- Don’t discuss my child’s experiences like it was a juicy piece of gossip.
- My child is probably the best advocate for other children. So treat him/her with respect.
- You will never truly understand what my child faces or what we as parents go through. So don’t tell us what you would have done differently!
- Recovery is a life long process. There will be ups and downs. Even if you have my child’s welfare at heart, do not tell him/her that bad things happen; and that he/she needs to move on.
- Don’t ask “Why didn’t you say something earlier?” My child was terrified.
- Don’t ask me “How could you not have known?” That question haunts me.
- Be outraged on every child’s behalf. If you know someone who is not safe around children, let other parents know. Your silence makes you responsible for what happens to other children.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Normalizing Sexual Abuse
A few months ago I happened to read an interview given by Sunitha Krishnan, the young woman who does such stellar work against human trafficking. It is difficult to comprehend what young women and children have to go through in life. She nailed it when she said that rape, sexual abuse is normalized by our community at large.
Yes these incidents happen in all countries and communities. But it is an undeniable fact that in our society, the victim is still blamed for the injustice…and the perpetrator(s) almost always walk free.
We have started acknowledging that sexual abuse is prevalent in our societies as well…but when do we move to the next step of finding justice for the child? Or the adult victim? When are we going to talk openly about predators so we can protect other children? To get to that step though we must first acknowledge that rape and sexual abuse are not ‘normal.’ We must feel a sense of outrage for the victim and revulsion at the perpetrator.
Even well wishers and close family members advice the victim to ‘forget’ and get on with their lives. Why do we close our eyes and mind to the trauma that the child endures? Is it because it is easy for us not to face facts?
A parent of a child abuse victim gave me her wish list for this post:
Posted by Ms. S at 3:13 PM