This Latino Author Shared His Story Of Childhood Rape In ‘The New Yorker’ And Everyone Needs To Read It

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Pulitzer prize-winning writer, Junot Díaz has been bringing joy and enlightenment into our worlds through his books and words for decades. The Dominican author has written books and essays about the Latino experience on so many fascinating levels. Just this month he released a children’s book titled “Islandborn.” But now, in one of his most personal essays, Junot discloses in the New Yorker the heartbreaking details about his own childhood.

In a new essay titled: “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma,” Junot Díaz shares that he was raped.

Yes, it happened to me,” Junot writes. “I was raped when I was eight years old. By a grownup that I truly trusted. After he raped me, he told me I had to return the next day or I would be ‘in trouble.’ And because I was terrified, and confused, I went back the next day and was raped again. I never told anyone what happened, but today I’m telling you.”

The New Jersey writer shares that he was raped. This drove him to destructive behavior for most of his life.

“I was hiding, I was drinking, I was at the gym; I was running around with other women. I was creating model homes, and then, just as soon as they were up, abandoning them. Classic trauma psychology: approach and retreat, approach and retreat. And hurting other people in the process,” Junot writes.

People on social media have expressed how much Junot’s deeply personal essay is vital to addressing sexual abuse.

Junot’s essay has gone viral on Twitter.

Some people want the topic talked about more seriously.

While we do have stats on rape and sexual abuse when it comes to females — according to the National Crime Victimization Survey one in six females ages 13 and older are victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault — we don’t, however, have exact figures when it comes to males.

Men, particularly Latino men who have been sexually abused or raped, rarely disclose that information, let alone report it to authorities.

“And since us Afro-Latinx brothers are viewed by society as always already sexual perils, very few people ever noticed what was written between the lines in my fiction—that Afro-Latinx brothers are often sexually imperilled,” Junot writes.

People on Twitter have spent the last couple days trying to digest the powerful essay.

It’s not easy to confront the unspoken sexual assaults that plague the boys in communities of color.

People wanted to take time to truly think through what the essay is bringing to light.

Something this strong and necessary deserves more serious thought than quick responses.

But, mostly, people are thankful that such a powerful and well-known figure is willing to shine light on sexual assault on young boys.

Thank you, Junot. We admire and appreciate your bravery.


READ: After 20 Years Junot Díaz Kept His Promise To His Goddaughters And Wrote A Picture Book

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