We are a generation that is the product of generations before. We have inherited their silence, their ability to look the other way.
We are also a generation that has the opportunity to stand on the right side of history. To be better and build on the limitations of those who came before us. But we cannot solve the problems that face us unless we take great strides to talk about them. And we cannot talk about them wisely, unless we are informed. So, if statistics tell us that one in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday, how can any of us pretend this doesn’t affect us?
Let me put it this way…can you think of 4 little girls or 6 little boys that you know? Can you see them? Who comes to mind?
Have you empowered any of them with the tools necessary to be autonomous with their own bodies and give them the self-confidence to stand up for themselves when necessary? If they were ever in need of disclosing sexual trauma of any kind, are you the person they would feel safe enough to come to without feeling disbelieved, shamed, judged or rejected?
Take a look at your own family: Your parents, your grandparents, your aunties, uncles, your cousins, your nephews and nieces…even your adult friends. There’s always someone you know and love who’s been affected by this epidemic; who has had to silently carry the weight of this albatross alone their whole life...which has been the plague manifesting itself in their existence through unkind ways. Have you ever thought of what this burden is like for them? Can you see yourself having a conversation with them to let them know that you see them? That you are an ally and a protector who holds for them a safe space?
It’s not solely the sexual abuse of children that eventually leads them down a path of self-destruction and self-harm. It’s the silence that surrounds this subject matter. It’s the disbelief that lingers. It’s the conversations that get shut down.
That…is the epidemic.
#WillNotRest #SpeakingUpForKids #ChildSexualAbuse #RapeCulture