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The Sciences

End The Silence

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumJune 4, 2009 6:40 PM

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I have received a tremendous amount of email regarding Silence Is The Enemy. Many letters arrived from victims; several revealing they have never spoken out publicly. Among these were multiple heartbreaking stories from men--some who have lived with the secret of sexual assault for decades--describing the way their lives have been dramatically impacted by guilt, shame, embarrassment, and anger. Let me be clear: The initiative that began Monday to end the silence is not focused on one gender or limited to a single specific region. The purpose is to draw more attention to the crisis globally and encourage everyone to talk about it and act. This very week in Florida, four teenage boys were charged--as adults--after admitting to the repeated sodomy of a 13-year-old boy. The details are here, but I'd like to direct your gaze to a few sentences in particular:

Multiple people witnessed the attacks, but no one reported the incidents, including the victim, Hindman said.

and:

The prosecutor said the victim's screams could be heard outside the boys' locker room at Walker Middle School, in southern Tampa, where the allegedly assaults took place.

and:

Several students witnessed the incidents over the two months, said the prosecutor, who added that she could not understand why no one reported the attacks.

End the silence.

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