LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BOISE -- One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18, and 90 percent of them, will never tell anyone.

A Boise man is working on a campaign to help victims who have kept that secret, speak their silence and be freed from it.

You could say, his idea is really taking flight.

A couple days every week, you will find Matt Pipkin at Thomas Hammer Coffee in downtown Boise, working away on his computer.

We just want to be essentially a social movement for people to share their silence, said Matt Pipkin.

Matt is using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to get the word out about Commit 65. It is a national campaign he started to empower victims of sexual abuse.

This is so important to Matt because he was just five years old when he was targeted by a family friend.

Whenever we'd go over to their place, the son would take me in a closet under the stairs and that's where it happened, it happened at church picnics, it happened at family barbecues, Pipkin described. I didn't even know what it was, I just knew it was bad. I never told anyone.

He kept the secret from his parents for years and it weighed heavily on him.

It was just three years ago that I finally told them what really happened, said Pipkin. I cried about it for the first time. They just sat and cried with me.

Matt started counseling in May of 2009 and then, Commit 65 was born.

Last summer is when I really started to focus on this issue, said Pipkin. Our slogan is speak your silence.

To bring attention to the cause, Matt got his pilot's license and is planning to break the Guinness World Flight Endurance Record by flying a small plane for 65 days straight.

It's two months in the airplane without ever touching the ground, Matt explained.

His dad is a seasoned pilot, and will make the flight with him.

The current record was set way back in 1958. The plane did not touch the ground for 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and five seconds. That flight gained nationwide attention. Matt's hoping his flight, and his cause will do the same. Matt is hoping to make the trip in August.

He is also busy working on launching a college campus campaign this fall, hoping to reach even more survivors across the country.

He's already been amazed at the response from social networking.

It's been really great, really great. I wasn't sure what the reaction would be, said Pipkin. I had a guy email me last week and tell me that he has never told anyone what happened to him 23 years ago. So I'm the first person he ever told.

At the age of 27, Matt says he has found his calling.

He wants to help every survivor out there to let go of the baggage, and speak their silence.

The whole goal is for people to feel what I feel, not something that rules your life, but just a bad memory, said Pipkin.

For more information on Commit 65, and getting involved in Matt's mission, click here. You can contact him on his website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/06/28/11619541/