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#66890 - 06/03/05 01:16 PM KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Wanted to post this in Family and Friends also.
PLEASE HELP GET THIS TO THOSE WHO CAN USE THE INFO.

This is the final letter from Charlie and Kevin. This wouldn't be heard by the Hastings 8th grade guys this year but lets get it out to who ever we can. Thanks Charlie and Kevin you did a excellent job on this. Tom
----------------------------------------------
Hey guys,
Charlie is 14 almost 15, and Kevin is 16. We have been asked to write this letter 'cause we're close to you in age. It's about a scary topic, child sexual abuse and yeah, it's embarrassing tell us about it! It's never easy to talk about this but it happens to guys like us everywhere, all the time.
You may think that sexual abuse only happens to girls, it doesn't have anything to do with you or your friends. Maybe you're thinking "I could never get hurt like that". That's what a lot of guys think. But if you could look at us you would just see a couple of ordinary guys like you. Kevin loves football and plays the guitar and Charlie's into skateboarding and writing. We joke and mess around like anybody else. Sexual abuse doesn't show on the outside, but it happened to us and that's why we're talking to you in this letter. A lot of guys have a hard time believing they can be a victim of something but sexual abuse is a crime and GUYS ARE VICTIMS TOO.
Look at the guy to your left. Now look at the guy on your right. You may think this is just a game, but do it okay? Look at the guys sitting in front of you. Just for a second. There's a real good chance one of these guys has been hurt. Maybe once, maybe lots of times, maybe he thinks it didn't matter; maybe he's too scared to talk about it. Imagine that you're hanging out with five of your friends. Statistics say that one of you could get hurt by the age of 16. That's a lot of us! So if this has happened to you, remember: YOU'RE NOT ALONE.
If a friend of yours is getting hurt and you figure out what's going on, don't blow him off. It's not his fault and he didn't ask for it. He's probably feeling scared and alone right now, so if he's your friend stick with him. Never say "I don't believe you" or "Get over it". Tell him "It wasn't your fault and I'm here for you if you want to talk about it". It's never the kid's fault when someone older forces or tricks us into doing stuff. And we're not just talking about the abuse. All the bad feelings about yourself and the other problems that come with abuse that's not your fault either. Sometimes that's hard to believe and both of us still have trouble believing it, but this is important: IT'S NEVER YOUR FAULT.
We know a lot of you guys are gonna be giggling and whispering while this is being read to you. But check this out. Sexual abuse isn't about love or "doing it". If we're talking and I suddenly beat the shit out of you, is that a chat? If we're in the kitchen and I smack you across the face with a frying pan, was I teaching you to cook? Of course not. Sexual abuse is about power, violence and control. It's like saying to a kid "You don't have the right to be a kid anymore; you're just a body. You can't stop me so I'm just going to help myself." ABUSE IS ABOUT POWER.
What's the worst thing about abuse? For me, Charlie, it's the feeling of loneliness, it's like you're looking at the world from the outside. Feeling different and thinking that you're labelled in some way. Missing out on being a kid and having to deal with grownup stuff and make grownup decisions. When you're being abused nothing feels safe or private. I thought my body belonged to other people. I felt trapped and scared 'cause if you don't feel safe in your own body where do you go? For me, Kevin, it's the emotions of the whole thing. I don't feel safe in my own room and I'm scared of the dark. I hate it if someone touches me and if I don't see it coming I feel like I'm going to be sick. No way I will go into a room and be alone with a grownup. I cry or start trembling for no reason, even in class. I don't like myself much and even if something cool happens, like getting an A+ in English or scoring a safety that wins us the game, I still look at other kids and wish I was one of them. What we mean by this is that part of dealing with abuse is feeling like your whole life is a wreck and you're totally messed up. You're not. YOU'RE GONNA BE OKAY.
It's the abuser and all his/her lies and tricks that's what's messed up. Feeling guilty or bad is another one. You keep looking back, thinking I could have done this or that. "I'm a guy and I should have said no". But we can both tell you most times it's not that simple. It happens too fast. You can't believe it's happening to you. You just get mixed up and scared, you freeze up and panic and feel like you don't have a choice. Maybe it's been happening for so long that it's become "normal", you don't know any different. Abusers have a million lies to trick and confuse you. You believe them because somehow it explains why this is happening: "This is our secret time", "Other guys do it", "Dads do this with their sons all the time", "You are special to me". Or you get threatened: "If you tell you will get thrown out of the house", "If people find out you'll get the blame". It's all lies and remember: YOU'RE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSE, THE ABUSER IS.
So if you're being abused what can you do? First thing, guys, you have to know it doesn't stop until you do something. Most abuse is done by people the kid knows, a member of your family or someone you see a lot. It's not easy when you have to face that person over and over again. A lot of times a guy being hurt gets desperate bit by bit. You don't see how everything is falling apart and you try all kinds of stuff to cope. Like drugs, cutting (self harm) or running away for example. None of that helps we know, okay? Drugs just get you into a different kind of hurt and running away isn't cool like it looks in the movies. We've both been there. Ask yourself: if I do this, is there any way things will be better afterwards? If the answer is no, forget it. YOUR SAFETY AND HEALTH IS IMPORTANT.
Every kid knows that dealing with grownups isn't easy. For a kid who's being hurt it's even harder trusting grownups. You feel like you have nobody to talk to. But sometimes you have to be brave and ask for help. Tell your best friend or a grownup you trust. If the abuser is a family member you can talk to a teacher, school nurse or call a child abuse hotline. They'll help you get safe. Telling someone might be the scariest thing you'll ever do, but you can make it stop. For me, Kevin, the problem was feeling scared. I didn't tell anybody 'til I got hurt so bad I thought I was going to die. I finally told my dad by waking him up in the middle of the night with a letter telling him everything. I, Charlie, tried to let grownups know by acting bad and getting in trouble. I felt like grownups didn't want to see or believe what was going on. People around me didn't find out about the abuse 'til I had to go to hospital for emergency surgery. There are different ways of telling. A letter is a good idea if you can't make yourself say the words. If you tell someone you trust then that person is on your side and they will help you. Grownups will believe you: a kid who's being abused always thinks he won't be believed but that's just another lie that abusers tell us. If you find yourself not being listened to, keep trying 'til you find someone who will. Don't risk your life. IT'S YOUR BODY! YOU CAN MAKE IT STOP!
It isn't easy writing this letter. Both of us have been hurt and dealing with abuse is hard. It's not easy to start over, learn to live and act like a normal kid, trust grownups again. We have so many questions but there are no easy answers. We feel confused and mixed up a lot of the time. What happened to us doesn't make any sense to us we're just kids, it's not fair. How can we stop this from happening to other guys? Speaking up is one way. Abusers try to make us feel embarrassed, dirty, alone and scared but they can't win if we start talking to each other about it. Knowing the facts makes us stronger and it gets easier to speak up and say "No! My body belongs to me!". Then if something happens to us or a friend we will be brave and tell someone and not let it go on for years and years, like we did. We all need each other. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS AND STAND UP FOR EACH OTHER.
Thanks for listening.
Kevin and Charlie
3 June 2005
Reading material:
How Long Does It Hurt : A Guide to Recovering from Incest and Sexual Abuse for Teenagers, Their Friends, and Their Families
ISBN: 0787975699
When Something Feels Wrong: A Survival Guide About Abuse for Young People
ISBN: 1575421151
We Are Not Alone: A Teenager Boy's Personal Account of Child Sexual Abuse from Disclosure Through Prosecution and Treatment
ISBN: 0789009277
Phone numbers:
Abuse Hotlines/Local Police
Websites:
http://www.childhelpusa.org
http://www.malesurvivor.org
http://www.safechild.org
http://www.safeteens.org
--------------------
It's my turn to be a kid
------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------
POWER CONCEDES NOTHING WITHOUT A DEMAND, never has never will. Frederick Douglas
Teach the children to NEVER HIDE IN THE SILENCE

