and the Masons , and any other group embracing the esoteric and covert, there will be cults having their own secret doors to the forbidden. Our wealthy elite oligarchy is a good example. They are immune from normal enforcement, even investigation (above reproach?) and have access to secret and esoteric information. They operate the CIA as a business device. It would not surprise me if some of our admired entrepreneurs were involved in human trafficking and consumption of some of the premium perversions. Remember how Bill Clinton explained how he was compelled to do “things” just because he could, whether it was replacing all indigenous pigs in Haiti with Wisconsin hogs, or having sex in the Oval Office cloakroom.People are weak, and they get caught in powerful institutional currents. I was not surprised about Eliot Spitzer. His boyish transgressions were kind of cute. Maybe the book is Brown’s way of saying abstractly, “I am a great man because I have tasted forbidden fruit.”

          • Yar

            Do you think the reason people hold on to power so violently, is that they fear being treated in the very way they treat others?

          • Grady Lee Howard

            Next step: Once you step in dog dookie you might have to claim it smells good. Some people hold onto power because they might be called to account. George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld can’t visit Europe. Many paedophiles kill their victims to assure silence. Tyrants disappear and render. Picton the pig farmer in Canada is an example of this. He felt he was doing work authorities neglected. NAMBLA:”If not by 8, it’s too late.”

          • Tina

            “they fear being treated in the very way they treat others”: YES
            “to assure silence”: YES

            But, ALSO, there is another really big, psychological contributing factor: SHAME — shame on the part of the perpetrator BEFORE he/she perpetrates; shame experienced by the perpetrator AFTER the act; and shame that, sadly, can be passed on to the victim because of the act.

            The book I mentioned above, The Betrayal Bond, talks about the Role of Shame in many of these acts, and the author helps show how shame DRIVES criminal acts as much as it is the consequence of having taken certain acts, or having been the victim of certain acts.

            Some cultures are very Shame-based. Some mini-societies are, too, getting down to the level of the individual human being. We see a lot of overt rage in our “entertainment” media, and overt aggression;we see a lot of sex, but not much love OR eroticism. Because our media operate trying to please (sell to) such a “broad” customer base, the emotions we see in our movies, TV shows, even in the talking heads editorials on news shows, we do NOT see much depiction or analysis of the very deeply embedded, but almost invisible, emotion called SHAME. There are some scholarly books out on the topic, but some are almost TOO scholarly. Shame drives so much of what is bad in human life, we NEED to understand it more!

          • Ellen Dibble

            We keep reading about how “face” (i.e., shame?) is so important in this culture or that, in Japan, in China, in the Middle East. We hear about Honor Killings in sharia law, where a woman has risked giving birth to the child of someone other than her husband (my take on why adultery is seen as compelling such shame and such punishment). We hear (I heard, on BBC radio news Saturday) ElBaradei saying that he had seen his people switch from being “lost,” and having “no integrity,” to being socially motivated and cohesive, all in a few weeks. Apparently they have been purged of the indignities wrought by the repressions of their government, just by hollering for freedom in Liberation Square (just?). And today the Newshour did a discussion about harassment of women in Egypt, and in a few minutes they covered the territory. Check it out at that website: The regime had tolerated abuse towards women as a sort of release valve for the helplessness that men otherwise experienced from the Management. Could this change?, Margaret Warner asked. Well, look at what happened almost immediately at Tahrir Square, where men and women made common cause, all together calling for human dignity. Can this last? Well, there is a woman appointed to be one of the “Wise Men,” but no woman on the committee to rewrite the constitution.
            How can there be societies so focused on shame where shameful conduct is tolerated and practically encouraged? How long did it take for women to rescue Lara Logan? (Women and eventually law enforcement did, they say, but apparently not Citizen Men.)
            Well, actually, I don’t recall that Egypt is focused on the matter of “face,” so I’m going to pack my points about irony and cultures of shame back in my knapsack, and just say that I agree, we need to understand shame more.

          • Machimoncarlos

            I think this sort of activity has been going on for millenia and it has gained popularity in the press over the last 40 years. Perhaps it just never made the press. In Grecian times boys were in favor perhaps even by Socrates because of many reasons. Only in the last 40 years has it become such a huge public issue. I don’t deny that it damages some, for I have seen it and understand the fury. My observation is that the rate has probably gone down since antiquity and that it will probably continue well into the future not withstanding societal sanctions. It’s in our DNA.

          • Pancake

            The Etoro huh? Marvin Harris used this exceptional society in America Now to perversely embrace his vulgar materialism. The guy who described it was named Kelly, I think.
            This was a primitive group and these relations were integral to their belief system. Science would tend to discount their beliefs. At least they had no texts to be obeyed irrationally and taken literally. I believe your example is such an extreme outlier among a materially challenged group that it is not relevant to our present circumstances.

            it is scary how you think sex with boys by men is OK because someone somewhere did it.

    • Ronald Wicke

      What does one have to do with the other expect maybe prove he is correct? How many children have you adopted? I am sure you don’t use birth control either? Overpopulation is one of the largest problems we face, but you are working on how to feed all these people , right?, Then you can find them all jobs, or just give one of them yours, that is the right thing to when one is passionate about a cause. A deep seated feeling to stand up and change things for the better, I am sure you are well known for all your charity work in the community. Just a question.

  • Flapjack

    Me thinks Pancake, that if Scott Brown were female you wouldn’t be so suspicious.

    • Pancake

      Thanks Flapjack, that opens another chain of exploration altogether. Take for instance whether military officers believe sexually abused women under their command, and whether female soldiers are by default the sexual property of their comrades. Do women join the services to get access to aggressive sex in an adventurous setting? The subtext is bigger than the subject. Next you will blame Scott for not finding a big enough rock or not squealing loud enough. Oh, the movie rental says your “Deliverance” is way, way overdue. Try to remember that all human beings are always sexually vulnerable. Senator Brown could be raped tonight as could Donald Trump or Lloyd Blankfein. We now are discounting the social contract that keeps us safe in exchange for profit. Women and men are in this together. You either respect choice and innocence, or you don’t. Involuntary oral sex: $50. Not being desperate for $50: Priceless.

  • Zeno

    I hope its just a coincidence that the show showcasing Scott Brown is being extended to two hours, because even the budget crisis, egypt, ect only got one hour.

    Pardon me as I rant about a obvious point about media and the plutocracy. Why do rule of law and this society’s social dark corners only get a spotlight trained on them when something happens to the wealthy (even when it happened 20 years ago)?

    A system rife with examples:

    JFK jr. crashes his plane into Long Island Sound and there is a media frenzy about who and when people should fly small planes.

    Congressman Sonny Bono kills himself skiiing and the media questions if ski areas should be allowed to operate at all.

    Rich investors are bilked out of their easily earned money by Bernie Madoff and the media asks should the SEC look into financial Ponzi schemes.

    Wind generators are proposed off Cape Cod but in view of the Kennedy compound and other Wealthy folks and suddenly the political rhetoric of Green Energy is good for everybody, to a NIMBY statement that such generators don’t work at all and are bad for the environment.

    Children of the poor are abducted and murdered all the time, but when a rich white kid is missing the media is relentless in the search for kid.

    Poor kids get molested and murdered by pedophiles and its barely noticed, but when Oprah or Mr. Brown say they got diddled then its front page news.

    Poor people die in traffic accidents every day, but if someone rich dies in an auto accident then the media goes nuts, but ONLY if they die. If they are drunk like Halle Berry, Mel Gibson or Ben Roethlisberger and flee the scene or commit rape, etc.. then all is forgiven.

    Mr. Brown will make millions off his abuse book, but did the family of Jeffery Curley profit or receive justice from their much greater tragedy?

    As we all know there are two systems of justice in America, and until it applies with equal strength or weakness to both the poor and the wealthy, then I don’t give a damn about Mr. Browns past.

  • SteveV

    This is a problem that has so many ramifications it’s almost beyond comprehension. Not only does the victim suffer terribly but families are torn apart and the damage is often irreversible. In working with young males, who were literally out of control, I often spoke to family members and learned they were molested by another “trusted” person. I found the person to talk to was an aunt or grandparent, someone close to the family but not directly involved. The imprint left on these people is beyond understanding. I often marveled at the human ability to adapt and function. What’s the best thing we can do now? Provide these folks with a society that accepts them for who they are, that doesn’t in any way blame them for the offense, that doesn’t minimize what happened, and listens with compassion to what they have to say. If we are a “compassionate society” this is the least we can do.

    • TerryTreeTree

      SteveV, Are you advocating a society that accepts molesters, and doesn’t blame them, or punish them. I agree with the first 2/3 of your comment, but had to question the last part, as it seems unclear.

      • David Northam

        MrTree I feel sorry for you.

    • David Northam

      Here here reason at last

  • Clive

    Great to see the new civility in action here today! No wonder so many choose to keep quiet.

    • Pancake

      Yes, the electric sexual does propel us above the falsity (like sports team loyalty) of party affiliation. With the two parties both offering their services to the oligarchy and ignoring citizen rights and public needs we need a jolt to break into reality. Thanks Scott Brown for setting off your little firecracker.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Senator Scott Brown And Male Sexual Abuse | WBUR and NPR - On Point with Tom Ashbrook -- Topsy.com

  • Ronald Wicke

    It is amazing to still see the ignorance and prejudged against a child. It has nothing to do with homosexuality, him as an adult or having money or being white. If it was your 10 year old son coming home from an activity and stated state he was assaulted, you would not jumping to all the wrong conclusions. This is sexual assault, period, not a sexual encounter. A child at 10 might not even be aware of sex. Almost all of these cases are perpetrated by straight , mostly married men, that is the scary part to the ignorant. Even pedophilia is not committed by be homosexuals. Myths, maybe the average person should do a little research before they make a comment, 1in6.org is a good place to start. To help stop child abuse, go to the Stop Abuse Campaign.com

  • Pancake Rankin in prudish NC

    Step right up , folks. The sideshow is about to commence. Barker tom is gargling with lemonade and examining Brown’s Playgirl spread. This is a talkshow staple, forbidden sex.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Yeah, this whole thing reeks of something like a Skull & Bones-like hazing ritual. Wonder if Brown is doing this titillating tell-all now in order to “s8^* up” to his betters and higher-ups in the GOP? The book is sure gonna make his some dough, too, you betcha!

      • Pancake

        As I theorized earlier: “I am a great man after tasting forbidden fruit blamelessly.” Can you imagine men in a garage or barbershop discussing their previous sexual victimizations? Women often focus on the peculiarities of their perpetrator, wondering what made them do it. Men are maybe narcissistic in a different way, wondering what in they (the victim) caused the aggressor to pick them. (I could be completely full of misconceptions here.) Was Scott irresistible? Does he remain irresistible?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          Ugh, well, I didn’t vote for the guy and will never be tempted to, so obviously he remains eminently resistible to at least ONE person.

  • Buck Rome

    I am struck by the wording of Tom’s intro. “We’ll have the tough discussion about male sexual abuse…” My empathy goes toward boys and men who are victims, for sure.

    It occurs to me that this conversation is more difficult or ‘tough’ because we are so used to the victimization of girls and women. It has been ‘easier’ to talk about. How is it easier or more difficult to carry this around as a female than a male? This question would help us to move forward as a species. Our roles are so rigid in ways, and we each become victimized in different ways.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Interesting thought. It’s odd that every single woman I have ever asked, “Have you ever been sexually abused or raped?” has answered, “Yes.” Every man I have ever asked, “Have you ever sexually abused or raped a girl?” has said, “No.” Maybe if I’d asked these same men about the opposite gender (their own) the replies might have been different. I really don’t think so, though. Rapists seldom (if ever) admit to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Of course male on male sexual abuse is common! Where do you think sexual predators come from? They’re abused boys who become abusive men.

    • Pancake Rankin

      Are abused men interesting bedmates? Tomorrow on Oprah.

      • Tina

        Pancake, You change monikers occasionally, so given the one you’ve chosen for the day, I want to be respectful. However, I do not quite understand your tone-deafness today toward the voices of those individuals who were courageous enough to call into the show, or who may have posted personal abuse stories here. I suspect that they called in USING their courage to outreach in a way that will help OTHERS. I don’t quite understand your being constantly off-key tone today, unless your moniker tells me why. Even then, if I am right about that, I wonder how appropriate you think your sarcasm is, coming as it does, with razor sharpness at anyone reading it, including, perhaps some of the individuals who called in to the show today.

