As we celebrate MLK Day and honour one of America’s most outspoken men in the 20th century, we offer the following reflection and reminder from this quote: Silence = Complicity.
Each year, countless survivors of childhood sexual abuse face betrayal from their family and friends.
Each year, thousands and thousands of victims of abuse are made to feel guilty for voicing what was done to them.
They are disbelieved, invalidated and plotted against by the very people that love them. They are persuaded and lured from reporting the crime. Their families and friends rally around the abuser denying the claims that are made or offer the defence that it was “a mistake, which happened a long time ago.”
They are made to feel isolated by their loved ones for speaking out, blamed for the disruptions it has caused and often compelled to forgive their abuser. They are told “to get over it”, to “forget that it happened” so that “unity” is once again maintained and peace is kept.
And when they find the stamina to raise their voice against an inner circle that has been lifelong, they are further betrayed by a victim blaming society and a governing law that says: “You didn’t act fast enough.”
Let us unite to honour justice with a roar of true unity that will abolish the silence that exists around sexual abuse.
In this day, moral courage is everything.