How can I help? What can I do?
Many people that hear about sexual abuse will ignore or hide from the ugly truth. It’s a terrible fact that survivors must live with when they come out with their story. Family members will deny the story because it’s too embarrassing or painful that this happened in their family never realizing that it’s so much more painful that your family sort of turns their back on you. Others will say they try to avoid drama and negativity but they are in fact promoting just that by keeping themselves in the dark or pretending everything is ok.
I realize that not everyone wants to get involved but the percentages of children in this country that are molested is staggering and chances are you or someone you know is being molested or are doing the molesting. It’s an epidemic in this country and it’s not something we can continue to ignore. Everyone needs to get involved and it’s difficult, I know but we have to make an effort. You have to try to put yourself in the shoes of a survivor or the parent, sibling or spouse of a survivor in order to grasp the horror in some small way. What if it was you? What if it was your child, your brother, your sister, your parent, your cousin, your best friend or your spouse? How angry would you be? How would you react to hearing this news? Would you move on quickly and just act like it didn’t happen or would you try to help or get involved? It’s easy to say you wouldn’t ignore it but sadly that is what happens every day. It’s frustrating to those trying to change this ugly world.
Many people think they need to walk on eggshells with you when you reveal abuse and avoid the subject all together. We can tell so it’s better, at least for me, to just mention it our ask general questions. Most survivors are very strong because we’ve had to be then and if we’re talking about it we probably need to. Some things to avoid are, asking for details, joking about it, telling us everything happens for a reason or it was God’s plan and worst of all, making excuses for our abuser.
It’s ok to be angry or confused, I definitely am. Please don’t tell me to forgive or forget. I don’t have to forgive to heal and I can never forget.
You can easily tell if a child is being abused so take off your blinders. It’s not normal for a child of six to be depressed, it’s not normal for children to avoid affection or be nervous and scared. It’s not normal for a child to be awkward and fearful of other children or teachers in school. Once a child is if school age they should not scream and panic when asked to do something normal. Of course, there are instances of childhood illnesses such as autism, asbergers, ADD, etc but you take the child to a doctor and find out instead of assuming they’re just bad.
Nightmares and sexuality are not necessarily symptoms but abused children suffer these and many other symptoms.
I hope by speaking out I can help just one victim or survivor. By giving us voice we can help those still living in silence. Speak out and make it more difficult for predators to victimize.