        Usually, your sarcasm is brilliant, NOT because it is sarcastic, but because it is so ON the mark about the topic of discussion. That the broader discussion has even gone on and on about Scout Brown, in negative ways, surprises me. I thought that the show was presented using Brown as the catalyst only, to shed light on an issue that we MUST put our heads together to solve, or at least improve upon! I know that this means even MORE work, since we are also trying to improve upon Capitalism, joblessness, etc., etc., but really, ALL those issues and this one CAN be seen holistically. I think that addressing this particular issue either on its own, or within its broader, cultural context is important, and I don’t see why we are discussing whether or not corporate culture can turn people “punky”, or whatever some strand of the conversation went to that seemed to be about homophobia.

        I know that I enjoy your humorous sarcasm almost always, and I know that I can be ploddingly serious in my POVS, but I DO question the appropriateness of some of the tone of some Comments today. Yes, I am taking a taking a reprimanding tone myself, BECAUSE, if I were one of the people who called in who then went to these Comments, I’d feel lost, like my brave statement on air, on national air, was just being put into the “sarcastic joke machine”. Thanks for the discussion.

        • Tina

          Pancake, by the way, you do NOT have to tell me about your Moniker. Your privacy belongs to you.

          Also, sorry for the typos in my response to you, above.

          • Pancake Rankin

            There is no possibility of privacy on the internet. I have previously posted my email and you can see my building on Google Earth, maybe me getting in my car. Pancake is a family name. I have relatives who receive mail addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Pancake.

        • Ellen Dibble

          Tina, you’ve expressed some that I’ve been thinking about since this morning, as to the role of Pancake’s comments in this thread. As if “my brave statement on air, on national air, was just being put into the ‘sarcastic joke machine,” you say of a site visitor who has called in and then visited the comments, only to be confronted by some of these steeply angled perspectives, Pancake’s and some others. I’ve been thinking the role of homophobic attitudes in a person’s childhood and coming of age is another thing, and involves of lots of steeply angled perspectives, which one must surely counter with steeply angled attitudes in response. I live in a town with GLBT parades since about 1980, if I recall right. We have a GLBT beauty contest each year. This isn’t exactly a closeted matter here. But we’ve heard about other places.
          In particular, getting Pancake’s full-throated participation gives us (you and me and various other commenters) the opportunity to “put it (sarcasm?) in its place,” to listen and respond, which might just be pretty refreshing to certain people such as you describe.
          So I’m thinking “thanks for the discussion” could mean thanks Pancake for letting us into your mental gymnastics, or thanks OnPoint for — for this topic.

          • Tina

            Hi, Ellen, Generally, I hate the new (last two decades) sarcasm that is almost in the drinking water, thanks, partially, to the instruction drills on certain TV shows & stations. Just for my own sense of order, I distinguish between the terms “sarcastic” and “sardonic”. I dislike that “received” sarcasm, because I see that it is so often used to put PEOPLE down, or to “announce” the social pecking order. I also hate to see young kids “learning” to do something with such “relish” that is ultimately so negative about people, especially when that sarcasm often seems to replace what would otherwise be their OWN voice in the world.

            That said, I do enjoy really insightful sardonic writing, in part because it often attacks false IDEAS or false assumptions, or faulty INSTITUTIONS, rather than individual people. That is why I am generally in awe of Pancake’s sardonic edge: it is truly creative and is usually in perfect alignment with the topic. Today, however, I just thought Pancake’s tone was “off”, especially if I considered what it would be like to be one of the callers courageous enough to speak up on the national airwaves — probably calling to share their story in order to let others know that they are not alone. The tone that was “off” was just off enough, for my sensibilities, that I felt compelled to say something.

            Then, when the discussion veered toward the issue of homosexuality as much as it did, when the majority of homosexuals are not abusers or pedophiles, I again wanted to say something lest this discussion be branded as more prejudiced than insightful.

            Thanks! And, yes, thanks to On Point for airing a discussion on this topic!

    • Ilikered

      Rubbish. Don’t perpetuate an over-simplified myth.
      SOME abused people become abusers.
      Lots don’t.
      SOME abusers were never abused in their lives but still abuse others.

      • Pancake

        A high percentage of arrested molesters claim to have been victims. If we take Senator Brown’s word as gospel, can we not take the word of the imprisoned wretch who has nothing left to lose? You are correct that most people entertain many unlawful impulses in the course of a day that they restrain themselves from acting out. Your line of thinking invites the examination of neurological abnormality and exposure to violent of extreme sexual media (our culture is saturated with it.) We must examine what are the most frequent paths to becoming a paedophile who molests. Good luck as you wrestle with your daemons.

        • David Northam

          Violence is inflicting your will on another human being. A socially acceptance form of violence is often called parenting. We have a social path to dominate one another. to hold others in high esteem. We can admire their accomplishments. We can only admire the person if we know them. Regardless of who the Senator was, and who the Senator allow us to believe he was, he has given us an opportunity to understand him better, and hopefully to want to understand ourselves or our family member better as a result.

    • David Northam

      FACT most abused men suffer in silence. Most abused men are conscienteous citizens questioning every action they make as to appropriateness. Often apologizing for you butting into line. Apolgizing for occupying the space we exist in. Cause we know we are unloved and unloveable. And you all definitely have more right to be in front of us in line. The only reason disparity exists in the social conscious is in the admitting mothers and women do this. Admitting women are predators as well. Society, is not social aware. Female abuse of young men is not reported because of the social shame and the general social belief of women as mother. Because of these social beliefs, boys and men have been unable to acquire the social safety and acceptance to talk openly about their exposure to violence regardless of gender. Violence has no gender. Social prejudice of gender related violence has to be identified as such prejudice. Surely we understand the trama of physical violence and that men are much more able to carry that out. But we are now seeing the effects of emotional and mental abuse. And certainly we all have the social belief that women hold the capabilties in these two fields much more rigidly than men. We should all be walking to the greater good. And not haltingly.

  • Acccounts

    Thanks for speaking out Senator! On my 12th birthday, I was forcible raped and tortured by an older cousin during a camping trip. I was raped on other accosions as well, and witness the assault of another boy. I could never really talk about it then. All I knew was that girls were raped. This stuff didn’t happen to boys. I didn’t even really understand that it was rape- just that it was shameful, and I didn’t want anyone at school to know about it.
    I so wish that I had someone like Scott speaking about it when I was young.
    1 in 6- I don’t buy it. I bet the numbers are even higher given how under-reported it all is.

    • Golden Kathy

      In my personal experience the incidents of sexual abuse are much ,much higher for both boys and girls.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        The gray area remains rather large.

    • David Northam

      thank you for not being silent

  • TerryTreeTree

    Have there been any comparative studies of molesting in societies that allow open adult homosexuality? Could that openess decrease molesting?

    • Heidi Nepveu

      Sexual violence is NOT about sexuality, it’s about violence and abuse of power. Sex is the weapon used by perpetrators, but the act is one of violence.

    • David Northam

      All repressed behavour manifests it’s self in shadow. I’d bet to postulate yes. In a secular society would a secular canidate come forward like this. Your witnessing true human courage. Real character.

    • Carlos

      Try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etoro_tribe Are there any anthropologists out there?

  • Steve

    1in6.org is an excellent resource for those that are looking. Both for men and those that care about them.

  • Benhar

    What I do not understand is how Sen. Brown could now walk away from identifying a dangerous abuser who is still out there.

    He could protect other vulnerable children, but chooses not to……

    • David Northam

      Takes time to confront an abuser. Every person has the right to their own personal rate of recovery. The individual is in charge of their own recovery. Gentle progress. One step forward two back, two forward one back. Drives traditional therapists nuts. REcovery is non linear. Not black and white issue. Individual and personal. Present Quality of life is paramount issue. REally the courts don’t care. No punishment could ever satisfy the thirst of suffering.

    • Golden Kathy

      He’s still traumatized and just beginnig to come to grips with the truth. Given a little more time, I think he will identify and prosecute the perp.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        If he didn’t fib or imagine. God, I hope he will not implicate an innocent person!

  • Joe

    Both with male and female abused, are the abusers predominantly men? Does the percent of male vs female abusers vary with gender of the abused? Is this question relevant in any way?

  • Hildy

    My admiration for Scott Brown has increased tenfold…..Thank you for having the tremendous courage to come forward. I am a fifty five year old women who was the family scapegoat and abused physically and emotionally, by my father from a young age.My mother did next to nothing. It was only after the birth of my daughter that I started having flashback of molestation by my father as well. It is a terrible sentence and way to live your life as it is part of your being. It is so isolating to live with this and it makes you feel different from others. My father passed a few years ago – I am estranged from my mother and siblings. I am still seen as “the problem” and not believed. I wouldn’t wish this life on anybody and it’s a daily struggle to make sense of how this happened to me. Thank again for reaching out to help boys/men and all survivors. You’re an amazing man and have done a very good thing…………

    • Tina

      Hi, Hildy,

      Please consider the book that I mentioned above, The Betrayal Bond by Patrick Carnes. Also, A Knight in Shining Armor (another myth, often covering up an Abuser’s True Identity!) by Horstein, and Emotional Vampires.

      I know a number of adults who had one parent or another who ENABLED the abusive parent.

      NOT all counselors or therapists (even those who deal with special issues) give the client the correct “language” with which to understand their own history and/or situation. BUT, certain books make issues SO clear while ALSO giving the individual great WORDS to have at-the-ready when situations or memories come up. These are excellent books. My context for knowing them is entirely different, but I CAN say that they are excellent. You will feel like YOU are making movement forward, too, because finding and using the right books makes you feel like your own best therapist — makes you feel like you have agency, like you are proactive — and that is a big part of what you WANT to recover a sense of!!!

    • Tina

      Hi, Hildy,

      Please consider the book that I mentioned above, The Betrayal Bond by Patrick Carnes. Also, A Knight in Shining Armor (another myth, often covering up an Abuser’s True Identity!) by Horstein, and Emotional Vampires.

      I know a number of adults who had one parent or another who ENABLED the abusive parent.

      NOT all counselors or therapists (even those who deal with special issues) give the client the correct “language” with which to understand their own history and/or situation. BUT, certain books make issues SO clear while ALSO giving the individual great WORDS to have at-the-ready when situations or memories come up. These are excellent books. My context for knowing them is entirely different, but I CAN say that they are excellent. You will feel like YOU are making movement forward, too, because finding and using the right books makes you feel like your own best therapist — makes you feel like you have agency, like you are proactive — and that is a big part of what you WANT to recover a sense of!!!

  • Lthurston

    I was also at Camp Good News in the early 70′s. My first year at the age of six, there was a camp counselor who touched me (once and thankfully, someone interrupted his advances) and at least one other female camper in inappropriate ways. We reported it to our counselor who reported it to the camp administration. The abuser remained at the camp. I know this because I saw him at various times during my 6-week stay. I was careful never to be alone, especially in the bathroom where he always seemed to be. When he did see me, he would stare at me in a very threatening way. Needless to say, it was not an enjoyable time for me at summer camp.

    I was a confused female camper who didn’t understand what this counselor was doing but knew to be afraid. I also felt unsafe because he was allowed to remain at the camp. I only hope things are different for young children these days. L

  • Jim Austin

    As a Survivor myself, I applaud NPR, Howard, Mikele and all others related to this presentation for speaking out, and letting other men know that they are not alone. Having kept my secret for 38 years, I know personally what it feels like, to feel that you are different, and that you are alone with the shame and guilt. The shame and the guilt belongs to the abusers for what they did. Not to those who had to endure despicable acts being committed against them.

    Let’s be clear. These acts don’t just happen. Rain happens. Snow happens. Sexual abuse is committed by adults against children who are not in a position to understand or consent. And it is committed against boys as well as girls. Let’s keep talking about it and hopefully it will save someone’s life.

  • Pancake

    Hildy may be totally correct. It may take one to identify another. Do victims always recall abuse at the most advantageous time, or do they usually recall it at the worst possible time for them and their life course. Is abuse a stepping stone or a stumbling block? Brown in his interviews suggests it plays both roles for him. This is puzzling to me. May you overcome and transcend your pain, Hildy.

  • Flapjack

    Pancake you ought to have stopped with all human beings are sexually vulnerable – all the other nonsense is just that. Whether Scott Brown is male or female, a recent victim or a past victim, or gee whiz Pancake Republican or Democrat is irrelevant…no?

    • Pancake Rankin

      I love working as a police decoy to lure aggressors to their doom. Isn’t it funny how compulsion is involuntary and the missile locks on a certain target. With all the controversy hovering around the pentagon’s new Hummingbird drone has picked me out as the prime target for it’s drugged or poisonous dart. Flapjack must have been forked by a Hungry Man.

  • Michael_123run

    How can you tell your kids about this issue? How do you deal with this issue when your kid has been abused?

