CORNWALL, Ontario – Bringing awareness and helping to give a voice to those who suffer in silence was the aim of a special golf tournament held on Sunday, at Summerheights.
“He always blamed himself, never wanted to talk about it, said Christine Thompson about her late husband, Jeff, whom she said a “silent victim of male sexual abuse” as a youth. “He never opened up about it.”
On the surface, it seemed as though he’d moved on with his life, she said. He was the life of the party, a nice guy, everybody loved him. He was very personable, always thinking of others. He was just a great, great guy.”
What no one knew was that things were not alright with the 51 year old father of two. After decades and a chance encounter with his abuser, last year, the pain that he’d been carrying all those years became too much to bear. He committed suicide last October.
Last weekend, Jeff’s family and friends came together to honour his memory with a fundraising golf tournament to benefit the Children’s Treatment Centre, with the hope of bringing awareness to the cause. The event was expected to raise $7000.
It’s so hard for men, said Thompson. “It’s the stigma. That’s why he kept silent all the time. He never wanted anyone to know.”
Thompson, who admits that it’s been difficult, says that she is overwhelmed by the support of community, family and friends.
“He would be blown away, she said. I’m sure he’s watching over us now.”