By Lanford Beard
November 29, 2011 at 04:55 PM EST

“I don’t know your name, but I know your face. I don’t know your journey, but I know where you are. I am your brother!” This is the opening of an open letter Tyler Perry has written to the 11-year-old who is one of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky’s alleged victims.

In the letter, which will be published in this week’s Newsweek, Perry speaks from his own experience as a survivor of sexual abuse. He reveals personal details of how his voice went unheard when he tried to tell friends and family. He is frank, but supportive, about the lifelong trauma of abuse and offers encouraging words for the young boy who stood up, telling him, “to think that you, when you were only 11 years old, spoke up — you are my hero! I’m so proud of you.” Read more below.

Inspired when he began working on the Oscar-winning film Precious, Perry has been open about his own history with molestation during his childhood in New Orleans. He assures the boy,

You have nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to know you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not your fault. Please know that you were chosen by a monster. You didn’t choose him. You didn’t ask for it and, most of all, you didn’t deserve it. What a huge lesson that was for me to learn.

He asked, “Do you know that at the young age of 11 you had more courage than all the adults who let you down? … You are stronger than them all! I wonder what they would have done if it were their own child.”

Perry addresses the reality that this experience has changed the victim forever:

You know, now that you’re older you need to be aware that the aftermath of abuse may affect you for a very long time. … I often tell myself that if I made it through that experience as a child, then surely as a man I should be able to get past it. It still may take you a while, but that’s OK too. I have known people who have gone through the same things that we have, but unfortunately they were never able to admit it, and it destroyed them. … Some of them went to prison for crimes, some are addicted to drugs, and some have even committed suicide. I know that none of these things will happen to you. You are too strong for that!

He finishes on a hopeful note, telling the boy, “No matter what happens next, just know that the hardest part is over.” Are you in tears, PopWatchers? Perry is most popular for his comedy, but it’s heartening that he’s using his influence to lift up a young boy in his darkest time.

Read more:

‘South Park’ tries to go for laughs with the Penn State scandal — VIDEO

CBS scores interview with Penn State Assistant Football Coach Mike McQueary

Jon Stewart reacts to the Jerry Sandusky interview — VIDEO

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