    • David Northam

      By being present. By being real. By being vunerable. By thinking, feeling, intuiating. By remembering who you are. A kind human. A kind loving human. And having courage. And knowing you are not alone. Others care.

    • Tina

      Something to also know while you ask those questions, there is some evidence that girls with Asperger’s might be particularly prone to being victims of sexual abuse. If you suspect that there is an underlying A.S., make sure to try to find a therapist/ psychiatrist who can help from that context. This is NOT to blame the child with or without A.S. It also might not be easy to find that therapist. I’ve heard that Yale University has the best specialists for Asperger’s. I don’t know if they have a sub-specialty re: A.S. and abuse.

      Also, some kids will have an “allegiance” to their abuser. In that case, the police will want to make sure that you do not force a revelation from the child, i.e., you cannot “pry out” the revelation, because that info would not be admissible in court. Court sounds like a horrid place for me to race you to, but, if something happens, the law and the courts will come up. I made other comments about legal issues above. I know that you are speaking about the emotional issues and perceptive understanding by the child of what could happen/may be happening.

  • Sara

    Circumcision of infant boys is a form of sexual abuse. One of their earliest experiences is of violence and painful surgery on their genitals. I wonder if there are any data on circumcision and abusive behavior later in life?

    • Pancake

      Wow, I like this, Sara, because it explores the issues of trauma and memory, even body memory. In vitro surgery to correct defects would also be traumatic. (They always say the birth spank is traumatizing in comedy skits.)They use foreskins to grow graft tissue so there is an economic and institutional inertia involved in circumcision. Then you get to the Old Testament covenant of sacrificing the foreskin to God and the medical practice it has spawned. There are the minor aesthetic and hygiene issues and adult circumcisions due to infections and cancerous growths. In all this we must weigh benefits. If a dentist hurts you to save your teeth is that bad? We have bodies that are riddled with pain throughout life. Some people are more sensitive and more empathetic. To have a rewarding life you must learn to deal with pain.

      Sometimes treatment hurts more if a witness is in the room. Sometimes it helps to have a loved one near. The effect of sexual abuse often depends on the reaction of those the victim tells.

      I have plenty more to say, Sara. I’m sure you’re still considering too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Maybe a bit off-topic, but I’m inclined to agree with Sara’s perception. When I was expecting a baby boy I asked several experienced parents about circumcision before I made a decisive choice for my own child.
      One mother said she had her son done because she wanted him to look like his father. Another said she had her son done because it’s easier to insert a catheter that way. She’s a nurse. A Zen monk, whose wife had just had a baby girl, expressed relief that he did not have to make the painful choice, himself, especially since his longtime Jewish heritage demanded the sacrifice of a male child’s foreskin. He said he’d probably have done it to satisfy his & his wife’s families even though it would violate his precepts as a Buddhist. Another woman said that she just didn’t even bother to think about it. The infant’s doctor made the choice for both her & her son.
      None of these anecdotes on the “pro” side seemed persuasive enough for me to authorize a significant & painful trauma to my newborn child. I do, however, still neuter my pets. Whole different reasons there.

      • SilvySaraman

        Well, I can think of no better introduction to life on Earth as a Jew; it’s discriminatory that we haven’t found a way to warn our women so.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          Now Silvy, can you sing us a trio by yourself. Tom can provide the three mikes. Think about this: Preconceptually, Jewish women saw what was coming and decided to delay the suffering. They also thought the other equipment looked silly, but fun.

    • David Northam

      How many penis circumcision have you suffered? Please this issue does not need to be diluted. Physical, mental, emotional abuse are the causes of generational abuse. Our standards of our abuse whether in the school system, the courts, our workplaces, our homes will change as we all become aware of sublities of all of our need to dominate the people in our lives. Where does the idea of one man dominating another come from. I postulate… Obey your mother and father? Where does one man ever have the right to inflict their will on another human? Righteously? Thru social punishment. How’s that working? Combine? Wake up?

    • Tina

      NO! circumcision does NOT lead to abusive behavior later in life!

  • Ellen Dibble

    I do wonder if “saying no” is a psychological option if the only attention a young person has access to is through putting his (or her) sexuality “into the bargain.” It is the only “power” or bargaining chip, it may seem to the child, that can be used. I can appreciate that a child needs attention and may be very glad to have that option.

    • David Northam

      Society has to protect. All of society needs to protect a child’s validity of expressing it self. Children who feel they are heard know they are loved and are not silent. They will speak their truth. I hope we are listening.

    • Golden Kathy

      As a child the idea of using sexuality as any kind of chip isn’t accurate. A child’s whole sense of self as a seperate being with any control whatsoever is completely taken from them. Any kind of sexual activity forced on a child is not just a physical act. The child’s body, mind, soul, spirit, sense of safety and trust are completely ripped away. The real purpose a predator has is to completely and irrevocably eradicate the humaness and innocence of the child. Most children end up being walking zombies for decades if they don’t heal.Some/many never heal.Some like me , do heal. Healing is possible, but it requires tremendous will to survive and then to thrive.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I hear you, but I think we heard a lot today about children needing attention and getting ensnared by this need. That’s what I was trying to say, rather than saying parents are to blame for not providing that attention themselves. This is a subject where the desire to affix blame and then back away makes it very difficult to get at the multiple and complex issues involved. I can imagine (more than imagine) a young person being able to extricate themselves. Not to blame those who do not. But there it is. In some instances children can and do create the necessary barriers. Perhaps if one in four females are victimized, at least half of the others extricated themselves. You might say the necessity of doing so is abusive in itself. Okay. Another point is that puberty, due to the estrogen-simulating compounds in lots of the chemicals in our environment (as I read), comes a lot earlier to girls. I don’t think this applies to boys. But anyway, younger people coming of age does create a shift of perspective. Where I live, last week there was a trial where a 15-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl regularly had sex. The mother provided her daughter with protection. The boy took some videos. Both are underage, but neither was prosecuted for having sex with the other. However, an older person had put a videocamera in the heating vents overhead, and the whole jury and others in the courtroom were treated to, as I am told, HOURS of rather pornographic videos. Apparently there is nothing that those two did not do, and do with great satisfaction to both. What I hear makes me think the porn industry would like to get ahold of that video. However, it is not legal to photograph someone nude without their permission. I’m just saying, it seems that 13-year-old had her sphere of influence, and nobody challenged that. They challenged the videotaping by the outsider.

        • Grady Lee Howard

          If a tree falls in the woods… I know what you mean, and I agree.

        • Golden Kathy

          consentual sex between 2 teenagers is a very, very different story than sexual child abuse.Ellen Dibble you really have no idea what you are talking about.Please stop conjecturing and hypothesizing.You are very insulting to those of us survivors who are trying to enlighten you.
          You really DO NOT understand the dynamics of predatory sexual exploitation of children.You probably never will. Unfortunately it is so called “well meaning” ignorant people like you who keep diverting attention away from the REAL issues of child endangerment and all its hideous forms and consequences. Please be quiet and let the real victims/ survivors speak. You might learn something valuable that you can then use to protect some child in your own life.

          • Ellen Dibble

            I’m listening.

  • jenney

    It’s sad to hear/see all of the jaded, suspicious , negative comments concerning Scott Brown’s motivations. Unless you have been there, you have no idea how brave it is to come forward with this. Yes, he may gain on many levels (my admiration for one) but he will also have to live with the world knowing this about him as well as enduring a wave of additional abuse from the questioning of the skeptics……

    • Grady Lee Howard

      He had the choice to see a therapist rather than publishing a book, Jenney.

      • jenney

        Seeing the right therapist, while helpful, is again an isolating experience. It’s sharing a secret with someone in confidence. It’s difficult to get a gauge on the fact that this is something that did not just happen to you. That’s where a public figure coming forward (especially Scott Brown – honestly, he’s sort of the last guy that I would guess would step forward on this issue) is tremendously hopeful and healing for others with similar experiences. With all due respect, I think that unless you’ve been there, it seems difficult for folks to wrap their brain around how important this is for survivors or current victims to hear……..it’s just further education really that can only help others. Yes, he will get money for the book (which he appears very capable of making anyhow) but what he is putting forth – there’s many that wouldn’t even for the money……listen to all these calls-I’m not sure how folks can’t be moved by this. It’s heartbreaking.

      • David Northam

        Really its too bad that the one person who has the resorces and ability to talk openly about personal sensitive issues is someone famous is attack . Too bad that you are all so stupid that you would only buy the book of someone who is seeking fame or power thru politics. You all idolise people of low character. Actors. Sports figures, rich people. The idea of reading a book about a common person. Suffering true suffering. Poverty, addiction, violence, trama. Bottom line is the book comes after the therapist. Living life as an open book is my goal in life. So you and your cruelity enjoy your closedness in protecting society from growing more free and more just.

    • Golden Kathy

      I would also like to comment here that Scott’s unwillingness to confront and hold the perpetrator accountable could very well be because HE IS STILL TRAUMATIZED BY WHAT HAPPENED. His terse replies to Leslie Stahl can also be symptomatic of his own fears still functioning in his reaction responses. He’s just not recovered enough yet. He definitely should be in therapy to help him work out issues he hasn’t been able to heal on his own. I won’t vote for him but I commend his courage. This book and the publicity are probably just the BEGINNING of his healing journey.

      • Tina

        It’s possible that Scott Brown knows something about his perpetrator that causes him to renig on bringing the individual to trial — maybe he knows that the person has Alzheimer’s or a stroke, or something. As I said, I didn’t see the 60 minutes show; did Scott Brown say WHY he was not pursuing the perp? Actually, when the child is a minor, it is the STATE that brings the alleged criminal to court. If his parents had brought the suit when he was a child, Brown would only have gone after the person in a Civil Suit for money. Now, if Massachusetts has a long statute of limitations, maybe they also have a clause about what happens when the accusation is made when the former child is an adult — by “what happens”, I mean, maybe the legislation tells WHO brings the accused to criminal court — the State or the victim. (I guess I should say “the Commonwealth” when I refer to Massachusetts).

        • Ellen Dibble

          I can recall a case in superior court in Massachusetts where quite a few young men had been sexually abused, such that by the time of the “live” case those young men were grown. If I recall correctly, the issue was what to do with the perpetrator after he had served his incarceration, whether he could be safely in the community with certain conditions. I am thinking there were over a dozen individuals who could have testified to experiencing the years of grooming and abuse, and I don’t recall that they all did, or maybe not even one did. Perhaps they refused, or tried to refuse, although I suppose the DA could have subpoenaed them in, but as I recall there were many days of psychologists and psychiatrists testifying about risk of reoffense. To some extent, previous offense was a matter of record. Every time there is an appeal (which follows convictions that are at the edge of settled law), there are opportunities for developing case law to reshape the way things play out.
          If a convicted abuser has a lot of money, do you suppose he or she can “settle” things with complaining witnesses out of court?
          If Scott Brown’s offender continued to be a predator, then it would be in the Commonwealth’s interest to have him prosecuted, I am supposing, and there might be some presently under-age victim who could be found, even if a statute of limitations had run out as to the senator, although I suppose he could be subpoenaed in such a matter now that everybody knows about it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          My dad was a police officer in Massachusetts when I was violently raped just after my 15th birthday. My mother delivered me to the rapist.
          She picked me up, too, when he was done with the deed. My father did not physically rape me. His agent did. He already knew the guy & I heard he let him go on other rape charges, later.

          When I told- asked, really, for some medical help- both parents held me in handcuffs with a gun to my head. Only the intervention of my crippled grandmother, hearing the wild yelling of my parents -not me- saved me from being shot in the head that night after asking them for help. By my FATHER with MOTHER’S full endorsement, they really, as a mutually consensual couple, wanted to KILL me. Dad died late in December 2010. One cannot hate the dead. We did get the chance (because my son asked) to look each other in the eye & say “I love you”, mutually and voluntarily when he was still lucid. We all meant it.

          Get this point, please, if no other: The law is the law. No man, in Massachusetts, is entitled to rape anybody, nor has he ever been so entitled. Sheesh, if we had elected Martha Coakley all of this “rape me-pay me” stuff would have been a flash-in-the-pan quick-money scheme. Typical Republican politics.

          We might actually have had a smart, educated Senator sitting in Tip’s & Teddy’s old chair. Nope, now we’ve got the Good News dope. Times like this I miss ol’ Ted, real bad.

  • TerryTreeTree

    Molesting is molesting. Molesting, rape is a crime, should always be a crime with some of the harshest punishments, because molesting/rape creates a disability, as much as violently removing an arm, leg, or an eye. Amazing how many religious organizations condone molesting and rape by hiding it, and keeping the molesters.

