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Vernon Ennels | Author of There's Something Your Son Needs To Tell You


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I went on living what probably appeared to be a typical childhood. I had friends, I played, and became a student known for his perfect attendance. Now, I know why. It was at school that I felt safe. If I was there, he could not hurt me.  

Although I found security at school, it was only five days a week for a couple of hours a day. The other times, my mind was tormented. I needed an additional safe-haven, and that’s when I found church. 

I was obsessed with being loved by my congregation and by age sixteen, I was ordained deacon.  But soon, I discovered a new form of abuse. I was taken advantage of and manipulated. And when I found the courage to share that I was sexually abused, I was told to “give it to God.” Sweeping it under the rug became my norm. I feared being labeled gay by my friends who grew up in a homophobic environment in the early 80s and grew resentful towards my father who abandoned me as a young child. 

I struggled with romantic relationships, calling off two engagements and filing for divorce. But it was when my son turned six, the same age that my childhood trauma began, that I knew it was time for me to release my pain. 

On my healing journey, I’ve developed an intimate relationship with God, sought out counseling, and found my voice. I am on a mission to expose sexual abuse, especially in the black male community where racism has led to toxic masculinity and silence around sexual abuse.  

This is my open letter and I want others to find their voices to heal too as we end this epidemic.

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Learn more about the latest book

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Growing up in Baltimore Maryland there were no community centers or after-school programs. We had our imaginations. I often escaped by pretending to be as invincible as Superman, as strong as Popeye, or as beloved as the singers I saw on my mother’s television set. At six years old, my life changed, and I had no other choice but to be the great escapist. 

He was a family friend and he walked me to school each day. It was what he did to me before school that has yet to escape my memory. 

I still remember his face, his breath, and hear his voice demand me to lie on my stomach. He would pull down the pants my mother proudly dressed me in. And then my superman underwear. And penetrate my rectum with his erect, adult penis. He breathed heavily into my ear and ejaculated inside of me. When he was done; he walked me to school. And he warned me, “If you tell anyone, I’ll kill your mother.” I remember wanting so bad for someone to come in, to see this, to see him—this monster violating me so that it could stop forever. But no one came. No one checked.  No one worries about little boys when they play. And that is when I began to feel invisible.


While the themes in this book have the reach to appeal to a universal audience, the intended demographic is adults ages 18-40.

This book reflects the experiences of males, specifically black males, but encourages both men and women and those from various racial backgrounds to recognize the signs of sexual and mental abuse and to combat the epidemic. 

For its insight on religion and Christianity, this book will appeal to Christian readers who have proven to contribute to the rise in book sells. According to Publisher Weekly, since adding Christian-related literature, Hobby Lobby has experienced an astronomical increase in sales.

For its themes on sexual abuse and mental illness, this book will appeal to academics and researchers who focus on those categories and for those reasons, There’s Something Your Son Needs to Tell You can also be branded as educational literature.