March 21, 2018
By Michael Mroziak
On the same day the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo released a list of 42 clergy accused of sexually abusing minors, a childhood sex abuse victim – himself allegedly abused by a now-deceased priest – shared his experience of coming to terms and reaching out for help.
Tom Travers, who now brings people together to share and cope with their childhood experiences with the group William’s Place, told WBFO although he was abused as a child, he didn’t feel strong enough to reveal his trauma until he was in his late 40s.
At the age of 48, he returned to the church where he said he was abused. Travers says it took about a year after that until he could go public with his story. The few he told, he explained, didn’t receive him well and left him feeling re-victimized.
“Shame and guilt are major driving factors in being able to come to terms with this,” Travers said. “When these things happen to us as children, we absolutely feel that we were involved in it, that it was partially our fault. And often, abusers convince us that we have to remain secret and that we were an active participant in the abuse.”
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