  • Heidi Nepveu

    Tom, your questions about how these boys came to be abused sounds like you’re blaming the victim because you’re saying things like “what makes these boys potential targets.” Please be aware that the perpetrator is the one responsible for this violence and that the child is the victim/survivor. Please don’t blame the victim.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      What makes these boys targets is their youth and innocence. And you’re right, Heidi, all the blame lies squarely with the perpetrator. The boys are seen as easy “prey”, just like girls & women. You almost never hear stories about grown men raping other grown men (outside of prison) so, it’s got nothing to do with sex. It’s a power/domination thing that’s stuck in the perp’s own head. They are beyond sick, in my opinion. Like mad-dogs. I do not believe they can be “cured”, either.

    • David Northam

      What made them victims was their need for affection, attention,nuturing and care we not being met by the primary care givers. Period. In other words the victims were human. They had needs which were not met by primary care givers. Our definitions of child care need to be expanded past physical needs.

      • Tina

        David, I don’t think your definition is broad enough. Some kids are getting the attention & affection they want from others, but they are victimized anyway. Sometimes they are even forced by the perp. to think that the only way that they can “protect” those from whom they receive affection is to let the abuse continue. I don’t think your definition is wrong, it is just that there are other reasons as well.

        • David Northam

          Tina. I am sorry to have diminished anyones unique experience of a perps dubious methods. My humblest apologies. Methods of facilating safe disclosure and discussion of our collective abiltiy to facilaite disclosure, discovery and recovery in a safe atmosphere free from future abuse or revictimization thru disclosure, regardless of its level, form or source.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Jenney, agree about Scott Brown’s motivations. I did not vote for him, and don’t see him as having a whole lot of promise for my point of view in the Senate. But others can do that. In this case, there are not a lot of people clamoring to put this issue out there. Cheers to him for this.

    • jenney

      Thanks, my thoughts are regarding Scott Brown’s actions as a human being, not political. I realy don’t care if he makes money on a book…..what he has done is open a big, ugly door that needs to be open.

  • Cory

    I had some brushes with innappropriate sexual contact when I was a child, and my assumption is that most children experience this at some point to varying degrees. Mine were minor enough that I haven’t suffered any lasting damage. I feel bad for those who had more or worse exposure than I. I think a small part of the problem is our inability to pass sexual understanding to our progeny. Too many dirty magazines under the mattress, hearsay from peers, and clumsy groping in the dark. Too many of us are left in the wilderness and are expected to develop our sexuality on our own.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Cory, “on our own,” yes, from parents who either can’t agree on a way to “pass sexual understanding to our progeny,” or really don’t have an understanding, just a deep revulsion that passes wordlessly if anything “goes on” that smacks of the taboo. I recall reading endless novels that made reference to things going on behind closed doors that somehow changed people’s lives, and I had no clue. No clue whatsoever. There was no porn or anything like that. But ALL associations with mature interpersonal contact of the sexual sort were tainted with shame; you could sense it. Movies with kissing (Gone with the Wind) seemed to be about another species of being.

  • Jane

    Your next show should be about the perps. What makes so many, many boys and men sexual predators? (Girls and women don’t do this, or in very, very low numbers.) Who are they and how can we prevent their development into monsters? Today’s show is about how to heal. Let’s go upstream.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Now THAT would be really controversial, Jane! Exploring the roots of this type of violence is the only sexual taboo left in this culture.

    • David Northam

      Your mis informed. Mother is a social stigma. Many many mothers are simply not. Most men who were seduced as young boys, do not report the abuse. Many men in the coming of age will look back and only see the older women as someone who introduced them to sex. Many have gone on to brag to their friends about having sex at an earliy with an older women. Boys from12-16 being introduced to sex by women anywhere from 4 years older should be view as abusive. Certainly any women 4years older than a boy of 15 or 16 would be much more mature and what would the women want other than sexual satifactation. There is no other word than preditor. The men see this right of passage as normal. They do not report it. We will not get accurate statisics for a great many years as society’s awareness is raise. Society problem is in the addiction to power. ADdiction to dominating one another. Comes from the introduction of irrational thought to mankind by the biggest power god. With out the present social beliefs of god men would have the potential to equals and free. Of course we should remember Mark Twian. It is better to remain silent than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Women are addicted to power. WOmen abuse men. Women abuse young men. Love has nothing to do with cruel behavour. Love is kind. Your comments diminish the facts of my life and others. That hurts. Every human suffers trama. Every human processes it differently. Recoverying from trama for humans would awaken a huge kind segment of the kind population who suffers in silence. Please aid human recovery in speaking your truths. Our truths will stop the silence of all our individual suffering and the kinds voice will improve.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        Go Cougars?

        • Tina

          NOT funny!

    • Tina

      But, Jane, today was one of those days when we DID hear that sometimes women are the perpetrators. When we hear things like that, we cannot minimize it, I believe.

  • femalesurvivor

    If the abuser is a family member, especially a minor, parents do not do any good by keeping the abuse secret from the rest of the family. My brother and I were abused by a male cousin, and even though my parents knew and still know, they have never made it known to other family members for fear of destroying the family. But, the minute the abuse started, the family was destroyed. It’s just that my brother and I continue to be the silent victims. I’m still too afraid to say anything, and I know I should because my cousin has children.

    • David Northam

      silence is the enemy. Silence NO MORE. your not alone. Their shame not ours.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPDL54L6R3OXITBVWPBZC3TUKI nunya967

        Not really. If something like this happened to me, and I was an emotional teenager when others found out, you’d bet I’d kill myself over it. Maybe even now. I couldnt take it.

        If you arent the victim, you keep your mouth shut except in protecting others by the perpetrator. The victim should have SOME “rights” left over after such an horrible exploitation and shouldnt be forced into exposure. Theres a reason they are silent, it hurts like HELL. Dont speak for them, just give them the tools so THEY can when they want to.

        • Zeno

          Absolutely correct. You have a total awareness of the victim. Its not societies rape, its his rape. To handle it in any other way than that desired by the victim is selfish and just raping the victim again by taking their power away once again.

          The very worst thing the victim can have is an exposure moment, or telling his wife, ect. It only comes back at you again and again, over and over again as the story is passed from wife, and then to her friends, and then to his friends….and then you are just getting your mail and the neighbor kid bicycles by with some nasty comment. This is NOT therapy…it gang rape.

    • Golden Kathy

      You can make inquiries to mental health therapist etc. as to how to go about anonymously reporting the perpetrator. It is NOT YOUR FAULT what he did to you and your brother.But IF YOU ARE AN ADULT it is your responsibility to do what you are able to protect his children and/or any future victims. I speak as a female survivor.

    • Tina

      Femalesurvivor, Try to find a Sexual Abuse Hotline near you. They can direct you to a Sexual Abuse Support group that will help you figure out how to even BEGIN to figure out what you want to do next. Someone along that string of contacts will be able to tell you where your brother can go for help, as well. These organizations are usually staffed by wonderfully knowledgeable,helpful people, and everything is confidential. You just need to know how to go about figuring out how to start on your next part of your journey (sorry about that cliched term, “journey”).

  • RickMartelChelmsfordMA

    Every survivor has one obligation, and one obligation only: to heal. Being compelled to face an abuser in court is not an obligation or a duty. The person who perpetrated the abuse is the one to blame here, not the people who have already been victimized.

    • robertw

      you suggest one seek therapy for healing?

  • Ed

    I came to my “epihany” – understanding that I had been a “victim”: of rape or of molestation – call it what you may – in 1987. It took me several years before I confronted the man who “did” me, but I did. At that time I realized that the choices for me were twofold: I could have become a victimizer myself and “acted out” or that I could have tried to avoid conflict and avoiod getting hurt any more. I opted for the latter. On the day I confronted my abuser I realized why I had taken the path I did: I was going to be damned if I was going to be that same kind of heel. It is important for us survivors to thrive – to live with our scars – and show others that they can to, even if they are the ones doing the transefering. There is only one way to stop this and that’s by being honest and open. The law is of limited utility and misses the victim altogether. Any statutory changes can’t work until the victims say “enough is enough and only we can stop it.”

  • ToSay42

    I suspect that my boyfriend may have been abused.
    He seems affected in many ways the show has mentioned,
    and I have seen his face twist when discussing a family member.
    How do i help him?

    • David Northam

      You just did. you weren’t silent

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPDL54L6R3OXITBVWPBZC3TUKI nunya967

      I’d say tell him how much you care about him and no matter how terrible he thinks it is, you’re “there for him” (whatever that means) and you’ll never tell anyone about it, ever. Make sure he believes you, then get him professional help. Alone. He and the doc may invite you after a year or two. This will take 10+ years to somewhat clear up, depending. Are you ready for it? You might hurt him if you arent. Maybe see a counselor or therapist yourself, to see if you can handle it.

  • Jordan Bentley

    Thank you for airing this show. Having a safe environment to discuss these issues and speak out against sexual abuse is a wonderful thing that is not created enough. And thank you to all of the people who called in and shared their story. It was brave and I am happy to have heard your stories because it helps me deal with my own abuse.

  • Zeno

    It is interesting to see all of the authoritarian female comments on the subject. The weight of the conversation in the age of Oprah is how does this effect women. Expected I suppose.

    Men readily admit that they know nothing of women, but women must give this same ground of not understanding men if a conversation is to begin.

    The social environment is why men don’t discuss or reveal abuse. No silent compassionate listeners, just giddy extraction of detail and gossip to follow. Its like being raped all over again.

    • bill

      how would you suggest that this be handled then? or should it not be?

      • Zeno

        IMHO To each in his own time and on his own terms. Not forced. Or even yes “Not at all” for some. Let them decide how and how much, or if at all. There is no cure for the past, one either accepts it or denies it. Neither has greater validity to the victim…but for some reason revelation seems to be weighted higher by women. But that is a female perspective.

    • Pancake

      This is your most sexist comment by far so far, Zeno. Maybe certain men should admit they don’t know much about themselves when it comes to particular issues. You are an admirable independent thinker most of the time, but we all need to grow, including myself. On Point is like Miracle Gro, synthetic but effective in the short run, poisonous when used alone.

      • Zeno

        Not sexist…realist. You will have noticed that I have NEVER commented that I “understand” any issues of sex, abortion, birth or anything that involves the female body.

        …and you have to admit those daytime talk shows are vehemently anti male.

        • Pancake

          That’s OK. I didn’t know you were never born and never had sex with women. Maybe you don’t have a body as we mortals understand it. Maybe you could ask WATSON for a date. Goddog Man, get in touch with your inner mammal.

          • Zeno

            Apples and oranges. You cannot frame and understand a a male issue based on a female perspective, any more than I would speak in authority of the pain of childbirth.

            There are fathers in the world, and yes they share the responsibility of protecting their children with equal fervor.

            The program was not about women being raped. Although they have all of my compassion and attempted empathy…I am never going to understand or be able to speak authoritatively from their perspective. Its reality… Men and Women are VERY different, and we need accept that simple observable fact when we comment on the others experience. It is NOT shared…it is very different.

          • Pancake

            If you don’t know women you can’t know what women know or don’t know. Maybe women do understand much more about men than men understand about women. Women survive by empathy. Dogs are not people, but no one can say for sure that dogs don’t have more information about people than people have about dogs. The relative power of the two categories becomes crucial. You may recognize and validate human knowledge, while denigrating dog knowledge. The apple (man) may think what he knows much more significant than anything a pear (woman) could know. Maybe this explains why your comments might seem sexist to women. There are women who know more about male sexuality than most men. Men who claim this about women are usually liars. Every human personality includes aspects of both genders. (see Jung) It is not hard for a woman to imagine herself in a male role. There are prohibitions against the man imagining himself a woman. (You’re probably not a crossdresser, are you?)

          • Zeno

            Now, now…who is really being sexist here? What you are writing is substantiating my very point. With all due respect…Why would any man want to confess sexual abuse into a psychology such as this? What good could come of it?

          • Ellen Dibble

            Let me refer you to the book of Genesis, to Adam and Eve. The idea is that the two sexes complete each other. Each is the missing “rib” of the other, to extrapolate a bit. We understand quite well the piece that is missing, maybe not from birth, but certainly we recognize it when we see it. What man isn’t inquiring of his mate, WHAT MAKES YOU TICK (Freud, what does woman want); or what woman doesn’t ask the same. I mean, besides the obvious.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPDL54L6R3OXITBVWPBZC3TUKI nunya967

            @Pancake. Jeez…settle down. Whats with you and the weird insults?

          • Yar

            Gender perspective, is part of who we are, even gay, lesbian or trans-gender individuals, don’t have complete insight into the other gender.
            Physical sexual response is small part of gender identity and does not determine sexual orientation.

