Mike Tyson Reveals He Was Sexually Abused As A Child: "It Made Me Tough"

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Mike Tyson Sexual Abuse

In a recent interview, Tyson revealed he was molested as a child.

Professional boxer and American actor, Mike Tyson, did not have the ideal childhood everyone hopes for.

Growing up, Tyson’s father was nonexistent and his mother lost her job so they ended up moving to a part of Brooklyn known for its high crime rate. As a result, by the age of 13, Tyson had been arrested more than 30 times. As many people probably don’t know, Tyson was the target and subject of several bullying instances.

In a recent interview, Tyson revealed he was molested as a child. At 7-years old, Tyson reported, he was snagged off of the streets and pulled into a building although he would not go into detail about what happened.

Personally, I don’t blame him. It’s enough he had the courage to speak up about something so personal.

Schaff, the man who was interviewing Tyson, stated he had interviewed Tyson nearly 25 times and child sexual abuse was never mentioned. Tyson stated that he "probably" felt shame due to what happened.

Tyson also stated that people may not speak out about it because they find it emasculating. He has learned that because child sexual abuse happened, it doesn’t make him any less of a man and believes the experience made him tough for the world he had to live in.

Why is child sexual abuse so underreported? Is it from the shame because of what happened? Is it fear that the perpetrator will do more harm? Will people react unfavorably of children? How often are people the target of bullying? Is there a relationship?

The National Sex Offender Public Website's disclosure of child sexual abuse is often delayed because children are fearful of negative reactions from others as well as further harm by the abuser.

They also report that males are less likely to report child sexual abuse because they are expected to have sexual encounters early on regardless of whether or not it was wanted.

According to NSOPW, there were 62,939 reported cases of child sexual abuse in 2012. Additionally, research estimates that 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused prior to age 18.

To add to the previously stated statistics, 28 percent of male victims of child sexual abuse were ages 10 and younger.  

According to data from The US Department Of Education (2015) the prevalence of bullying between ages 12-18 years of age was 22 percent.

While there is no direct link (that I've found) regarding bullying and child sexual abuse, risk factors include poor peer relationships, harsh parenting, acceptance of violence, and defiant and violent behavior. 

I want to thank Mike Tyson for having the courage and strength to speak out about his experience. I hope people listen to your message and start speaking out more.

Mike Tyson's sexual abuse confession is a start to spreading awareness for those who experience child sexual abuse and bullying. Please join in the fight!

If you are a survivor of abuse or rape, know that hope and healing are possible. Reach out to 1in6.org or RAINN for support, or to find a support group or therapist in your area.