This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Expose on Sexual Abuse Problem with USA Swimming

Outside did a pretty good job of detailing the situation that has been going on for years within USA Swimming, as well as looking at the larger picture of amateur athletics as a whole.

Not only do they talk to some of the survivors of sexual abuse by coaches, they also do a good job of explaining the barriers that exist to the victims. Legal fights with national institutions with big pockets looking to protect their reputation first, lack of clear policies and reporting structures, the status of successful coaches in the community and with other athletes and on and on.

If you have kids involved in any sport, you should read up on it.

Here’s hoping the recent changes made by USA Swimming help protect kids from abusive coached and weed out those seeds from ever being able to work with kids again!

New Feature – Submit a Guest Review

If you’re subscribed to the mailing list, you knew about this over the weekend, but for the rest of you, we have an announcement!

Recently, I’ve come to the realization that Ken and I have had less and less time available for reading and reviewing books, or watching movies and documentaries and writing reviews for the site. We can still post up the occasionally news story to the News and Reviews blog, but the “reviews” portion is starting to lack. I still feel very strongly that sharing good resources, whether they be books or other media, with survivors is an important mission, and that’s why I’m going to open up a place for readers to submit their own reviews.

Obviously, in the interest of reader safety, I’ll be reviewing all submissions before they go live on the site, and there are rules, as you can see in the link below, but I hope that you will consider sharing some of the books, videos, documentaries, etc. that you have found valuable in your healing.

I’m hoping this will provide a good way for the larger survivor community to contribute reviews, and suggestions, for survivors during these times when we just don’t have the ability to do so. If you know of other survivors who would like to take advantage of this feature to share their own reviews, please share this post with them. Like most things around here, this feature is an experiment, that might lead to some additional ways for others to contribute to the site beyond reviews, or may get shuttered if it doesn’t work. That’s how it goes with experiments! ;-)

I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of reviews you guys have out there!

Mike Tyson’s Admission Can Put Another Nail in the Stigma Coffin

Recently, former boxer Mike Tyson publicly admitted to having been sexually abused as a child. As the Atlanta Black Star quotes Darwin Hobbs:

“There is so much stigma around sexual abuse. But when someone like Tyson, a strong Black man, reveals it’s happened to him, it really helps reduce this notion that you are counted out if you are an abuse victim,” he says. “And even more important, it empowers people to come forward.”

As a male survivor of sexual abuse, I’ve seen the stigma play out in so many ways through the years. Plenty of people catch a mention of this site, or a single post, and assume it’s run by a woman. Others read far enough to learn that I am male, and assume I’m gay. Why? Because I admit to having been molested as a kid? Perhaps having someone who couldn’t be more masculine come forward will help people understand that sexual abuse happens to all kinds of kids, male, female, straight, gay, bi and everything in between.

Interestingly, I can’t help but wonder how much that stigma contributed to some of Tyson’s behavior as an adult. I don’t condone, or excuse, many of the things he’s done, but you can certainly draw a straight line to some of the womanizing, the violence, etc. and the possibility that he was overcompensating for something. Feeling like he needed to prove his “manliness” after such an experience, maybe?

This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Mental Illness and Celebrity

An interesting article went viral this week, comparing the media coverage, and public gawking at Amanda Bynes seemingly bizarre behavior, and Robin Williams suicide.

A quote I want you to read from the piece:

If it is indeed true that Amanda Bynes has both bipolar and schizophrenia, she faces an uphill battle. These are both diseases with high mortality rates, and devastating symptoms that are difficult to treat. And while she faces these illnesses, the entire world is watching. To have the audacity of laughing and poking fun as she struggles with these painful disorders is truly disgusting.

It’s all fun and games until someone dies, as was the case with Robin Williams. When celebrities have very public “breakdowns,” we find them entertaining, sensational, intriguing. When celebrities die from these illnesses, however, we grieve for them, celebrate their lives, and profess our sympathy for their struggle.

Amanda Bynes may be battling two illnesses that could very easily kill her. Why is she not receiving the same level of respect, tact, and compassion that we afford those who have already died at the hands of these same illnesses?

Are we only deserving of dignity and respect if we die?

I think this goes back to something I’ve written before.

When you do not see someone as a real person, it’s easier and easier to treat them in a less than humane way.

Perhaps it’s the death that brings home the reality that the “crazy celebrity” is an actual person, not a side show for our own entertainment. Unfortunately, we see this sort of behavior every where. Celebs, athletes, politicians, etc. aren’t real people with real lives, and potentially , mental health problems. They are non-people, the other. No one feels compassion for the other, so maybe we should admit that they are just as human as we are.