            Try to imagine God outside the perspective of gender. I can try, but my maleness, effects my perspective. I have had the gift of being a primary caregiver of my children, and being influenced by strong women. I still can’t see the world from a feminine perspective. I have empathy but not complete understanding.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Wow, sorry to touch that nerve, Zeno. See, women are the mothers of these young boys. We are responsible for what happens to them during their formative years. The “blame” often sits on Moms just as heavily as it does on their children/victims. That’s how it becomes a “woman’s issue”, FYI. Really, it’s an equal-opportunity human issue, overall.

      • Zeno

        The subject has nothing to do with motherhood, or giving birth to young boys. You see once again I don’t get how that is directly connected to male sexual abuse. The topic at hand.

        I really don’t…I see it as a program concerning men and the issue of sexual abuse of men. IMO The program is not about mothers feeling empathy or being protective of their children. Is it? Is it really all about women and how they feel?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          No, it’s not “all about women” when a mother instinctively protects and defends her children from predators. It also has nothing to do with how “women feel” about anything. We are programmed by nature to look out for our young, whether we “feel” it or not.

          The law must also be considered here: Take a minor child who has been sexually abused. The parents are liable to be charged with criminal neglect, at the very least, if they are thought to have knowingly placed their kids in harms way, thus further fragmenting the family and traumatizing the kids.

          Mothers are often victims of child-sex-abuse, too, and we are also intimidated by a chilling code of silence. Especially when the culprit is a man who has been involved in her life somehow (stepfather, boyfriend, father, brother, etc).

          Women are frequently left holding the whole bag of responsibility for our injured kids while we also have to try to clean up the impossibly ugly mess AFTER our kids get hurt (take them to years of therapy appointments, etc., which is quite costly) in an attempt to make life “normal” & “safe” for them again.

          There is a place for safe, single-gender, closed discussions about male on male sex abuse. Today’s forum is not it.

          • Zeno

            yeah, I don’t get this either. The program is called “On Point”. The subject is “Senator Scott Brown And Male Sexual Abuse”, not “Mothers are victims of child sex-abuse too”.

            I guess we have to agree to disagree. I don’t think the topic is about Mothers in distress, or Mothers being raped, or women being raped. I don’t think its about Mothers or women at all.

            I have made no claim to On Point being “…safe, single-gender, closed discussions about male on male sex abuse”. Did I?

            Let’s start here…I have a question is there ANYTHING that a man can claim in a rape as belonging solely to his experience? You are claiming duel ownership.

            It is interesting that I cannot make this clear. If a man is raped its HIS pain, it HIS rape, its HIS assault. Its not an assault on mothers or motherhood, women, or wives.

            BTW and no offense intended, but the conversation we are having and why you don’t understand it…is EXACTLY why men do not talk about abuse.

            Now I want you to think of a women being raped and a man stating that: Hey, men are raped too! Would you think of that as a compassionate statement?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            First, yes, I honor the statement.

            Second: “I have a question is there ANYTHING that a man can claim in a rape as belonging solely to his experience? You are claiming duel ownership.”
            Answer: Yes. I am claiming mothership, not ownership.Humanship. When our children are sexually abused and exploited it offends our natural & mutually respected moral boundaries. A question to you: Do you feel that sex and gender differentiation is a political deal-breaker, in any context?

            Zeno, you and i can agree to disagree, peacefully. That’s what I like most about your comments on this subject.

            Like an ordinary mother, though, I don’t back down. Proud to stand next to you, anytime, on issues that concern the whole of society. I still believe that male on male sex abuse has a profound effect on the whole world- mothers included- because you MEN are all some mother’s sons. Get over it! Get better soon.

          • Zeno

            “Do you feel that sex and gender differentiation is a political deal-breaker, in any context?”

            If I understand what you are asking then …I short yes, and in some conditions certainly. Here is why I think that is true. We are our personal history. IMO certain things cannot and should never be shared with anyone. Too reveal too much is to dilute yourself into the banal.

            The more you reveal of yourself the more power you give to others. Observably, I think for women this is seen as the strengthening of their shared social group, in men it is a weakness unless there is a shared history and experience. No woman will meet those conditions, or even come close to a male friend or stranger. The groundwork is already laid down by society and he understands this and does not fundamentally disagree with it.

            I could try to explain how testosterone effects the male brain, but you would never really understand it. There is really no point in even trying, and the reverse is true as well. This is not a weakness in the differences we have by being male or female, but should be considered strengths.

            There is nothing perverse or corrupting about people being what they are and what they want to be, and not what society wants them to be.

            I will never lay claim to your pain or experience. To me, primarily you are an individual, not a part of a group or society. I have trained myself as a person and as an engineer to learn and evaluate as best I can everything in this way.

            I read your comment below about your experience, and we share commonality in that, but I will not discuss it with my friends and I will not anonymously relate it here. I have dealt with the situation on my own terms and most of my friends are aware that my childhood was unpleasant and leave it at that. I don’t want to be reminded by, or more importantly judged by my past. I want to be judged by who I have become without the bias of past history.

            I guess this is a short synopsis of how you and I with similar pasts have found mostly different ways of evolving…based on our gender perhaps? I would bet on it.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPDL54L6R3OXITBVWPBZC3TUKI nunya967

            Hm, never thought of it that way. Then again, male victims of rape have never been exploited for “men’s rights” like the so-called “feminist” movement, who care only about what they define as “feminism” and not about women. Great point.

      • Golden Kathy

        In addition, I’d like to say that in my personal experience as a heterosexual woman , more than one man I loved had been a victim of sexual abuse as a child. Quite often the ONLY person a man will tell his story to is the woman he knows loves him and wants to help him open up to allow real healing to take place.

  • Tina

    I want to thank everyone who contributed to this show, including the callers, those posting and those who listened to it.

    I want to tell everyone about a wonderful book which may be an important tool in recovery: THE BETRAYAL BOND by PATRICK CARNES. The author was himself a victim of abuse. There may be a “workbook” that accompanies this “main” book; I don’t know anything about the workbook, but know that the book is excellent, clear, compassionate, and also empathetic. He refers to a number of bonds which are violated, including those in families, neighborhoods, schools, churches, etc. The book does seem to still be available.

  • Nancy Costikyan, MSW, LICSW

    What an important show. I hope that at some point there will be an opportunity to speak about and to the perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse. They, too, require compassion and services. I say this as a therapist who has worked with many, many survivors of sexual abuse–from toddler old girls to older men. I have also worked with perpetrators, and the stereotype of the sociopath with no feelings, no conscience, is just that–a stereotype. There are also those perpetrators who struggle with the shame and self-loathing of what they have become. Until we are able to speak more freely to their experience, they will be much less likely to come forward, either by seeking psychiatric treatment or by setting themselves up to get caught–a not uncommon ticket to change. While their profile may be far less common than that of the sociopathic predator, they, too, are likely to have multiple victims. Early intervention–through both the mental health and the criminal justice systems–may not result in “cure”, but it can serve to protect future victims, bring justice to past victims, and break the cycle of violence against at least some of the most vulnerable among us. I hope that WBUR will continue this conversation.

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Thank you for all your courageous work. Funding is becoming difficult I expect. Voters need to hear you and ask legislators for enough budget to meet these shared societal needs. Imagine the many who have never been caught and who might seek help, but have no insurance or money. Grady

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      “Until we are able to speak more freely to their experience, they will be much less likely to come forward, either by seeking psychiatric treatment or by setting themselves up to get caught–a not uncommon ticket to change.”

      I applaud your empathy for sexual abusers, Nancy, but the “ticket to change” you refer to is unacceptable because it requires fresh victims to somehow stimulate the perp into changing his wicked ways. Again, the perp uses the victim for his OWN satisfaction regardless of the damage done to the other body & soul he deliberately ravages. Sorry, but, I don’t believe that either therapy or prison can correct these defective human units. Good luck tryin’!

      • Nancy Costikyan

        I don’t know that many can be ‘corrected’ either. What I do know is that sometimes pathological behavior can be interrupted, and even modified. Sometimes therapy works at this level. Sometimes incarceration works at this level. By ‘ticket to change’, I mean that the perp himself (or herself) sees it as a ticket to change. Some perps want to be stopped, and they see getting caught as the way to change, so they engineer that for themselves. I do not see this as a route to authentic change. Nor do I see it as acceptable as it again externalizes responsibility (“the system will stop me.” “the child will speak out and I will be caught.”) The victim is never fully seen or felt by the perpetrator except as–well, a ticket–to gratification or punishment. We mostly agree, I think. And let me be clear: empathy does not mean absolution. From a therapeutic perspective, it is a fundamental human experience that can be channeled in the service of a deeper understanding of complex behavior.

        • Tina

          Nancy, do functional MRI’s or CT scans, or any other diagnostic tools ever help find a biological source for the behavior — even if in just a few cases? Is enough research being done using these diagnostic tools, or do we spend our funds in the wrong way? I don’t know if there really IS hope in this direction, or not. Thanks!

  • Gerald Fnord

    I’m very sorry that this happened to him, and I hope he loses his seat next time he’s up, preferably to Elizabeth Warren.

  • Peggysue5775

    I’m a MA resident and a 53 female survivor of numerous types of abuse that continued into my adult years. Let me first state my respect and support for Sen. Scott Brown as I applaud his personal courage. Having once been ruled by severe PTSD despite working FT as a professional,
    I’ve spent many years & dollars on therapy so that I could successfully move from unknowingly living as a perpetual victim into reclaiming my personal power. When I watched his interview last night on 60 Minutes, it raised some serious “red flag” issues that punctuate why real therapy beyond shooting basketball hoops is absolutely critical. There is a huge difference between embarrassment, the term used by Sen. Brown, and shame. To then acknowledge and accept that this shame is NOT yours so that you are able to let go of it is yet another matter entirely.

    I have to question the following: 1) “Why now?” re: Scott Brown’s many revelations in his book. I understand and have lived “frozen memories”, but the timing of his book/interviews during the current political climate is dubious. 2) Why didn’t he FIRST tell all to immediate family members including his parents? 3) The source of Sen. Brown’s trauma is NOT in the house in which he grew up that he wanted to buy so that he could burn it down; it is within himself. After having done years of therapy, I was able to comfortably enter into the home in which I’d been severely abused. I was able to do this ONLY because of the intense therapeutic work that I’d done over the years. 4) Initially I was told that forgiveness
    is essential, a concept with which I wholeheartedly agree. Healing and
    forgiveness are continual and lifelong processes that include the need for and ability to establish boundaries. The fact that Sen. Brown easily
    let alone publicly kissed his abusers during his recent televised political win without having ever confronted them speaks volumes to me. There
    is an integration of one’s self that would never consider contact with my abusers even though I’ve completely forgiven them, a process that
    I took most seriously. 5) The consequences of ALL abuse are as much psychological and spiritual as everything else. Emotional intimacy begins with one’s self, and affects ALL relationships. My capacity to genuinely be myself and to both fully and unselfishly engage with others would never have been possible without “feeling, dealing, and letting go”.

    In closing, I would like to offer a few suggestions from my experiences.
    Shop around for a qualified therapist; some truly are sicker than others.
    Abuse at its core is all about power and control. NEVER give your power away to anyone, including a therapist/doctor. Lastly, I will forever be a spokesperson for Reiki (energy healing), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensi-
    tization Response) – a technique used by trained therapists specifically for trauma, and neuromuscular massage therapy. I would never have been capable of surviving my recovery, given the hard work that is required to heal, without simultaneously doing these.

    • Yar

      If Scot Brown’s story fall apart, I hope people don’t assume that most people facing these issues are making their stories up. The issue is real and should be addressed regardless of Scott Brown. He may have opened the door of the media on this issue but this is not his story alone.

