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A landmark Oprah Show event that's never been done before. Two hundred men courageously stand together to say they were all molested.The topic is taboo, surrounded by stigma and shame. People don't often talk about childhood sexual abuse, a silent and devastating epidemic, but a staggering number of men live with the lasting effects every day.

According to reports, one in every six men was molested as a child. For the first time in television history, 200 male sexual abuse survivors stand together to lift the veil of shame. Each man holds a childhood photo of himself at the age when he says the abuse first began.

Actor, writer, director and producer Tyler Perry knows exactly what these men have gone through. Tyler says he was sexually abused by multiple perpetrators when he was a child. The abuse began when he was just 5 years old.

Tyler says it feels like a weight has been lifted since he first spoke out about his painful past on The Oprah Show. "I'm hoping that in talking about it, that it's helping a lot of other men to be free, because there are so many of us who don't say anything," Tyler says. "The pressure lifts every time you talk, every time you are able to help someone else." Oprah shares the same hope for survivors who suffer in silence. "We prayed before coming out here that those of you who are watching who have never told anybody, that you will be able to at least speak the words," she says. "Because in speaking the words, you release the shame."
When identical twins Patrick and Kevin's parents sent them to Catholic school, they assumed it was a safe environment, but what they say happened there has haunted the twins for more than 30 years.

Patrick and Kevin were in third grade when they became altar boys and a priest began to single them out, they say. "He'd pull us out of class and say, 'I need the twins to do a Mass or a funeral,'" Patrick says.

At first, Kevin says he and his brother were excited to get out of class and receive special treatment. "We thought he was like the second coming," Kevin says. "[We thought], 'This guy's doing us favors,' but later down the line, we realized why."

This priest wanted the 8-year-old twins for more than just serving at Masses, weddings and funerals. Patrick and Kevin say the priest began sexually abusing them. "It started with just simple spanking," Patrick says. "I'd go over his knee, and he'd casually touch our private parts."

The twins say the abuse escalated during the next 13 years, and the priest began molesting them five to seven times a week...sometimes twice a day. As the abuse became more frequent, they say it also became more horrific.


Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios With tears in his eyes, Patrick says he remembers being forced to watch the priest sexually torture his twin brother. "I could see the fear on his face, the pain, the anguish. That struck a chord with me, and I said to myself, 'I would always be the one to go first,'" he says. "I was watching him spank my brother, bend him over his knee, hit him with a paddle and penetrate him with his candle."

Patrick says the priest knew their biggest weakness—their love for each other—and he gave them a choice. "I think, in his mind, he said: 'Well, I can get off either one of two ways. Either I can do it to them or they can do it to each other,'" Patrick says. "He knew that we didn't want it done from him, so 90 percent of the time we would choose each other."

This wasn't the worst part of the twins' 13 years of hell. One time, Patrick says other priests joined in and gang raped him and Kevin, duct taping their mouths and hands, and penetrating them. "I can remember smelling alcohol on their breath," Patrick says. "[They] held us against our will."

(OPRAH WINFREY SHOW)

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