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Saturday, 30 June 2012

Jerry Sandusky Trial: Shedding Light on the Unspoken Issue

Real Stories Gallery

1 in 6 boys under the age of 16 has been abused by predominately heterosexual males; A performing arts festival will be held in Tribeca to raise awareness on July 1st

The past week has seen the verdict in the Jerry Sandusky trial, guilty on 45 of 48 counts of abuse with underage boys and the discovery of a major child pornography ring in our nation's capital. Both major news stories have brought into the public consciousness a seldom-raised issue – namely the abuse of boys at the hands of adult men. Exploring further, one discovers that the majority of the assailants are men who identify as heterosexual, rendering the thought of sexual identity moot.

"These recent events have given a platform upon which to let the boys' voices be heard for the first time," says Dr. Rachel Chapple, anthropologist and founder of the Real Stories Gallery. "Sex trafficking and abuse of young boys is the issue that no one seems to want to talk about, as though it isn't really happening. Not only is it happening, 1 in 6 boys, 12 million in the United States alone, have been abused by the age of 16; at the hands of men with wives and children…so-called, 'family' men. These same men have then infected some of the boys with HIV, leaving them with a life-threatening illness and a couple of sweaty bills."

In order to bring further awareness to the general public, Dr. Chapple, who has dedicated her life to "bringing awareness of sexualized violence directed at boys, the international sex trade in boys and pediatric HIV/AIDS" has started THE SMASH STREET BOYS FESTIVAL. The Festival will be held Sunday, July 1st from 1-5 PM on Laight Street, between Varick and Hudson, in Tribeca – right across from the popular Tribeca Cinemas. The event features spoken word, dance performance, informational talks, and art work from some of the boys themselves; young men who live on the street and have been thrown into the dark world of sex trafficking and prostitution.

Media Contact: Rachel Chapple, Real Stories Gallery, 646-331-0117, realstoriesgallery@gmail.com

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