In a new column, St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario for the first time writes that he was abused by an older cousin when he was a 7-year-old living in New York.
Rosario writes that while his memory is hazy, he believes he was abused several times over the course of a year or so by the 15-year-old relative, who on occasion gave Rosario a quarter.
"That little boy had no clue that he was being raped and molested," Rosario writes. "I was and am still that little boy."
Rosario says in the column that the abuser has since died, and more than 50 years later, he decided to tell the story in an effort to spur abused children to seek help.
He writes, "If you are a child dealing with this or an adult who knows of such abuse, overcome the fear. Go outside the family if you have to, and tell someone you trust. Don't wait the way I did."
The columnist notes that one in four women and one in six men in this country were sexually abused by age 18. Rosario notes that child sexual abuse has gradually shed a bit of its stigma, in part due to recent high-profile cases involving Catholic clergy and Penn State University officials.