Breaking the Silence (Willie P. Bennett)

Photo credit: Willie P. Bennett Legacy Project via

I was stunned to stumble upon this video on Youtube recently of a man singing — clearly, openly, and honestly — about his experience of being sexually abused as a boy (starting at 1:10).   Of course I wasn’t surprised to learn about a man who was sexually abused as a boy; I know, sadly, that many men have been abused.  I was stunned by the dignity and wisdom that shone from this man as he sang about his experience in a public forum.

That man is Willie P. Bennett, a Canadian folk singer/songwriter, harmonica player and mandolinist.  Tragically, he died too young in 2008, from a heart attack, at 57 years old.  After discovering his work recently, I spent time listening to various interviews and recordings by him and found great inspiration.

My hope is that Willie P. Bennett’s song, ‘Breaking the Silence,‘ could be more widely known than it appears to be now.  I hope that listening to him sing helps to fills a void for some people.  Shame can be a huge silencer for all of us.  Healing can only happen when we are able to shine a light on the experiences that have made us feel small and alone.

Yours in healing,








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