“You won’t tell anyone? If you do, I could get in a lot of trouble so you’re not going to share OUR secret will you?”
“No, I wont tell anyone. I’ll keep this to myself. I’ll keep our secret”
There. It was done. I had just made the promise to my high school music teacher to keep this secret, any many more....
It was more than three decades before I decided not to keep my music teacher’s secret anymore. Finally in my late 40’s I felt strong enough to share with first the police then with society the abuse I had suffered for over two and a half years in high school. After I went public the question I was asked most in various ways was, “Why did I stay silent for so many years?” The answer is not as simple as the question, there are many reasons why but the root cause was because I was groomed by my teacher for years. He was, like all sexual predators, a skilled manipulator. He was able to groom both his many victims and the adults around him for decades.
During the winter 2019 and 2020 semesters I have worked with students in the Women and Gender Studies Program. I spend time with all of the students in groups of four or five people as we explore sexual assault. We break it down and dissect the complicated layers it has. Topics include: how to define sexual assault; the lasting effects it has on victims; society's views and beliefs; the institutionalization effect; what we can do to prevent it and; how can society take it out of the shadows.
On November 20th I participated in an event in Almonte at the Old Town Hall. It was an important conversation about male victims of sexual abuse.
Please read the article about the event HERE