Letters to the Editor

Oprah's show opens window to local problem

Tyler Perry, well-known movie producer, recently disclosed during an Oprah Winfrey show the chronic sexual abuse he suffered as a child. Subsequently, Oprah is doing a two-part series featuring male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

In the first episode, which aired Nov. 5, each of 200 adult men in the audience held up a photo of themselves taken at the time their abuse began. Some of the men told horrendous stories of the sexual abuse they endured at the hands of their fathers, neighbors, teachers, coaches and clergy.

As the director of our local children's advocacy and rape crisis center, I hope our community realizes those 200 male survivors on Oprah's show represent the boys that Hope Haven serves daily.

In 2009, Hope Haven served 398 child victims of abuse; 40 percent were boys. Those children live in our neighborhoods, attend our schools and go to church with us.

While sexual abuse does not discriminate based on gender, male victims face society's expectation to be strong and handle abuse without help. If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse or know of men, young or old, carrying the burden of sexual abuse, know that Hope Haven's doors are open, and that healing is possible.

Shauw Chin Capps Beaufort