Ashland man joins abuse victims on ‘Oprah’

Source: Medford Mail Tribune, November 05, 2010

by Sanne Specht

Ashland contractor Randy Ellison and his wife, Helen, participated in a two-part Oprah Winfrey series on male sexual-abuse survivors, which airs today and next Friday. Each of the 200 male participants were asked to bring a picture of themselves taken during the beginning of their abuse. The men were asked to hold their photos in front of themselves for the opening shot of the “Oprah” episode, Helen Ellison said.Shame of Sexual Abuse

Ellison said he did not speak at the taping because he has told his story publicly — before the Oregon Legislature and at an April event in Medford’s Vogel Plaza for the Jackson County Child Abuse Network in April. Ellison’s last speech appeared on a United Way website video that caught the eye of Oprah’s producers, he said.  “I had a chance to stand up and tell my story before,” Ellison said. “So many haven’t. And these (men) had a real deep need to be heard.”

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If you are wondering about how you can help to prevent child abuse if you see abuse happening, here are some ideas :

* If you see abuse happening, call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not confront the abuser. This can contaminate an investigation and put the child at greater risk.

* If you suspect abuse, call the Department of Human Services Child Welfare Office at 541-776-6120.

* Take child sex abuse prevention training. Call the Children’s Advocacy Center 541-734-5437, ext. 111. To learn more, visit

* Become a foster parent. Call Jackson County Child Welfare Foster Care Program at 541-776-6120, ext. 264.

* Become a Child Appointed Special Advocate. Call CASA at 541-734-2272 or visit

Tom Petersen, Oregon Sexual Abuse Attorney, has tried hundreds of cases and specializes in the practice of personal injury law, sexual abuse/harassment and civil rights violations. He is devoted to helping clients resolve their legal problems, whether in or out of court. If you have any questions regarding these types of issues, please feel free to call him in confidence at 541-772-9850.