Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Recovery is difficult but the alternative is keeping your secret and thats much worse"

13 years ago, Dan Leonard revealed his secret for the first time, a secret that for many years ruined his life. He was abused by a serial pedophile, his football coach, from the age of 11 to 13. Leonard told his story at the Domestic and Sexual Volence Coalition's 19th Annual Report to the Community. For the first time in 19 years, a line up of all male survivors spoke out. "There were many bystanders to the abuse that happened to me, many of them had suspicions but nobody ever spoke up, nobody ever stepped in to help that little boy," said Leonard.

Leonard hopes a full recovery will come one day for him...but he still has to work at it. He admits his teen years were dangerous involving alcoholism and other reckless behavior. "Recovery is difficult but the alternative is keeping your secret and thats much worse," said Leonard.

"Sometimes the numbers flash before your eyes and they don't really have meaning, when you listen to the stories of inidividuals who have survived trauma and the attack on their spirit and soul that both domestic and sexual violence are, you remember what the numbers really mean," said Randi Bregman, Executive Director of Vera House. At least one in ten males will become the victim of sexual assault at some point in their lives, and the Vera House offers counseling and support groups for victims of any type of abuse. You can contact them at 315-468-3260, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for support.

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