    • Golden Kathy

      Amazing process of recovery. Thank you for sharing. I agree with so much of what you have said.
      My healing has been ongoing for decades and will continue all my life.But today I can honestly say I’m happy 90% of the time.
      In childhood there were multiple abusers of me and my 2 siblings.We also were physically, emotionally and mentally abused at home. There literally was no safe place for us. Sadly my siblings passed away at age 50 & 58. I am now 63 and I try to speak about healing, recovery and good parenting whenever and wherever I can.
      We survivors who are healing have the best opportunity of helping society get a grip on the many causes and issue surrounding abuse of children.
      Silence, ignorance,poverty of spirit, using violence as entertainment, etc. are all contributing factors. But the most important problem is parents who do not love, protect, nurture,listen to and believe their own children. Those are the kids that predators target.Predators have an innate sensing device for locating and targeting children that no one really cares about.
      So to prevent child abuse: loving, caring, aware, alert parents are the best answer of all.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know the details of Senator Brown’s case well enough to judge. I can only say that every time this issue has come up in a political forum, the motivation for its revelation has been quickly judged as for political advantage. And perhaps it could be that simple, although in my experience as a survivor of male-on-male sexual assault, it seems that nothing has been simple in the aftermath. But, to me, it is an important milestone in public discourse, that the divulsion of one’s having suffered sexual abuse at least now is not synonymous with surrendering their masculinity, nor their sanity. At least in the medium of talk radio or the Internet, one’s victimization does not need to be the last unspeakable secret. When I first tried to report this to my parents and then to a sheriff’s deputy, I was met with disbelief and denial that such a thing could have happened, indeed; that such a thing ever did happen, and who did I think I was, calling this “rape” or even “sexual assault?” Were we expected to protect the ignorant from the unpleasantness of the truth of what had happened to us, by keeping it held within us? Apparently so. It has been nearly 40 years now since this happened to me enough for multiple therapists to lose their patience and say that I “should be over this by now.” Now I see that there was a lengthy, covert “setup” on his part that were quite simple for him, being over ten years my senior and a figure of authority. He was “baiting the hook” by various means for about five years until it became physical. But every day, I struggle with the aftereffects in the form of flashback, paranoia, and diminsihed energy as I struggle to confine the emotions of the past as they try to break into the present. Although I have had lengthy therapy and years of drug treatment, I have such issues with authority and being controlled, in normal circumstances, such as by a boss or superior) that I cannot stand to be employed for any significant length of time and I live on SSDI, at about 1/2 US poverty level.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      I don’t “like” what you have had to endure, Anonymous, but I do admire your spirit and ability to communicate the harsh realities of what the term “survivor” means. All of us, we who have lived through the aftermath of sexual abuse, know this much- men, women & children, alike- that we don’t get a prize for surviving. If we are very, very lucky, one day, we just get understood. I understand you. Thanks very much for weighing in on this topic.
      I guess that Scott Brown will be collecting all that survivor’s “prize money” on behalf of us all little, helpless victims now. NOT!

      Don’t forget: the dude’s a Republican. They don’t even share the steam off their offal on a cold day. So, maybe Brown’s unnamed abuser has the “win” over most of us, after all. The patriarchal pecking order is as sound and rapacious as it ever was with Brown sashaying around DC & the whole world wearing his new “sex-abuse survivor badge”. And, he’s taking his pyromaniacal proclivities to the bank, to boot. Boehner’s stage-tears have just been upstaged by the rookie from Massachusetts. I, for one, am not impressed.

      • Ruth Baker

        Yay, Maria, and others who’d written similar comments!!
        You said it wayyy better than I!!!
        I’m thinking, so many of us have suffered bullying, and sexual abuse, from so many people and so many ways, from early childhood into our thirties . . ., and so a “couple” of incidences which he may have suffered is a “big deal”??? And taking sympathy to the bank???? (So many of us don’t bother to tell anyone of OUR abuses because we know no one would care.)

        • janesoutham

          That’s tragic that you have not spoken up. That’s why Dr. William Ayres, a prominent child psychiatrist is San Mateo California and numerous priests who were allowed to keep abusing boys for decades because victims don’t speak up.

          You thinking that no one will care if you speak up is part of your traumatized thinking.

          Sexual abuse JUST ONCE is enough to trauma anyone a lifetime. People commit suicide because they were abused.

          You would be well advised to do your homework on this issue. Lots and lots of books over at Barnes and Noble. Instead of castigating Brown for coming forward, you might celebrate him doing so, as more than 90 per cent of victims never do.

          - from a survivor of sexual abuse.

    • Yvonne

      Please check out my new book, “Beyond Myself: Reclaiming Your Life After Sexual Abuse (will be listed this week on Amazon.com), as well as my music CD.  My workbook will be out in early 2012. 

  • Wingbrush

    Re NPR’s On Point call-in this morning after Scott Brown’s interview:
    I quote from memory a stunning sentence from NYC analyst Sue Grand (in The Reproduction of Evil):
    “At the moment of perpetration, the victim takes on the perpetrator’s guilt, and the perpetrator takes on the victim’s innocence.” A deadly energetic exchange.

    • Wingbrush

      that, by the way, is repeated over and over and over…

    • Ellen Dibble

      I am trying to imagine how one acquires the innocence of the victim in this way. It seems to me that the assault is not only on the individual but also on the whole idea of innocence, in particular and in general. “If I can’t have it, neither should you,” and apparently the perpetrator’s loss of innocence was not such a great experience — to say the very least.

      • Grady Lee Howard

        “innocence” in this context can only be understood as a commodity, something for sale. The victims deprived of innocence are analogous to banks claiming debts as assets. Word games ignore the reality that something precious has been destroyed. Where did it go? It was sacrificed in the pursuit of the evil forbidden. If the evil forbidden is undeserved profit then the lost innocence (the natural course of events unfolding in their own time) becomes analogous to the rape of land/nature to possess natural resources.
        At bottom, purely economic rationality molests the healthy human mind. The pedophile gazes the child, the financier the whole community, and chants: “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, And I want it now!” And if the law or the wind or a twisted rationale are with him he takes away all that is precious and meaningful.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

          The objective of the rapist/sex-abuser is to deliberately destroy somebody else’s innocence, not to “take” it, like a stolen item for greedy personal consumption, I believe.
          While I agree with the overall premise of your post, Grady Lee, I think the truer motives of a sex-predator are more like, “If I can’t have it (innocence) then nobody else is gonna get any, either!”
          Who really knows what goes on in the minds of these malignant creeps. All I know is that this particular “disease” is widely spread all over the planet and it is killing off most life-forms. Call it “man” if you like, or merely “humanity” if the “man” label sounds too sexist in this age of historic revisionism. Heck, blame it all on Eve- the original, raped “innocent”- if that makes it all go down more smoothly.

          • Grady Lee Howard

            It depends on what you believe. Was Eve an innocent? Was Adam behind a tree enjoying the show? An extreme view could assert that even the Serpent was innocent and being used by a more powerful selfish Entity. Satan may have believed he offered freedom (freewill) and eternal life. President Obama made that fatal error of agreeing with George W. Bush that evil exists independently in the world. Possession is an out for the guilty perpetrator. (I was very drunk when it happened.) Are some catastrophic tragedies nobody’s fault. Allowing the remote possibility it remains unlikely. Maybe knowledge you can’t put back in the bottle or box is an independent evil (nuclear energy for instance). I think not. Evil requires seeking and choices. But does the pedophile have a clear path to freewill? Maybe pervasive pornography, a callous society that prices people, or specific formative incidents have a role. The truth is that we all carry the potential for evil destructive acts in our minds and that only our cultural anchoring prevents that potential. We do not rape because of our loved ones, and our loved ones show us how to value/love ourselves. Scott Brown expresses rage in wanting to burn a former home. He hasn’t acted. I respect his openness on this particular point. But what else that displeased or disappointed him would he incinerate? I am no better than Scott Brown in that neither of us have been incarcerated recently. (I served for probation for insurance fraud and he was a shoplifter.) Mari is correct that evil acts are out in the open and more acceptable than ever before. Maybe that is why social conservatives contradict their positions by giving corporations carte blanche, and why progressives sell out when their fannies near the sawmill. Mari is pleading,”I cannot be bought!” But like me she has never been offered that ethic tipping price. Ask this question,”Is there a dollar figure at which you would sell your child’s innocence?” Then how can you sell the very survival potential of all humanity, for a sop of gravy on coarse bread or 30 silver coins? We are too sentimental about sex and too unconcerned about other crucial matters. These unconcerns hasten the sale of innocence. Do we really care whether Eve consummated with the Snake? That is a minor consideration.

            I love smart women, Mari.

    • Golden Kathy

      I would agree that is exactly what happens. UNTIL THE VICTIM WAKES UP AND REFUSES TO THINK IN THOSE TERMS ANY LONGER!!!!!

  • Ptively1st

    Thanks to all the guests for their courage. This is a rampant problem at the root of many other issues people face.
    Thank you for airing this. Please do more.

  • Machimon

    Come on, from 11 on I TRIED to find a cooperative older female companion. I never got propositioned by a male but I’m sure I wouldn’t have been traumatized. Boys are surging volcanoes of testosterone. This is mostly a phony issue. A priest or teacher might have been bothersome but I wouldn’t have been traumatized

    • Grady Lee Howard

      Own age wouldn’t do, huh? If it had happened you might feel differently. It happened to me. I liked the idea of sex but the real thing too soon was more than I could deal with. The breathing still echoes in my nightmares, and knowing the more mature body had power I lacked.

    • Survived

      Excuse me for saying this, but you’re a complete idiot, and most likely someone I would fear would be an abuser. Stay away from children and people for that matter until you grow a heart.

      • bill


    • Tina

      Machimoncarlos, I mean no disrespect when I say that you can’t possibly begin to imagine what CLUSTER of other events could occur once you are sexually abused. You may THINK that you would not be traumatized, but there is NO WAY that you could anticipate all the additional things that could happen to you once the abuse begins. From situations I know of well, I can tell you that you could risk being sent into a foster home; or, into a series of foster homes; into foster homes where you might be sexually or physically or emotionally abused by the very people who “reached out” to “help you”. You might see a neglectful parent sent to prison while the perpetrator gets out of jail time for a legal technicality. You might find out that others close to you (siblings, perhaps) might also be victims, and you might be unable to help them, or, you might be in a wretched “competition” with them over the misguided “affections” of the perpetrator; the perpetrator might physically endanger you to protect him/herself from getting caught, and/or from losing his/her “supply”. Worse yet, you might get sent to foster homes where you actually love the foster family, only to be sent away, knowing that you CAN love, but finding yourself yanked away anyway, because of how the “system works”. A guy friend was sexually exploited by an older woman (the scenario you seem to describe as fine with you) when he was about eleven, & his response was Hey, how Lucky am I … that is, until she dropped him for his older brother (who was still much younger than she was). Being passed over; not being special anymore; at the time, having to listen to the sounds of her “choice”, those have all stayed in his emotional system for over fifty years, making him feel completely inadequate to the core. And, because he has always thought that there was NO reason for him to be traumatized by this (the act & he are heterosexual; she once saw something “in him”), he has never sought counseling.

      I do think that various therapy modalities CAN help people HEAL and TRANSCEND what happened to them. I have seen that, too. Saying, “I wouldn’t have been traumatized” is naive; naive enough that I won’t come screaming down on you for inadvertently minimizing what has happened to many people courageous enough to be dealing with the very trauma they did experience that you say wouldn’t bother you.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPDL54L6R3OXITBVWPBZC3TUKI nunya967

        Your friend & his brother with the older woman…I was affected the same way as your friend for years. Made my life hell no mater how good other people thought I had it…even when dating what some call the “best girl ever”. Smart, amazingly gorgeous, funny, stable in all ways, artistic, loving, great family. I never got a feeling she was really “in” to me, despite she really WAS. Nobody was, I thought. I thought it was HER somehow; she didnt “love me enough”. I could look at anyone and think “I could love her”, and by the time I was done thinking that, I knew I DID. I had sex early, but not by anyone THAT much older than me. I thought I was lucky, too. I was just being used. This isnt something that gets fixed in a year of therapy, either. You have to rewire your brain. There isnt enough time in your life to do it, you just get as far as you can and accept it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPDL54L6R3OXITBVWPBZC3TUKI nunya967

      For some reason I want to blast you for saying that, but now I remember how I was when I was 15. Jeez…It’s 3 AM or I would be able to argue. Discussion point well-made. Some wouldnt be traumatized, I agree. Maybe less so than waking up next to OH MY GOD HOW MUCH DID I DRINK LAST NIGHT kind of person.

      Seriously, though…I had sex early, and I’ve had this terrible, terrible emotional attachment to anyone I get intimate with. It affected me horribly in so many ways. At 41, I’m over it now, but maybe because of the turmoil some relationships have had because of it. It made my life and every break-up a living hell.

  • CeciliaL

    My oldest son was sexually abused by a 30 year old woman, a friend and neighbor of my ex-husband’s, when he was twelve. To make matters worse, she got pregnant and had an abortion. My ex and various other people knew about this, no one thought to tell me and I didn’t find out about it until nearly 20 years later- by which point the woman was dead or I would have confronted her.

    Right around the time of the abuse my relationship with my son started deteriorating. Everyone said it was just hormones, and I really didn’t know much about boys and puberty, I don’t have any brothers. In retrospect I believe that being “seduced”, or, rather, sexually abused by this woman, had a serious impact on him psychologically. He became very oppositional and disobedient, started messing up in school, hanging out with “bad” kids, drinking, getting high. Every attempt I made to get through to him and to get him help was rebuffed. It was like he’d turned into another person. He dropped out of school and left home at 16, by his early twenties he was in prison. Neither of my two younger sons went through heavy changes with puberty.