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#66891 - 06/03/05 02:39 PM Re: KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Thank you Tom, and Charlie and Kevin. You guys did a great job.


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#66892 - 06/04/05 05:16 PM Re: KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
It is a fantastic and brave letter. It is so important for children and teenagers to hear about abuse in their own words. Charlie and Kevin, you have come such a long way with this. The worst ennemy of survivors is secret and silence.
I am sure your letter can help survivors in French speaking countries so I would like to offer to translate it in French so I can spread it around. As secretary of the NGO "Respect our child" we will be working on school programmes about abuse and it could be great to read your letter as a message to other teenagers. I am also thinking about a programme already in place in schools of the Montreal area. The programme is called "Clique sur toi" and their is a dedicated website for teenagers under that name.
Thank you again for this very brave and important contribution to the struggle.
Love and hugs
Caro (survivor and loving friend of a male survivor)

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#66893 - 06/04/05 07:35 PM Re: KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
Charlie Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 148
Quote:
I am sure your letter can help survivors in French speaking countries so I would like to offer to translate it in French so I can spread it around.
I think that's a really cool idea! I'm in Europe too (don't speak French) and I was talking to one of the guys here about using the letter over here. If you translate it to French, could you maybe add some links where French speaking kids can find information about abuse and get help? Maybe some phone numbers and books too?

I feel bad 'cause I haven't told my friends about the abuse yet and I don't think I'm ready. Not many people know what happened to me but writing about it helps. Maybe it was wrong of me to help write the letter when I'm still too scared to tell. But I'm real happy you like it. Thanks and hugs back.


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#66895 - 06/05/05 06:14 PM Re: KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Oki guys, thank you for that. I will send you a copy of the translation. Unfortunately, there won't be that many links because there isn't much available but will add whatever is available at the moment.
I wish you the very best in your recovery. Life is beautiful and there are wonderful people out there. \:\)
with my blessings
Caro

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#66896 - 06/06/05 12:33 PM Re: KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I would also like to see how this letter can be used here in Germany. I take the points made by Charlie and Kevin about the need for links and a translation that still speaks directly to teens.

Charlie and Kevin, is that okay with you two?

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#66897 - 06/06/05 03:10 PM Re: KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
Charlie Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 148
Quote:
Charlie and Kevin, is that okay with you two?
Larry, that's okay with me. I think it's really cool the letter's being used in Europe. I don't speak German but I understand a little bit. Thanks for the encouragement \:\)


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#66899 - 06/06/05 08:09 PM Re: KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
I sent the letter to the Independent, its the type of paper that teachers buy I think.

They did ask to see it, but dont be annoyed if they dont print it, but at least they voiced an interest.

I also told them that I can fill in some background knowledge if they need that, but anyway, lets just see.

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#66900 - 06/09/05 02:03 PM Re: KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Hi Charlie and Kev,

Thanks - I will look into this now and lets see what happens.

Woof woof ;\) ,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#66901 - 06/10/05 02:10 PM Re: KEVIN AND CHARLIE letter
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Charlie and Kevin,

Just an update. I have contacted our office for student support services here at the University and they are looking into the question of who I might see for using your letter in our area schools.

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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