On May 8th, I was honored to join NPEIV and the Stop Abuse campaign to address congressional staffers on the need for support for all victims of abuse. Here is the transcript of my comments.
I. Hello, my name is Chris. Iím from New York City. My hope today is to share with you my story of healing to show how vitally important it is that we show support all survivors of abuse. [BREATHE]
In 2007, I was suicidal, again. Depression and anxiety were ruining my life, and I carried a pain from being sexually abused as a child that I felt I could not speak. It destroyed my marriage, and threatened to wreck the few friendships I had left. I didnít even know what help was out there for me, in large part because I never knew how deeply harmed I was by the abuse. I had no idea what happened to me happened to so many others. But then I learned about something called a MaleSurvivor Weekend of Recovery. So I got on a plane and went to California and walked into a room with 30 other men Iíd never met before, but with whom I knew I shared a common injury. Before one word was spoken something miraculous happened. For the first time in my life, I didnít feel alone.
II. That moment changed everything for me. Iím not here to testify about the bad things that happened. Youíve heard the data already, just like girls, boys are sexually abused in shocking numbers as well, and their pain radiates throughout our society. As the Executive Director of MaleSurvivor I speak for millions of men whose voices have been silenced by shame. What I want to tell you, and what the survivors I speak for need you to hear, is this: Every abuse survivor has the potential to heal. Every shattered soul can be put together, But - it requires support.
III. Today, I am married to a remarkable woman whose love continues to comfort and challenge me in ways I could never accept before. What happened for me is possible for every survivor. But without hope and without support itís very hard to heal. I and my partners with NPEIV will help you understand how you can help your constituents in direct and immediate ways. You can make a difference for every survivor by listening to what we have to say. It does not have to be so hard for those who are being harmed today as it was for me when I was 8. You can change that. Thank You.