Many victims of child sex abuse feel that they have nowhere to turn for help, keeping the issue hidden which can cause emotional trauma.
One local victim of child sex abused offered help Saturday to victims of abuse to get the help they need, 10TV's Chuck Strickler reported.
"What this has done for our society is that people now understand that this does happen to boys, whether it's Catholic priests or coaches or teachers or family members. It happens and it happens a lot," said sex abuse survivor Gary Zanow.
Zanow said he was sexually abused as a young boy, which caused him years of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
Zanow even made two trips to the hospital for post traumatic stress disorder, Strickler reported.
Recent national stories, including the convictions of former assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky and Catholic Monsignor William Lynn in Philadelphia help to create more awareness and courage for victims to come forward, Strickler reported.
"There's a long history of men keeping this as a secret. It's not something we want to talk about" said Zanow. "I'm 47-years-old, and it's taken me 40 years to come out and say that I was sexually abused as a child."
Zanow's journey has helped spearhead a new group in Columbus to offer help and support to other victims, Strickler reported.
It is called One-Sixth Columbus, after the statistic that shows one in six men have been abused in their lifetimes.
"I can't tell you how many times I've told the story of what happened to me as a boy and had somebody say, 'It's like I'm looking at a mirror,'" said Zanow. "Just so guys know they're not alone. I though I was alone for all those years, and there's a lot of us, and we can get help."
Zanow said the 12-step, peer-supported group meets once a week in Columbus.
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