When most people think about Mike Tyson, any number of images may come to mind. He has a huge facial tattoo, is a former heavyweight champion, had an infamous but short-lived marriage to actress Robin Givens, he bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a boxing match, he had a cameo appearance in the Hangover movies and more recently, he starred in a one-man show called Undisputed Truth. Mike has also been to prison, filed bankruptcy, and struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, but is currently sober and focused on his family and career.
So imagine everyone’s surprise, when during an interview about his new show – Mike Tyson Mysteries on SirusXM’s Opie and Jimmy Show, he discloses that he was once sexually abused when he was seven years old. Mike said, “[The man] bullied me, sexually abused me and stuff…snatched me off the street. I was a little kid. Never seen him again.” Opie and Jim Norton were obviously caught off guard by this revelation, but asked Mike if he drastically changed after that day. He replied, “I don’t know if I did or not.”
Mike has revealed in the past, that he was small and shy as a young boy. His small stature probably was a contributing factor as to why the sexual predator decided to abuse him. Also, he was often bullied and beat up by the bigger boys in the neighborhood. He kept getting in trouble and was eventually sent to reform school. Upon his release, at the age of fourteen, Constantine “Cus” D’Amato took him under his wing and taught Mike to channel his frustration in a positive way by working hard and developing his boxing skills.
Mike may not have realized that he has set an example for other victims of childhood abuse. Many victims of childhood sexual abuse live in shame, do not move past the experience or get help, and live their adult lives as victims. By revealing his abuse in such an open manner, Mike is showing the world that he refuses to let one horrendous incident define who he is and will continue to be.
For links and resources to organizations that can help you if you suspect a child is being abused, check out Military Veterans Against Child Abuse. Military Veterans Against Child Abuse is a 501(c)3 Texas based non-profit whose mission is to educate children, parents, child care providers, teachers and the community as a whole about child safety and child abuse prevention through educational material, activities, seminars and advocacy.
For more information on Military Veterans Against Child Abuse, visit their website at – http://www.mvacaunited.org