November 17, 2010

Canadian Abuse Survivors Speak up on Oprah Show

Perhaps it goes without saying, but childhood sexual abuse is a world wide problem.

Lat week I posted about Oprah's show about male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Since the show aired there have been a number of news stories about Canadian men who survived childhood sexual abuse who participated in the show.

Here is a story from The Citizen Newspaper: Ottawa Sexual Abuse Survivor Confronts Past on Oprah Winfrey Show.

The CBC reported on a gentleman from Prince Edward Island: Oprah Talks to P.E.I. Abuse Survivor

I wanted to take a moment to applaud the courage of these men and all the others who participated in the show.

The first step to stopping childhood abuse is to talk about it. To acknowlege that it happens. Only then can we as a society take steps to prevent it from happening in the future.

"Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow." Albert Einstein

November 12, 2010

Oprah Sheds Light on Male Childhood Sexual Abuse

My wife is a big fan of Oprah Winfrey. She is certainly one of the most influential people in North America (Oprah, not my wife). So I was pleased when my wife told me that Oprah had devoted two days to a show about male survivors of sexual abuse. The first part aired last week. Part two is scheduled to be aired today.

The show is about the stories of 200 adult men who were molested as children. I applaud Oprah’s efforts to encourage male survivors of sexual abuse to come forward.

Disclosure Painful

I have been representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse for almost 20 years. Having represented literally hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse I can say for a fact that male survivors of sexual abuse find it more difficult to talk about what happened to them than the female survivors that I have helped.

The First Step

The first step to stopping childhood sexual abuse is to talk about it. Talking about the reality of childhood sexual abuse will help reduce the stigma for survivors. It will help educate the public about the effects of childhood sexual abuse. It will teach parents, family and friends what to look for so you know when it is happening.

I cannot tell you how many times survivors of sexual abuse have said to me: “I thought I was the only one…”.

You Are Not Alone

If there is one thing male survivors of sexual abuse need to know is: You are not alone!

Resource Guide

Survivors often have a difficult time finding someone they can trust to talk about what happened to them. So I have prepared a resource guide for survivors of sexual abuse that lists counselors throughout Atlantic Canada who specialize in helping sexual abuse survivors. You can get a copy by contacting me.

Continue reading "Oprah Sheds Light on Male Childhood Sexual Abuse " »

May 26, 2008

Throw the Book at Sexual Predators

In an Editorial published today in The Montreal Gazette the authors point to the apparent epidemic of sexual abuse in schools.

...it is impossible to know how large the problem of sexual predators in schools is, but there is, definitely, a problem. A 2001-2005 investigation in the U.S. last year by Associated Press found more than 2,500 cases of teachers who were either sanctioned by their schools or, in half the cases, convicted of a crime of sexual misconduct.

The authors conclude:

The seriousness of child sexual abuse cannot be overstated. Victims talk of lives ruined. They are unable to work, form relationships, enjoy friendships or accomplish what they hoped to in life.

The justice system seems to be the one realistic hope of putting an end to a predator's career.

I couldn't agree more. I have been representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse for more than 15 years. Criminal charges provide the justice system with a chance to punish sexual predators. Civil claims for sexual abuse hold the institutions that allow sexual deviants to prey on child accountible for the lives destroyed by sexual abuse.

If you have been a victim of childhood sexual abuse you can contact me for a free report about childhood sexual abuse claims and a manual of Atlantic Canadian resources for survivors of sexual abuse.

August 1, 2007

Halifax teacher charged with Sexual Abuse

A Grade 7 teacher from Park West school in Clayton Park in Halifax has been charged with sexual touching, and sexual assault against two boys. Scott Gordon Comeau has worked for the Halifax Regional School board since 1996.

More details here .

May 8, 2007

Sex Abuser Teacher had "Relationship" with Victim?

Today I saw a story in the Arizona Republic by E. J. Montini commenting on the case of a 26 year (female) teacher charged with sexual abuse of one of her teenage students. The teacher was described by the prosecutor as having a "relationship" with the victim.

Here's the full story: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0506montini0506.html

As an attorney with a special interest in representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse I agree wholeheartedly that there is a double standard with punishment received by female sex abusers. One only has to look at the statement of the judge who sentenced 43 year old teacher Pamela Moore, who was convicted of sexually assaulting one of the 13 year old boys in her class:

"I really don't see the harm that was done here, and certainly society doesn't need to be worried. I do not believe she is a sexual predator. It's just something between two people that clicked beyond the teacher-student relationship."

Can you imagine the howls of outrage from the public if a judge said a male teacher (or a priest) wasn't a sexual predator because he had "clicked" with a thirteen year old girl? Sexual abuse of a child is a crime and whether the abuser is male or female the trauma caused by the abuse can destroy a child's life.