Why Power of 21
My name is Manassah Bradley.
I started the Power of 21 because very little has changed since my rape 40 years ago by a teacher. I was a happy go lucky 13-year-old boy when a teacher asked me to help him in the bookroom. I naively walked into the room and barely survived a brutal rape. When I emerged from that room, that happy go lucky kid no longer existed. I could not comprehend what had happened to me. I was in shock and shattered. Shortly thereafter, I called the local rape crisis center. They told me that “Men cannot be raped. They can only be rapists.” and hung the phone up on me. I reported my rape to the Boston Police. They told me “It’s your word against a teacher at Boston Latin School. Go home and forget about it. No one will believe you. It’s just a misdemeanor.” I wrote a letter to the principal. It went unanswered.
Nobody believed me and there was nobody to help me.
Fast forward to today and very little has changed.
Male survivors of sexual abuse, regardless of their past or present experience as victims of sexual assault continue to be dismissed, marginalized and stigmatized by society. Many male survivors are overwhelmed, isolated and frustrated when looking for help. There is a wealth of help and resources for female survivors but if you are a male survivor, there is very little help. This must stop.
My goals are simple.
- Break the isolation that we all feel as male survivors.
- Remove the stigma or taboo of having been sexually assaulted so that boys/men can get the help they need.
- Raise money for non-profit organizations that provide health and counseling services for male survivors.
- Become a powerful force for change.
How do we do that?
- Start a movement.
- Mobilize the 21,000,000 male survivors into a powerful force for good.
- We need to stand up and be seen. Not one or two of us. But all of us. Once we are seen, society cannot deny that male sexual assault and rape is a real problem. As more men stand up, we gain increased awareness and the stigma or taboo associated with the abuse will diminish. As the stigma is lessened, more and more men will stand up and the movement, the Power of 21, will become a dynamic force for change.
I look forward to meeting you,