The Boy Scouts of America presents itself as a wholesome family-friendly organization, but underneath the surface they have hurt thousands of boys by perpetuating and covering up child sexual abuse. Boy scout sexual abuse has run rampant for as long as the organization has existed, but only fairly recently has it been uncovered. Thanks to the brave survivors who understand why speaking out matters, justice is near for the boys who faced this unspeakable abuse at the hands of those meant to guide and protect them.
While we still have a long way to go, we have come much further in terms of how seriously we take sexual abuse and how we treat survivors. When more survivors speak out and advocate for themselves, this will only get better.
Why Speaking Out Is Important
Speaking out about sexual abuse is incredibly difficult, and nobody should feel pressured to do so if they are not comfortable with it. But doing so, whether or not it seems so in the moment, is incredibly important for so many reasons:
- Bringing the perpetrators of this crime to justice,
- Helping other survivors feel empowered, and
- Changing a toxic culture that thrives in the silence and shame of survivors.
When a survivor speaks out, not only do they feel empowered and relieved of any shame their perpetrator may have made them feel, but they also encourage and empower other survivors. Their courage may also inspire change, both societal and legal. Advocating for survivors of sexual abuse can lead to the prosecution of guilty parties, changes to unjust laws, and the destruction of the stigma and myths surrounding sexual abuse that leave survivors feeling shamed and alone.
Why Don’t Male Survivors Speak Out?
When seeing advocacy for survivors of sexual abuse, it may seem that most of those who speak out are female survivors. This is especially true with the recent #MeToo movement, which highlighted female survivors of abuse, assault, and harassment. But, especially when it comes to childhood sexual abuse, boys and men can be and often are survivors as well. Why don’t we see more of them speaking out, and how can we encourage them to do so?
Male survivors of sexual abuse often face extra obstacles when speaking out. They may face stereotypes or even mocking, or be afraid of facing it. They may be made to feel as though what happened to them is embarrassing or a sign of weakness, or even that they must have enjoyed it or wanted it. This is particularly true when the perpetrator is female. In addition, many men are raised with the expectation that they not outwardly show emotions and must keep their problems to themselves.
In these ways male survivors may find it very difficult to speak out about their experiences, but this only makes speaking out all the more important. When one male survivor shares his experience, it validates, empowers, and encourages other male survivors to do the same. It lets them know that it is not their fault, and that they are not alone. It helps eradicate the culture that stigmatizes sexual abuse survivors, especially male survivors.
Let Us Help You Speak Out
One of the ways to help you take your power back and gain justice is to file a lawsuit against your abuser. The Massey Law Firm specializes in child sexual abuse cases, whether the abuse occurred in the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, the home, or anywhere else.
We stand by you, and we want to help you speak out and reclaim your power. In doing so, you’re not only helping yourself, but survivors everywhere. Call us at 602-955-0055 to get the process started.
The law is on your side, and so are we.