    I’ve tried talking about this with people, the typical response is that my son got lucky. I then ask them if they would think the same way about a 12 yr old girl being “seduced” by a 30 yr old man and they start to see my point.

    My son is doing ok now, still has some problems.

    • Tina

      Cecilia, You have written a very helpful, heartfelt piece. I believe that it will help any number of people who see it, especially if their child’s behavior “profile” is similar. Thanks for your courage in posting.

  • Jay

    It sounds like Scott Brown could really use some Obamacare.

    • Jeffe

      “Obamacare” is why he needs therapy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      If he hadn’t won the Senate seat his wife would have had to keep on supporting the whole Brown clan with her news anchor job in measly old Boston. Anybody remember Gail Huff, Scottie’s little wifey and the mother of his two girls? Thank God the Brown/Huff’s had no sons. How’s Gail doing, by the way, since her hubby has sold out for a celebrity far greater than her own or Ayla’s?
      Oh yeah….He’s a family man kinda centerfold. YUCK!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPDL54L6R3OXITBVWPBZC3TUKI nunya967

      Another rude, arrogant, inconsiderate lefty troll. Go jump out of a basement window.

  • new civility

    Another topic nuanced to death.

  • Rosie_40

    Abuse (especially by family members or “friends’) excused for far too long. Regardless of male or female victim (or perpetrator) its equally awful. Our society needs a true exposure of this (along the lines of Nelson Mandellas truth commisions). Without understanding the magnitude of the problem, we can’t possibly change the mores that allowed it to occur. I was abused repeatedly by a close neighbor (as was at least one of my sisters by the same person), when I finally did say anything, it seemed I was the guilty one (I was 7, he was 13). People have to be made to understand how prevalent it is, what it is and how common (and I mean they aren’t readily identifiable) the perpetrators are. We don’t need the usual witch hunt, but we do need to be aware!

  • Djm53704

    I am 62 today. I was 4 years old when the neighbor boy and his friend took me into the basement and put their penises into my mouth. They told me not to tell anyone.

    I told my mother and father about the event within a couple of hours. I never saw the boys again and my dad never spoke of the incident. I know that he went over to the boys’ house, but I do not know what he did.

    Dad was a WWII vet who, while not fighting directly, drove Higgens Boats, sometimes under fire and other times into burning fire. I sometimes wonder if the boys…

  • Geoff

    How poignant it is to hear the victims and therapists in earnest dialog while nobody posits the obvious question of why Scott is revealing these secrets at this time. His publicist must be rubbing hands with glee at having Tom take the story at face value. As a public figure up for an uncertain election soon, it’s positively brilliant for Brown to elicit sympathies of bleeding heart liberals with his tragic tale. I really feel that Tom got suckered on this one. Not only did he not ask why now, no caller was let in who might question the senator’s ultimate motivation for telling all. If this victim of abuse was a troubled CPA from Dorchester, I would say “fine.” But here is a poweful politician trying to cry on our collective shoulder, and nobody has the sense to ask “why,” “why now?” This was not Tom’s greatest moment, I’m afraid.

    • David Northam

      He has stated his motive. He has stated the timing is the timing. The book was prepared. His abuse is part of his life storey. He was not questioned about his timing because the integrity of a survivors timing of disclosure is just that NOT a QUESTIONABLE subject. Period. It seems your political system can not handle current affairs. A man’s attempt to be honest with himself and with his fellow man. Novel idea whose time has come. Tom’s integrity can only be viewed as entirely entact. Perhaps a new age has started where a man’s word is just that his word. And he values his accountability to it.

    • edpaz

      Geoff: If you were a victim (and I presume you are not), you would be more open to the fact that child sexual abuse is nothing to be so glib about. 1 in every 6 men have suffered from sexual abuse as a child or teen. The guilt and shame that a victim lives with is even more painful than the embarrassment of disclosing. As a victim, I was not able to deal with my victimization until I was 58 years old. The scars left on my phyche caused a broken marriage, jumping from job to job, fear of certain situations or places, or people that brough my victimization to the fore. I would suggest you learn more about the topic before you throw stones at those who suffer. There is much more I could discuss to help you understand, but the matter of understanding is up to you when you learn more.

    • Joe881

      Brown is nothing like a calculated politician. His lahm excuse that he has work to do but enough time to write a book, make a book tour, promote his book does not appear genuine. While there are many abuses happen, Brown is not the advocate to lobby this cause. One must be very cautious about politicians that really have no boundaries to use it to make money. I wish the press and WBUR would seek other “Victims” to represent this.

    • Anacharsis

      And like so many current political “reactionaries” he “identifies with the aggressor”, (his alleged abusers) ie: bullies his way into politics and takes a “rugged individualistic” stance toward truly empathic, social compact, social welfare politics and policies that would truly heal the victims that our society manufactures as wage slaves for the kleptocracy for which Brown shills.

  • Escobedo

    So are we meant to feel sorry for Scott Brown? The only ones I feel sorry for are the citizens of Mass. who elected a basket-case to represent them in the U.S. Senate.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPDL54L6R3OXITBVWPBZC3TUKI nunya967

      Escobedo, go away, you troll.

      • Escobedo

        nunya967, I would reply with a likewise nasty remark, luckily for you, I’ll refrain from that since I believe in being kind to dumb animals.

  • Katura726

    I am 46yrs. old. I was molested by my father from age 8 to age 12. My fourth grade teacher was the first person I told. I am now coming to terms with the understanding that boys are molested too. I was always protective of my daughters, but never of my sons. Although I was a victim, I just didn’t get it.

    Now, I am a advocate…

  • Luna Spring01

    I am a 13 year old girl myself, and I would like to know what I should do if one of my friends were doing that. Not saying that any of them are but just for the future.

    • Ellen Dibble

      About an hour ago, I was told here to shut up and listen, that I don’t understand, and to let those abused do the talking, but I don’t see a lot of activity.
      So I’ll say, Luna, that it is not clear to me from your post what you mean, “if one of my friends were doing that.” This thread is supposedly “on point” about older males sexually abusing boys. As I am told, I don’t have the answers. I don’t even have the questions.
      But there are some interesting points made in this thread, and plenty written about it, and some references here to various books.

      • Zeno

        Ellen, Your inability to speak to a male issue does not in any way interfere with responding to a young girl who needs answers.

        • Ellen Dibble

          Zeno, thanks, I think. I have my own set of insecurities, and maybe very few of us grow up unscarred. My critic apparently missed that fact; I am glad to see Tina pitching in; and will see if there’s something I could still add.
          I woke this morning to hear our recently elected district attorney on the radio in an interview with the NPR station saying that he plans preemptive action on this sort of thing. He was talking about having a presence in the schools so that problem behavior doesn’t morph into delinquency, and preventing domestic abuse before it happens. Maybe I was half asleep, but I’d sure like to see that happen.

    • David Northam

      Silence allows abuse to continue. Each person has to act in their own best interests of thier own best safety. Many survivors report questioning themselves and regretting having being silent at the time of the abuse. The sooner the disclosure the sooner the abuse stops or recovery begins. Each disclosure gives others the courage to come forward. Every person disclosing is very courageous. Does this help? Do you require more help?

    • Tina

      Luna, Hi. You have asked an excellent question. I have some suggestions I’d like to share with you. I apologize ahead of time that this answer is so long. Please be prepared for me to say some very frank things, as well.

      First: if you think that one of your “friends were doing that,” do NOT speak to your other friends or other kids about this. There are procedures in place with trained adults, and you want to take your insights to those places & people. If any questions or facts you have get out, the kids involved might seek to protect themselves, thus making some one of them even MORE vulnerable. Sometimes the victim is very attached to the victimizer & seeks to protect the perpetrator more than they seek to protect themselves. Also, a perpetrator is often good at sensing that something has changed, and they will seek to protect themselves, not the victim. And, if anything gets into the student rumor-mill, some victimized kids might do something very drastic, including considering suicide. One book I recommended, The Betrayal Bond, besides being generally excellent, is also fantastic at describing a very peculiar aspect of abuse: both the abused and the abuser can get “addicted” to their relationship — that is, they can get “stuck” to it, like the old-fashioned “finger puzzles” that were worn on one finger of each hand and that only got tighter when you tried to pull your hands apart (probably way before your time!)! Also, one book I forgot to mention (above) is called “Emotional Blackmail”. I bring it up now, because, if the perpetrator finds out that the victim might bail on him/her, they often use a method of control that is called emotional blackmail (perhaps “whining” that “I can’t live without you”, that kind of thing, which can be very powerful in keeping the victim in place). This is just another reason why you do not want to mention your concerns to other kids, lest the word get out to the victimizer.

      Actually, I suggest that you don’t even speak with the person whom you think is being victimized either — talking to them could “de-stabilize things” & activate some of the things I just pointed out. Your insights & good judgment WILL be useful; they just don’t belong in peer-group communications, and you should not try to “save” anyone. What you are trying to do is this: alert appropriately trained adults who will then seek to understand the situation and provide help where is it needed.

      IF you know that you can TRUST your parents and their judgment, go to them first. You MIGHT want to decide ahead of time what you will ask OF them. For instance, you might want to TELL them what you know, or suspect; but, you might ALSO want to know for SURE that they will be taking your information to the next place where people can help and/or investigate. Frankly, since you are 13, if your parents say, “thanks, Luna, we’ll take care of this from here,” I would say that you have every right to ask to be involved with that next step BECAUSE that next step should be the SAME step that YOU would take if your parents were not involved. At some point, what YOU know, have heard, or have seen will be what trained people are asking about, so you will have to be there for that next stage anyway. (As a parent myself, I am aware of the volatility of my last statement!)

      Now, I said in my first sentence, “IF you know that you can trust your parents”. I said this because, although I had wonderful parents, any number of my friends (I’m over 60 years old) had at least one emotionally abusive parent, & sometimes their other parent was an enabler who protected the emotionally abusive parent. Some of my friends WANTED to “like” their parents, but their parents’ uneven behavior meant that the children in the household really could not “trust” their parents. At age 13, you might already know things about your parents’ emotional intelligence, such as, does one of them put an emotional pillow over their ears so they don’t have to deal with difficult things; or, does one of them threaten to “take care of” or “beat up” anyone who hurts kids. Forgive me for bringing up the concept that some parents might be less mature than a child would like, but it does happen. You asked an excellent question, so I want to make sure that you know how to assess the interpersonal “landscape” into which you might be bringing any information you are aware of or have suspicions about.

      So, go to your parents first, IF they are the right choice, making sure that NO ONE ELSE is within earshot of the conversation. IF your parents do NOT seem like the people you should talk to, there are other options already available. First, though, you should know that the LAW in most states now requires that ANY adult who hears about ANY abuse MUST report it to the state’s version of a Department of Children, Youth, and Families. This is NOT a bad thing, usually. In most instances, the staff members at a DCYF-type state agency are trained to talk to kids who want to report just this very kind of thing, either because it is happening to them, or to a friend, or even if they just have suspicions.

      IF it wound up that you talked to someone at your DCYF, but the person seemed unwilling to help, or seemed more interested in their upcoming vacation than in taking you seriously, please know that you can next call your Local Town Police, or then, after that, your State’s Attorney General’s office. You probably already know that you find those phone numbers in the blue pages of the phone book. Those blue pages are divided in sections (tho NOT very clearly) for federal phone numbers, state numbers, and numbers for all the towns in your state. By the way, you might want to write down the exact date & time of your conversations and phone calls, including the names of the contact people (but NOT the names of the victim/alleged perpetrator), and I know that you will be certain to keep that list in a very private place.

      I have not mentioned talking to clergy because there have been too many instances where those in religious institutions sought to protect the reputation of their organization first. Forgive me for this bias that I have, but I’d prefer to give you information that will really help if you need it.

      Those state laws that require adults to report abuse DO mean that school teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, band leaders, etc., are all required to report abuse. The only reason I suggest you go to your parents or directly to DCYF (whatever that agency is called where you are), or, next in order, to the Town Police Detective, then to the State Attorney General, is this: it is POSSIBLE that if a child or young person is being abused by one person, that another person may have victimized the child earlier. I’m sure that I just enraged many, many individuals in these professions, but I know of abuse that happened for over four years and yet not one person from any of these professions observed and/or reported what was happening over that stretch of time. The really GOOD people in these professions want you to know that they are highly trained to help you with the very thing you need help with! That is true in the majority of cases; however, there is less likelihood that anyone in the DCYF, AG’s office, or the Local Police Department have a position of power over a fellow student whom you might know. Now, IF your instincts are good, and if you are certain that one of these other professionals CAN help, I feel that your “good question” you’ve posed probably means that you can trust your instincts on this matter as well.

