Turning Point Counseling Center billboard: ‘Men…#MeToo?’

SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- The 'MeToo' movement was created to remind female victims of sexual abuse that "you are never alone".

Turning Point Counseling Center in York County is seeing men who've also been the victim of sexual abuse.

1 in 4 women, and 1 in 6 men will be sexually abused by the age of 18, and those are just the victims who report the abuse.

Whether you're a man or woman, survivors say when you speak out, you begin the healing process.

'It is your truth. Your power. Your soul. Don't let anyone's misconceptions steal it. Including your own.'

Artwork at Turning Point encourages survivors of sexual violence to tell their story.

"Just acknowledging that this is happening to you and saying it out loud is really the most difficult," said Amber Wagman, a therapist at Turning Point.

Now, a billboard, designed to empower male survivors, uses the #MeToo movement as the catalyst.

"It started the conversation, and you know, it's very difficult to have this conversation. Being a sexual assault victim as a child, it creates a lot of shame. You feel very isolated and alone," said Kristen Ffautz Woolley, the founder and clinical director of Turning Point.

"For the male population, that's there too, right? And where we try go to with that is that they were little boys when this happened," said Wagman.

When a person is sexually abused as a child, counselors say it can take years before the victim feels comfortable to speak out.

"I had tremendous shame. I didn't start talking it publicly until probably about 2010 probably well into my late 40's and early 50's, quite frankly," said Robert Nelson, a survivor.

Nelson says he was abused at Cumberland Valley School District in the 1970's by a teacher there. However, the current statute of limitations on sexual assault in Pennsylvania prevents Nelson from pursuing justice.

Many children who are sexually abused may never feel comfortable talking about it.

"The reality is, especially when it is sexual abuse when it occurs when one is a child, it takes years for one to come to grips with it, and then, there is still that fear of speaking out because you really think, you are alone, this is only happening to you," explained Nelson.

Those feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation? Counselors say that's not your weight to carry. Survivors say speaking out can help you heal.

"I think it's important for everybody to know, it's okay to speak up and to speak out, and it's only going to be helpful to you as an individual and everyone else in the community," said Nelson.

Turning Point used to only see women. However, a federal through the Office for Victims of Crime made it possible for male victims, over the age of 14, to get help too, free of charge.