Monday, June 5, 2017

The Courage to Speak Up.

     When we hear or think about child sexual abuse we always say, I would be so angry, I would kill (not literally) anyone that hurt a child. 
What we know is that statistically most sexual abuse happens within the family or by a close family friend. Many of you reading this were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of a grandparent, uncle/aunt or close family friend. It was the unspoken truth that everyone knew.

Which Children Are Molested?
Children are most at risk from the adults in their own family, and from the adults who are in their parents' social circle. In fact, 90 percent of abusers target children in their own families and children who they know well. Furthermore, research suggests that the risk is across the board: Child molesters come from every part of our society, and so children from every part of our society are at risk.

Notice that only 10 percent of the child sexual abusers report that they molest a child who is a stranger.

     This week, a very courageous woman spoke up and shared the truth of sexual abuse within her own family. She reported her husband of over 20 years, the father of her 6 children. Her life and the lives of her children will never be the same.

     As she continues to process and possibly grieve the loss of her marriage (as she knew it) the family and stability that has been shattered, she will have moments of shock and disbelief.

     Very rarely does sexual abuse happen in a vacuum, and usually others in the family are either clearly aware or turning a blind eye to what they suspect is happening due to the fall out. The loss of income, relationships , shame and the sharing publicly of personal trauma. Please think if it was your husband, son or friend, if you would lose everything.. What would you do?

     In the days and weeks and years that follow, please ask yourself can you and would you have the courage to speak up when doing so would destroy everything that you had held dear for so many years.
     Sadly, the level of media coverage and destruction may force some of you to slip back into the woodwork.. out of fear that this could have been your story.. This can also be an inspiring example of standing up and telling the truth at great personal and emotional loss.
     Today and this week, as more unfolds, this woman continues to be one of the bravest women out there and is an example of not hiding abuse and doing the right thing.