COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Columbus man and sexual assault survivor has a message for the community: men too can be victims of sexual assault and rape.
April is sexual assault awareness month. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest Network (RAINN), 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male.
When Antoine Davison was 5 years old he was molested by a family member. This experience led Davison to create a documentary about sexual assault awareness.
“I’ve been wanting to do something to spread awareness, to start telling my story. Right now kids, teenagers and adults are going through this and they don’t know how to tell somebody,” Davison said.
Davison said it was hard growing up as a child dealing with this trauma. But, he said, everything is a process and he is still healing from his childhood.
“It was hard. I’m not going to sit here and say things are perfect now. I’m 31 years old and I’m still going through the process of getting some healing,” Davison said.
Part of Davison’s healing is his documentary Surviving Sexual Trauma Men’s Edition. Davison isn’t the only survivor in the documentary. Syberik Johnson shares his story as well.
“I’ve done acting before, but it was another opportunity to not just act but to be apart of a real type of event so I could just tell my story.” Johnson said
Davison also reached out to two other actors to be a part of his project, Tureka Grande Beauty Watson and Neresuia Johnson. It took Johnson two weeks to put everything together but it only took one day for him and his film crew to complete the project. Filming took place at the Hotel Indigo in Columbus.
The two actresses Grande Beauty-Watson and Neresuia said this was an eye-opening experience for them.
“It brought a new reality for me to be able to speak to Antoine and Syberik about their journey with sexual assault. It enlightened me to understand that it goes beyond just women, that it does affect men in various ways,” Neresuia said.
“I get why they’re quiet because just like Antoine was saying you have the macho thing, the masculine thing. It emasculates them in some type of way,” Grande Beauty-Watson said ” whether it happened from a man who molested them or a woman that molested them, it’s a mental process.”
Davison and the rest of the actors want this documentary to start those hard conversations. Davison believes that having that tough conversation can save so many lives.
“You’re not crazy, you’re going through it and you need to tell somebody before you explode and have a lot of anger, which I can admit I’ve had. Just remember talk to somebody, that’s the number one key,” Davison said.
1 in 6 Statistic states that men who have experienced sexual abuse are less likely to disclose the information than women. Their research also states that only 16% of men with documented histories of sexual abuse considered themselves to have been sexually abused compared to 64% of women with documented histories in the same study.
Research also shows that men who are sexually abused are at greater risk for mental health problems, including:
- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression
- Alcoholism and drug abuse
- Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts
- Problems in intimate relationships
- Underachievement at school and at work
“Break the silence, for so long things like this have been… it’s been going on for centuries and a lot of people don’t talk about it. You’ll be surprised how good you will feel just to be open about it,” Johnson said.
The documentary Surviving Sexual Trauma Men’s Edition will be available on YouTube on April 11 at 5 p.m.
Help is available, speak with someone today 1-800-656-4673.
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