Zack Ruth - I am a Survivor of Sexual Abuse.

According to a Wikipedia-cited breakdown published by the FBI in 2012, there had been over 67,000 reported cases of female sexual offense victims. In the same year, there were only 12,000 reported male sexual offense victims.

The same report broke down the number of sexual offenders. In their findings, the FBI reported slightly over 4,000 female sexual offenders, and an astounding 70,000+ male predators. 

So it’s no wonder why the stigma that only women can be harmed - and only men can do the harming - is the existing perception. 

This week’s guest, Zack Ruth, bravely shatters the perception - and unveils the reality behind those numbers. 

The now 27-year old was first raped 21 years ago at the inconceivable age of just 6 years old. His offender - the identity of which will remain anonymous - was a teenaged boy who lived near his childhood home.

“I never knew I was raped or sexually abused, because I couldn’t process what that meant as a 6 year old,” Zack explains. 

But even after years of therapy and various treatments for the depression, anxiety, and PTSD the series of attacks - which ultimately spanned 2-3 years - left him to suffer with, Zack only recently came to terms with the source of his pain.

“I had spent so many years seeking help, but I was never honest with myself. I was too humiliated about what happened to even tell a doctor.”

The humiliation associated with being a male sexual offense victim is pervasive; many studies have indicated that the number of male victims is likely grossly underreported - for the same reason Zack struggled for so long to speak his truth.

But Zack knew the only way to begin healing, was to do just that:

“I knew that day that I had to eventually tell the truth to begin healing and moving forward in my life.”

The day Zack refers to is just a couple months back; his healing process has only just begun, and it all started by sitting his parents and boyfriend down to tell them his painful story.

Now, Zack fearlessly shares his story with us, too. He explains what it was like to tell his parents, how it’s changed his relationship with his long term boyfriend - who joins us for the podcast component of the episode, and gives us insight into what it’s like to be a partner of a sexual abuse victim - and what it’s meant for his personal growth. Zack cites his experience on ‘For the Hayters’ as a step forward in his restoration, and reminds us allthat we are not alone. Because while he has vowed to finally heal himself, he has also implored every victim – and even offender – to do the same. Make sure to tune in on Wednesday, July 10th, to hear his message to everyone – men, and women, alike.

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