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PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA, October 17, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Olympic gold medalist and world-champion boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, who has been publicly sharing his own story as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse since the release of his memoir, The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring, in 2011, has announced he has joined the board of directors of the Let Go...Let Peace Come In Foundation to help and support adult victims of childhood sexual abuse throughout the world.
"Nobody wants to talk about childhood sexual abuse," Leonard says in his interview with the "Daily News" (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/zone-sugar-ray-finds-ne ... -1.1483655). "It's so ugly, so toxic, that people can't even envision it happening. But it is happening, and it won't stop until we speak up and speak out. It's an obligation. It's a personal obligation. Because if you keep silent, it will kill you. It will just take you apart piece by piece until there is nothing left."
Like many adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, Leonard found himself turning to substance abuse to drown out the deep pain he felt within himself as a result of being abused by a former Olympic coach and a male benefactor while he was still in his early teens. In addition victims of child sexual abuse often manifest psychological and physical repercussions including:
- Anxiety disorders and depression
- Suicidal ideation and attempts
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Multiple addictions
"Many people do not understand just how devastating childhood sexual abuse can be," says Peter S. Pelullo, founder of the Let Go...Let Peace Come In Foundation and author of "Betrayal and the Beast," in which he reveals his struggles as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. But there is nothing innocent about one person forcing themselves in a physical or emotional manner on another human being--no matter what any of their ages are."
Mr. Leonard, now retired, was the first boxer to earn more than $100 million in purses and is the only man ever to win five world titles in five different weight divisions. He was given the Mark Grossinger Etess Award for being named the "boxer of the decade" in the 1980s by journalists and fans around the world.
"Sugar Ray is a major addition to our organization and board of directors," says Mr. Pelullo. "Here's a five-time world champion coming forward, telling countless men and women who are afraid that it's okay for them to come forward too. I believe Ray will help open the doors of corporate America, where literally millions of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse are working every day."
Peter S. Pelullo is an entrepreneur and financier focusing on technology startups. During his journey in recovery, he created the Let Go...Let Peace Come In Foundation, which supports adult victims of childhood sexual abuse throughout the world.
For more information contact Peter S. Pelullo at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.letgoletpeacecomein.org.
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