More Often Than Women, Sexually Abused Males Don't Talk About It


His wife, a lawyer, also was the person who successfully persuaded her husband's hometown to change the name of a municipal park that was briefly named after Treml's abuser, a former parks and recreation director for that town who, Treml said, surrounded himself back then with about a dozen boys who also were relatively small in stature.

Fighting back against one's abuser and the abuse can take many forms, Treml said. When he was in his 30s, he confronted the man, who, in the years after abusing Treml, pleaded no contest to a charge of corrupting minors by supplying alcohol to boys from school for troubled kids.

"Telling my whole family was a big part of my healing process," Treml said, adding that he's in touch with others who, during their shared boyhood, were assaulted by the same man. They have chosen not to speak up about it.

"Being able to speak about it publicly is extremely empowering. It's how I've gone from being a victim to being a survivor," Treml said. "The way I look at all of this is if I can help one kid, I've done my job."

Particularly for men, being vocal about what they've endured "takes a lot of courage," Reiss said. "It takes courage to say you've been taken advantage of, and courage to accept that, if you're going to deal with this, you're going to feel much worse before you feel better.

"On many different levels, it also takes courage to deal with friends and family who don't want to believe you, and, after you tell it, to lose friends and family who themselves have been abused and don't want to acknowledge that. Quite often, in my own practice, that's what I see."

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