|About Oprah & Tyler
By Tim Fischer
It's About Me
October 29, 2010
In a whirlwind of two days I was honored to participate in a historic TV event. Oprah gathered 200 men from all over the US and Canada, each of us a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and brought us all to Chicago to be on her show. While we all stood with photos of ourselves from the year we were first molested and/or raped at the start of the show, Ms. Winfrey cried. It truly felt like we were doing something that had never been done before. The show touched on a few of our stories, telling in graphic detail, many of the horrors children of sex abuse crimes go through. My heart ached for all of us.
The best part of this was there were 200 men standing united by our childhood sexual abuse, saying we are fed up. Around the world people need to open their eyes and see the truth of what is happening to children!
The worst part was there were 200 Oprah shows there that day. Each and everyone of us could have been an hour long Oprah show. Everyone there was willing to tell his story in all its Godawful detail. But sadly, there was only enough time to do two shows. Harpo studios had been recording segments for these 2 shows for weeks in advance of the 200 coming to Chicago on the 19th and 20th. So as hands went up all over the studio, it quickly became apparent that only a few were going to get to talk and that everyone there had an amazing and tragic story to share. Ms. Winfrey sat with her back to my section most of the show and did not call on anyone from this section. While I would have loved to interject many points into the conversation, from why men don’t tell, to how important it is to have a huge support net of friends and family, down to the details of how Fr. Christian’s sister Carol came to be on my side during all that I went through, I, along with most of the men in the studio that day, never got the chance. There were just too many stories for the time she had.
Oprah seemed very shocked that 1 in 6 of all men have been abused as a child. Most survivors know this number is really very low because men tend not to report their abuse because of social pressures, the gay stigma, if your abuser was a male, or total non-belief that a boy could be “abused” by a woman, believing instead he “wanted it.” Somehow they think this even though he was just little boy.
Tyler Perry is an amazing man. I really appreciate what he is doing to raise awareness on this subject too. I believe you can see by the fact that he is one of the most powerful men in Hollywood today and yet he is talking publicly about his childhood abuse, how powerful this is in every man’s life. And like all survivors, he simply wants to protect the next generation.
Childhood sexual abuse is the moment in a survivor’s life when we mark the death of our childhood. Just ask Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, any of the 200 of the men that were on that show, or you can ask 1 in 6 of the men you know or 1 in 3 of the women you know. I hope and pray you are one of the lucky ones who needs to ask someone else. Sadly it is a common statement among survivors “it was the day the little boy/girl in me died.” I have said it, Tyler Perry said it, and every survivor I know has said it or said, “Yes. That’s exactly how I feel too.”
I think these two Oprah shows that will air November 5th and 12th will serve as a springboard to start a larger worldwide conversation on this subject. I would like to see the 200 of us that shared in this experience do more networking with each other and join the many forces at work today to stop the abuse of children.
Finally I would like to say this:
Pedophiles around the world: hear the ground swell of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who are fed up with your abuse and realize we are active and we are not going to put up with you any longer.
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