      Ultimately, DCYF and the Local Police will come into the picture. If there is enough evidence for an arrest, the AG’s office will file the charges. The crime is against the laws of the State. Individual victims can take a perpetrator to Civil Court which is different than Criminal Court. The police will make sure that charges against the accused are NOT coerced from the victim, as coerced statements could be thrown out.

      There are many modalities that therapists and psychiatrists use nowadays, so healing is very possible!

      Another organization you may be able to seek out is, in many states, called something like the Rape Hotline, or Women’s Resource Center. Often, these places have just one or two staff members and then volunteers who themselves have been victims of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. You might want to make contact with one of these organizations to get more information from them, just as you asked on this website. I would try to talk to the professional staff member at your age. They would be happy to answer your question. They might even be able to give a workshop at your school about these matters. Even though I just mentioned women’s groups, we are talking about Abuse of Males today, and these groups will be able to tell you how to seek out help for both males and females, adults and children.

      I recommended some books earlier on this site. You have asked such a healthy question that I can see you getting a lot out of these books, because they are really about how our eagerness to please, or how our happiness about being desired, OR how our stunned fear when someone seeks to harm us or threatens to harm those we love if we don’t comply with their wishes, etc. — all these can be looked at with calm intelligence, so that we know how to assess situations that may only be “posing” as being about our best interest, OR that might be completely threatening.

      Just one more thing. There is some evidence that girls with Asperger’s Syndrome are somewhat more prone to being sexually molested. There is a lot more information about Asperger’s nowadays, so, if your friend is an Aspie, that special quality of hers (or, maybe his) will come into the total picture.

      I really admire the fact that your asked your question. I wish I were a lean, succinct writer, so I apologize, again, for how long this is. Consult other people, as well, but cautiously, with your instincts “in gear”. Although some of what I’ve written is from experiential knowledge, things change over time, so maybe there are some other ways of answering your question that would be just as valuable to you. Thanks for asking your question!

    • Ellen Dibble

      Someone prompted me to try to respond a little more, so here goes. No matter what is happening with your friends, if there is a bond there, that leads you to call them “friend,” whether they might be a perpetrator or a victim, listen to your heart. What does it mean to be a friend? What does it mean if you are 13 years old? What could I share from the perspective of half a century further of living? Not much. Young people who are deeply troubled can be mightily cut off, or they cut off the dimensions of their life that are troublesome. It might seem to you that something is more superficial in their interactions than should be. They might not be on what seems a normal trajectory in terms of participation. All I’ve gone by in terms of this sort of thing is to avoid being part of the “sick” cycle. Don’t love somebody so much that you play into a sort of re-enactment of the original victimhood. Make sure they see the You in you; make sure they are being real. It may be it never happens; you’re always a bit player in the original abuse, or a sought-after player. How to call them out of that, back to true interaction?
      Luna, if you find that out, please write the book; I’ll buy it.

      • Ellen Dibble

        If someone is thinking, would Ellen please define “true interaction,” I’ll put out the words authenticity and seduction. If a relationship feels like a tug towards something that can’t be negotiated up front, ask yourself why. Will someone say, hey, you took off your own underwear; you have given permission? Will someone say you let me pay for dinner, now I have certain rights? (In the Arab world, in some places at some times, hey, you are wearing short sleeves; you are signaling your availability; or you are wearing red; clearly I can pay you for sex.) The “deal” is not an agreement between two bodies that are ready; the “deal” is about using. And if one can be seduced into being “used,” even without money, for instance by being enamored, one has simply reinforced the pattern of victimization.
        Why do I think I’m going to get in trouble again for posting this…
        Parents should optimally be fine models of relationships that have mutuality at their core, rather than mutual intoxication and seduction. Look around and find the best models you can; see what they have in common.

        • Tina

          Ellen, you have given us an EXCELLENT WORD — “mutuality”! For me, that word gets way past the concept of “consent”, because “mutuality” implies (for me) that both people are equally Whole to begin with. Once, a few weeks ago, you mentioned “I and Thou”. Actually, this is a good spot to mention that wonderful book with its wonderful core concept!

          Why can’t our early high school years see us reading, as part of the curriculum: I and Thou, Emotional Blackmail, Please Understand Me (based on Jungian “types”; Kiersey/Bates); Knight in Shining Armor, Betrayal Bonds. I forget if the Maslow Hierarchy (is it of Values?) is a whole book, or not. This is a pretty good mix of books about personality types generally, what to aspire to, and what to beware of. I would like to see a book on the list that would be for kids who were working out accepting their own homosexuality and that of others, tho I don’t know the names of any to recommend right now. TV is too often used as a training tool for the worst behaviors; these books could be a fantastic antidote to that. Maybe PBS could put some of these books into television mode. If Sesame Street can teach little kids so much, including manners towards others, why can’t there be shows that show us the broad issues involved in growing up, becoming independent, knowing our boundaries without defensiveness & without violating the borders of others? Someone from one of our major political parties would say that this idea is “Socialism”, and then they’d quickly turn around and give us another TV show where kids ARE being exploited left & right!

          Back to our show’s topic, though: remember, when it comes to minors, even “consent” is not allowed (sometimes this is where the courts get confused, as when a 17 yo is with an 18 yo). Even if a child were to actually consent, or supposedly consent, to sexual contact with an adult, that consent it NOT seen as “legal consent” due to the child being a minor. The adult CANNOT use the alleged consent in his/her own defense. This is a GOOD thing! I think that this is true nationwide; I certainly HOPE that it does NOT vary state by state. I think I forgot to tell Luna this last idea.


      • Ellen Dibble

        If someone is thinking, would Ellen please define “true interaction,” I’ll put out the words authenticity and seduction. If a relationship feels like a tug towards something that can’t be negotiated up front, ask yourself why. Will someone say, hey, you took off your own underwear; you have given permission? Will someone say you let me pay for dinner, now I have certain rights? (In the Arab world, in some places at some times, hey, you are wearing short sleeves; you are signaling your availability; or you are wearing red; clearly I can pay you for sex.) The “deal” is not an agreement between two bodies that are ready; the “deal” is about using. And if one can be seduced into being “used,” even without money, for instance by being enamored, one has simply reinforced the pattern of victimization.
        Why do I think I’m going to get in trouble again for posting this…
        Parents should optimally be fine models of relationships that have mutuality at their core, rather than mutual intoxication and seduction. Look around and find the best models you can; see what they have in common.

      • http://www.beyondmyselfrecovery.com Yvonne

        Please look for my new book on amazon.com, “Beyond Myself: Reclaiming Your Life After Sexual Abuse” (it will be listed this week). I also have a CD of music which is alread on Amazon, and I will be releasing a workbook in early 2012.  I was a childhood victim.

        • Yvonne

          I mean “already”, and is listed with the same title.  Thank you!

  • Irene

    Wow I can only imagine. I just found out in October 2010, three of my sisters were molested by our biological father. I’m really enlightened by this man. His courage to be able to speak about it. It took my sisters 7 years to tell me.people need to be aware, it shouldn’t be common.

  • Ned_Flaherty

    A pre-teen boy who gets molested by a teen boy sometimes stays so traumatized that he tells no one for decades. But U.S. Senator Scott Brown now understands his own molestation so well that he is giving nationwide broadcast interviews discussing the details published in his new, pre-campaign autobiography.

    He’s able to talk to the whole world about it, but he refuses to identify his molester to authorities who could protect today’s children from more fear and shame perpetrated by that same person. Perhaps his memories aren’t nearly as accurate they are portrayed to be by Brown, his editors, his publicists, and his campaign staff.

    • Anne Hamilton

      There’s this thing, Ned. It’s called the statute of limitations. Attitudes like yours like you are why victims stay in the shadows.

  • Pingback: Survivors of Abuse | Dramatic Literature, Spring 2011

  • p gourlie

    while listening to this program I realize that for years I made an excuse for my father who sexuality and phyically abused me as achil . I am female. I began to give him an excuse some by believing that he must have been abused himslef. He spent summers as a teen at seminary. ( I don’t know more about this because he never elaborated.

    Also what about blame to the other parent for not protecting you. I blamed my mother for not protecting me from my father and my father for not protecting me from his male friends who were also abusive.

    • Tina

      Hi, there. Try to find a Women’s Resource Center or Rape Hotline which can lead you to one. They usually have excellently trained staff. I say this especially because you say, “while listening to this program I realize”….

      There are people who will understand and be there to help you with your revelation. You are right, way too often, one parent just watches while the other performs the abuse!

  • Ray

    I wish there had been some discussion of the perpetrator him/herself. Probably would be a whole other show, though…

  • anon

    I became the extended victim of my exes abusive father because of his inability to be in relationships. He has no ability to communicate properly and cant face ANY real life conflicts.

    Everyone that a sexual abuse victim brings into their lives is capable of being damaged by the issues they face therefore it is a continuation of the abuse.

    To think that my ex makes huge references to what was done but continues to protect this utter monster and waste of precious oxygen saddens and infuriates me.
    Refusing his ‘blood money’ yet pretending all is ok.
    Watching one child completely unhappy, angry and lost, another who suffers multiple personalities and one who is dancing as fast as they can made my heart ache but when no one will get help it just makes me mad.
    It is absolutely imperative that anyone who has suffered sexual, emotional, verbal abuse seek long term professional help and stay out of attempting adult relationships until they can deal with their issues.

    If I run into my exes father someday I for one will NOT be silent. I will tell that piece of *expletive* exactly what I think of him and how he screwed up his children.
    In the meantime I pity all the people he inflicts his issues upon. Hurting the ones who love him yet allowing the one who really hurt him to pay no price at all.

  • John

    I commend his bravery for speaking out about child sexual abuse. The next step is to bring the topic of prevention into the discussion so fewer children suffer this removal of innocence. There are programs available to schools and day-cares that teach children and their parents personal safety skills that have been shown to reduce sexual abuse, including the Talking About Touching program offered by the Children’s Trust Fund of Massachusetts. More info at http://www.mctf.org.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MenInMyTown Keith Smith

    To understand why survivors of sexual assault may need time to confront their abusers, see Keith Smith’s testimony to the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary Committee, as Smith testifies to eliminate the Statute of Limitation in sex crimes against children.

    Click the link below or search “Keith Smith Testifies” on YouTube.


    Keith Smith is a survivor of a stranger abduction sexual assault and the author of “Men in My Town,” available at Amazon.com

  • http://www.mindparts.org Paul from Mind Parts

    One of the main guests psychologist Howard Fradkin, the same main guest on the Oprah shows I railed against, is making a statement beginning at 5:50 in “that at age 9 and 10, it’s totally inappropriate for parents to sleep with their children.” Ashbrook called him to clarify. Said “I mean parents who are sleeping with children who no longer need to be sleeping with their parents. So, children who are 9, 10, 11, 12, I mean I’ve heard stories of parents sleeping with their children, and again not just sleeping with them but of course sleeping with them, holding them, hugging them, and expecting their children to meet their emotional needs is an inappropriate and a kind of what we call a covert sexual abuse.” This is out and out the most stupid thing to say. Because it’s all about intent and context (as the next speaker said). So, for him to make this statement is just plain wrong and indicative of a intellectually weak individual. Of course, if there are sexual needs being met and inappropriate touching, that is definitely abuse, but Fradkin made his definitions clear that he said what I do with my 9 and 12 year old daughters is considered wrong. And it is not.

  • Drmichunter

    With 10% of the male and 20% of female veterans reporting they were sexually assaulted (raped) while serving I hope you will expand your reporting of sexual abuse to include adults, not only children. I authored a book on the subject of boy victims ten years ago, and I can tell you that currently the topic of military sexual abuse is being ignored the way child sexual abuse was in the past.

    Dr. Mic Hunter (author of Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse In America’s Military)

  • Guest

    Here is what one actress who won an Oscar for portraying the rape of a boy by a female mass murder had to say about the ‘relationship’ :http://gawker.com/#!5117343/you-say-statutory-rape-kate-winslet-says-puppy-love. Here’s the only real website on female sex offenders that addresses the subject with some sort of real world perspectives: http://www.canadiancrc.com/Female_Sex_Offenders-Female_Sexual_Predators_awareness.aspx There is NOWHERE to go for support for males who suffer the most serious form of incest: that is mother-son. With all due respect to Howard Fradkin and Mikele Rauch they are not even close to understanding what happens to boys who have been to mother-son hell.

  • Pingback: Survivors Speaking Out on MaleSurvivors.org | Families Advocating Intelligent Reform – NJ FAIR

  • http://twitter.com/MenInMyTown Keith Smith
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