Stillwater Man Appears On Oprah To Help Others

Friday, November 5th 2010, 6:54 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- A Stillwater man was on Oprah Friday to shine a spotlight on a problem that is rarely talked about.

Jarrod Noftsger was one of 200 men on the show who shared stories of being sexually abused as a child. The Oklahoman hopes his experience can help others.

One in every 6 men is believed to have been sexually molested as a child and 90-percent of the abusers are someone the victims know.

That was the case with Jarrod Noftsger. "I was actually abused by three different individuals over my young years," Jarrod said.

Jarrod was first sexually abused when he was eight years old. Two of the abusers lived in his neighborhood, the third was a youth group sponsor at church. It lasted until his early teens.

"For myself personally, I think I've grown up angry a lot and I don't think the people around me knew that but there were times I was just angry, didn't really know why," he said.

Today Jarrod is happily married with two children and an administrator at Oklahoma State University.

"Oh, it's incredible," said Jarrod's wife Wendy Noftsger. "I think he is so brave and he has come a long way."

He's also taking his private battle, public.

Noftsger was one of 200 men to appear on Friday's episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show. All of the men were sexually abused as children. Among them was Hollywood superstar Tyler Perry.

"It's hard for me to look at those pictures because I feel like I died as a child," Perry said to Oprah.

Jarrod said he wasn't even sure that he wanted to go on Oprah because not everyone in his family knows about his past. But he says he quickly changed his mind because the opportunity was too great to pass up.

"The pain is so strong, the shame is so strong and know being freed from that is so wonderful, I know there's a better way and if I can help other men, other women overcome that...I've got to do it," Jarrod said.

Noftsger wants other sexual abuse victims to know that they're not alone. He and his wife hope his painful story encourages others to seek help.

"We're just hoping that this reaches somebody that says, 'Okay, I can do this too.' Because you can make it," Wendy said.

Friday's episode was the first of two parts. The second show will air next Friday at 4 here on channel 6, Jarrod's wife will join him in the studio audience.