Plymouth Meeting, PA (PressExposure) April 18, 2012 -- Today sexual abuse is a growing pandemic that affects not just girls and women but also boys and men.
According to 1in6 (http://1in6.org), a male sexual-abuse advocacy organization, at least one in six men has experienced unwanted or abusive sexual experiences before the age of sixteen. Experts say the numbers may be much higher because, they believe, many cases go unreported due to the shame and fear survivors experience.
"Considering the frequency and the statistics, I'm amazed there is such worldwide denial regarding sexual violence, sexual predation, and sexual assault against male children and young men," says Peter S. Pelullo, a frequent guest on the Dr. Drew show and author of the recently released book "Betrayal and the Beast."
Says Mr. Pelullo, "I've seen studies that suggest as many as one in four boys may have been sexually abused. Rutgers University Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance reports males and females up to their early teens have an almost equal chance of being sexually assaulted." [http://sexualassault.rutgers.edu/maleabuse.htm].
In his book, "Betrayal and the Beast," Mr. Pelullo focuses on his own journey as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and sexual predation. For many years he kept hidden and refused to face his own debilitating issues as a survivor-the shame, rage, multiple addictions, depression, and other influences that directly impacted his life. Finally, at the age of fifty-five, Mr. Pelullo confronted the sexual abuse he endured as a child.
CarolinaLive.com reported that since the sexual abuse allegations at Penn State University and Syracuse University, more male victims have contacted child sex-abuse organizations for help.
"Hopefully our society is changing to an environment where more boys and men who have survived such sexual trauma as children will be willing to report their experiences and find ways to recover," says Mr. Pelullo.
Himself a childhood sexual abuse survivor, Mr. Pelullo created the Let Go...Let Peace Come In Foundation, an international outreach program aimed at bringing victims to the recovery process. In addition the foundation is aligned with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a common goal of preventing child sexual abuse and the harm and suffering it inflicts and improving treatment for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Many male victims of sexual abuse experience lifelong challenges that have dramatic and negative effects on their lives, such as:
* Drug and alcohol addictions
* Intimacy and trust issues
* Sex-related problems (sexual dysfunction, hypersexuality, sexual aggression)
* Questioning their sexuality
* Thoughts of suicide
* Anger and rage issues
* Psychological and mental issues
* Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
* Eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia, binge eating)
* Risk-taking behavior
"What's most important is that people in authority, including parents, teachers, clergy, police, doctors, and others, become more open with and concerned about the victims," says Mr. Pelullo. "Our government and politicians must be more proactive and make sexual-abuse laws tougher, increase funding to help sexual abuse victims, and create preventive and educational programs for teachers, parents, adults, and children as well."
Peter S. Pelullo was the founder of Philly World Records and owner of a premiere recording studio in the '70s, where he worked with the Rolling Stones, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Cashmere, and Eugene Wilde. He is now an entrepreneur and financier focusing on technology startups. During his journey in recovery, he created the Let Go...Let Peace Come In Foundation, which supports adult victims of childhood sexual abuse throughout the world.