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For the past ten years I have spoken openly and publically about my emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual abuse, something I only did in the past in the way of justifying my behavior. I would tell my wife and friends, “If what happened to me happened to me happened to you, you’d be drinking or acting this way also.”
I already knew the story of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team’s investigation of the Archdiocese of Boston’s cover-up of sexual abuse by scores of its priests. I knew most of the characters. I even caught a glimpse of the name of the priest who sexually abused me back in the mid-1960s. But what moved me most was two boys sitting near me in the theater of the Spotlight film recently.
The revelation this week about decades of unaddressed sexual abuse and assault at a New England school offers some important reminders about the power of community.
We’ve heard it takes a village to raise a child. In a way, these men, by connecting with each other, are recreating the network of support and nurturance idealized in the image of that protective village, which for so many men was unavailable in their own childhoods