Rob Brown explains the myths and misunderstandings surround the victims of childhood sexual abuse.
There are several well-entrenched myths that society finds simple and advantageous to framing cases of boys and men being sexually abused. When just one of the myths was employed in my divorce case, I lost everything that had any value to me, including my children, my dignity and any image of masculinity.
Myth #1: The male victim of abuse will become a sex-offender.
I think this particular one drove the divorce case from an amicable-action, to an outrageous and horrid war. When my wife’s attorney heard those words; “he was sexually abused for 7 years as a child,” she launched a full attack based upon me being a certain and inherent danger to children everywhere. The attorney knew that the particular courthouse we would use held old-school judges who would fully embrace such assertions. And, our judge did just that.
The morning I learned of the covert attacks I was taking my morning shower, when I heard heavy-booted footsteps enter the bathroom. “Come out with your hands where we can see them! Do you have a weapon with you?” Unfortunately, I did not normally carry a “weapon” in my shower. But I quickly yanked the curtain back to see two county sheriffs; one with a yellow stun-gun pointed at me. “Mr. Brown, your wife wants you out of the house now as you are a perceived danger and the court has granted her an ex-parte order to have you removed immediately.”
I stepped out and toweled off without any due modesty as I was in total body-quivering shock. They handed me a packed of court paper so thick it could not be folded. I quickly skimmed it and saw flashes of devastating lies: “…was raped as a child…likely abuser…probably will burn house down…gun-fight…rage danger…psychotic rage…spousal abuse…PTSD…depression.” The outright fabrication of these elements was totally based upon the myth that the child victim grows into a monster, and a very dangerous one at that.
The judge who signed that ex-parte order based upon these fabrications, fully bought into the myth; a condition that would sink my entire case-rebuttal, my life and my phenomenal relationship with my two children. I was sent away to never return…to never see my children and to just go off and die. The eight additional cops outside were there for the gunfight they were promised and/or my suicide-by-cop. My fictional violent reaction was freely predicted and broadcast throughout half of New Hampshire. They even called my therapist to advise him I’ll likely be killing myself today. No one knows why they told him that…they just did it.
It took two months of waiting…not seeing my beloved two children and living in complete exile before I was allowed to state my case in any hearing. The initial hearing was literally 10 minutes of the judge agreeing with her attorney that I “had to be a danger with such a history of being sexually abused.” Without any applied logic, rules of court or evidence being required by this judge, I was ordered to see a psychologist for complete evaluation, see my kids in a supervised setting for two hours per week, take a guardian ad litem, and pay for it all myself.
The case dragged-on for over a year of nearly never seeing my children (who were told Daddy is dangerous…why else would the sheriffs have to take him out) and cost me over $140,000 in lawyer fees alone.
This myth of The Vampire Bite carries on throughout society to marginalize the disclosed victim, and shower him with undue guilt and hatred. The victim learns to fear what he ought not. He feels that he’s destined to molest others even though he has no inclination to do so, ever.
Suicides have actually been initiated and completed based upon a boy or grown man being painted with this lie that society loves to embrace so readily. The crafty adult perpetrators will use this and other myths to leverage the boy’s silence into a near certainty. Some perpetrators have been known to discuss and show documentation of the myth to the boy; a weapon of further horror and a near guarantee of his silence. Even in adulthood, we tend to believe what society believes. Thus, our continued silence is always easier than disclosure.
Silence costs the boy and the grown man dearly. With the existence of this and other well-accepted myths, disclosure will always be highly unlikely.
Because I asked about its whereabouts, my Healing Journal was taken from the marital residence, professionally reproduced, indexed and distributed to an undefined group of semi-involved people. The journal contained writings, memories of a little boy in the midst of being frequently raped, physical abused and fully abandoned by any/all who should have cared for and protected him. The journal contained the first-ever testimony of what happened.
Though it was penned by the adult boy, it was born of vivid, little-boy flashbacks so severe I would piss myself, pass-out, curl-up in a corner and lose hours of a day into oblivion and panic. It told of anal rape, dissociating into talking to a chocolate stain on the sofa just inches from my nose, full knowledge that my 8-year-old body would die and bloody underwear needing to be tossed into the woods.
The journal even contained the terse comments and rants of Christopher. Christopher was an alternate persona of mine I have only seen in video recordings of me. He was the strong one. He apparently took over for little Robbie and provided an emotional toughness required to survive time in Hell.
I sat in stunned amazement when the judge admitted the journal into evidence after having spent the prior night reading it. I stood up and yelped “this is wrong,” when he read from it — aloud and went on to call the contents “disturbing…truly disturbing.”
As an Reserve-Army JAG, this judge was very old school and gripped Myth #1 with complete confidence that it was true, and he was going to make it true no matter what the tally of ethical and human cost added up to. He did not like the fact that the psychologist cleared me of any propensity to offend and declared my kids free of any harm in his lengthy report. So, the judge abused me using my own therapy tools, and justice using a little boy’s horror.
—Photo Shawn Allen/Flickr