Author: Ryan

The Story of a Young Woman Who Was Abused

The Story of a Young Woman Who Was Abused

Op-Ed: One lesson from the Weinstein case is that men like me must speak out about abuse

Last year, I was working as a volunteer intern at a women’s shelter in New York and, when I got to a meeting about a young woman with whom I shared a tiny office, she asked if she could take me inside.

I was working at a place that accepted women of many backgrounds. We had both come from a background of poverty, but that didn’t stop us from sitting together and talking. She invited me into her world with open arms. She was an artist: a playwright, an actress. She told me about her work and how it inspired her.

When I saw the young woman that I was sitting with, I could understand why she thought I was right for her. We were two very different people coming together, but she didn’t know that a lot of her friends at the shelter would think the same about me.

I didn’t think I could ever get her alone, so I told her about my past. “I was sexually abused as a child,” I told her. “I went to jail for child porn and I spent the next five years in and out of jails for violent crimes against women.” She was stunned.

I left that meeting with tears in my eyes.

I said to myself as I left that I had a chance to start fresh, and I didn’t mean for it to be about me. It was about her.

Later that day, the young woman called me. They had put out a tip about the abuse on the news, and she had just been assaulted.

The next day, I went to my first therapy session. I told my counselor that I was going to sit in the group for open-ended therapy. I told the therapist that this young woman was sitting in the group with the same name as me.

At the time, no one, including the youth, had known our shared name. I told my therapist that I was afraid that I was going to be seen as a predator for taking her in and that was what happened.

For the next few months, I was seeing a therapist, doing an open

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