In the past few weeks, I’ve published 11 posts relating in different ways to the issue of sexual abuse. The home page of my website is focused solely on that topic right now.
It’s a hard topic to write about. It’s draining to think about.
Sexual abuse—to young children, sons and daughters, to teenagers, boyfriends, girlfriends, adults, spouses—makes me sick to my stomach when I think about it.
My mind has been in a whirl this past month or so, as I try to make sense of this senseless horror. I’ve done my best to facilitate conversation, help people understand the scope of the problem, walk the tight-rope balance of saying enough without saying too much, and be sensitive to the needs of individuals while staying true to the message that I feel it’s important to send.
I hope you have learned something from all of this. I hope you have talked to someone about it, if only to ask,
“Do you think it’s possible that it has happened in our community?”
“Has anything like this ever happened to you?”
“It has happened to me.”
Please don’t stop the conversations. Please don’t stop educating your kids, friends, and family. Please don’t stop your process of healing.
I so appreciate all of the perspectives you have shared with me. You have helped to show that this is not an isolated issue, nor is it a black and white one. It’s wrapped in all manner of complexity because of family, community, religion, history, and more. Many things have happened in the past, which time and memory have distorted beyond the ability of humans to understand or explain.
The one thing I think we can all agree on is, Being Sexually abused changes a person for life.
I told you it never happened to me. That’s true, as far as I know, in my childhood experience. But there was that incident while I was in Peace Corps, which I wrote about on my blog as one of my worst experiences while I was in Armenia. That encounter, brief though it was, gave me a shocking glimpse into how traumatizing sexual assault or abuse can be.
It can happen to anybody, and it may be happening right now to somebody you know.
Fortunately, you have the power to help turn the tide.
- Talk to people.
- Exercise due diligence.
- Ask questions.
- Keep your eyes open.
- Report any suspected abuse to authorities.
I will open up this dialogue again. You can count on it. So, also, please continue sending your comments and stories.
I’m going to take a break from blogging next week, and when I come back, I will start posting about other topics around the themes of “Be unique, be authentic, and be yourself.”
If you would like to share any experiences or thoughts publicly, you can leave a regular blog comment down below, or post on my Facebook link. If you would like to submit an anonymous story, you may do so at this link.
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