From the age of 3, Vanessa lived in daily terror of her mother's unpredictable rage. If she was 'naughty', her mother would lash out at her – with beatings, torture, starvation and making Vanessa sleep in their garden's pigsty, tied up like an animal. Her mother said her punishments were God's revenge on her for being the devil's child. Her father lived in denial of her suffering.
When she was 6 years old, Vanessa's grandfather began to sexually abuse her – to her despair, aided and abetted by both her mother and grandmother. At eight years old, she then discovered that the 'mother' who hated her so much had adopted her as a baby and would never love her as her own.
At the most horrific times of Vanessa's abuse, she nearly lost all hope that she would escape her prison, until mysterious things started to happen to her that allowed her to fight back.
This is the story of how Vanessa survived a childhood that nearly destroyed her and how her secret led her out of the horrors of her past.
It’s a crisis of education. Worldwide, boys are 50 percent less likely than girls to meet basic proficiency in reading, math, and science.
It’s a crisis of mental health. ADHD is on the rise. And as boys become young men, their suicide rates go from equal to girls to six times that of young women.
It’s a crisis of fathering. Boys are growing up with less-involved fathers and are more likely to drop out of school, drink, do drugs, become delinquent, and end up in prison.
It’s a crisis of purpose. Boys’ old sense of purpose—being a warrior, a leader, or a sole breadwinner—are fading. Many bright boys are experiencing a “purpose void,” feeling alienated, withdrawn, and addicted to immediate gratification.
So, what is The Boy Crisis? A comprehensive blueprint for what parents, teachers, and policymakers can do to help our sons become happier, healthier men, and fathers and leaders worthy of our respect.