This takes some serious courage as a republican, a politician and a human being. So kudos to Senator Scott Brown, republican of Massachusetts, for lifting the veil:
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) told 60 Minutes he was sexually abused by a camp counselor as a child. He says he never told anyone and that even his mother will read about it for the first time in his forthcoming book, Against All Odds.
The video of the interview is here. I’m amazed that a republican senator actually had the courage to talk about this in public, and I admire his courage. It can’t be easy. But it’s a huge problem, and it’s wonderful that someone is actually talking about it. Between 15 and 25% of women and 5 to 15% of men in America were abused at some point during their childhood. I’m guessing that the statistics are similar elsewhere in the world. It’s got to be one of the most traumatic experiences that one could ever live through. And while millions of people have suffered as a result of it, child abuse is something to which few public faces have been attached, even with the Catholic Church sex scandals. Billie Holiday, Carlos Santana, Marilyn Monroe and Oprah Winfrey are the few people that spring to mind, though there are no doubt others who have not made public their past childhood traumas.
I remember living in Ireland during the first (or perhaps it was the second?) wave of the clerical sex scandals there. I remember the faces of those that had finally summoned the courage to talk about their horrific experiences on camera. And it’s clear that there were millions more like them who were molested by priests, camp counsellors, teachers, doctors and family members. It’s always good to have a public face who’s willing to talk about his or her own experiences. It’s always good to know that you’re not alone. Scott Brown may have sacrificed his presidential ambitions by talking about his being sexually abused as a child, but he’s certainly gained my respect. Well done, Senator.