Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today I Am Humbled

It's been a long 24 hours. Yesterday I wrote a post about the Penn State sex abuse situation. I had no idea when I wrote it that so many people would respond in such an overwhelming and supportive way. All I knew is that I was (and am still) so very angry about knowing that children were being abused and that it could have been prevented.

Because I am myself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I felt an obligation to share my experiences in hope that it would help people understand how it feels to be subjected to abuse. I hoped it would clarify why the key players in the Penn State situation were so very wrong when they didn't do everything in their power to protect these children. 

I had previously written a post on another blog where I disclosed my abuse but hadn't really "officially" come out as an abuse survivor in my day-to-day life, counting on the anonymity of the internet to somewhat shield me. Yesterday I changed that.

 

I shared my story because I'm not longer willing to be ashamed. What happened to me was not my fault. Not sharing my experiences allows abusers to continue to hide in the darkness, counting on their victims to remain quiet and allowing the abuse to continue.

We need to expose these secrets to the light. We need to send a clear message to those that hurt children that we will not stand for it. Yesterday I said we need to shout from the rooftops until someone listens. Yesterday? I put my money where my mouth is and did just that. I challenge you all to do the same.

Thank you to Scott Wasserman from KMSP Fox 9 News and BlogHer for giving me the opportunity to share my words with a larger audience. Because of you, I was able to reach many more people than my humble little blog usually sees. Because of you I have already received messages from readers who are reaching out for help and/or sharing their own stories. Thanks also to all of you who sent messages of support to me on Twitter, Facebook and e-mail. I am humbled and thankful for all of you and so very touched at the absolute outpouring of love and support that I have and continue to receive. You say that I'm brave? YOU MAKE ME BRAVE.

Know that you can make a difference in the life of a child by sharing your own experiences or stepping in to help someone else who may need it. Our children deserve to be safe, healthy and happy. Please help make this possible.

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P.S. I am not an expert, just a survivor. I can't take steps to help your individual situation, but I'm here to give support if you need it. If you have questions, issues, concerns, suspicions, ANYTHING...please contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network online at http://www.rainn.org/ or call their hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. It is better to call and have it be nothing than not call and wish you had done something.

6 comments:

Zeeke75 said...

Love you!

The Slacker Mom said...

You are so AMAZING. So proud of you!

africa18 said...

I do think you're brave!!! I am proud to call you a 'friend' although we've never met in person!! I cannot imagine how hard this must have been for you!!!

Africa

Barb said...

Thank you for so bravely putting yourself out there and giving abuse a face and sharing your story so that we can all understand why it is NOT OKAY to keep silent, NOT OKAY to turn away, NOT OKAY to ignore even the possibility that abuse might exist. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Anonymous said...

It's 9:50 and my cousin and I are very tired but very excited. Tonight the police stopped the visits. The little girl does not have to visit the father until further investigation. This took 2 weeks working each day by going to the marshall, to the state police to the prosecuting attorney's office to the investigative detective office, to the sheriff, to the Child Protection Agency to a forensic interview center, contacting the FBI and FIA and finally to a detective/state trooper
who made something happen. This is only temporary not yet permanent but we will keep pressing on. We have information that this little girl was being put on child porn sites. Believing to see the gate on this blown off.
We can often refer people to the places to go to for help and it seems simple but it is very complicated, exhausting and in this case nothing was done even though reports were made for over 3 years. How many other parents are dealing with this? Many have to work a full time job and cannot work on going to all these places to try to get someone to help their child.
thank you for reading this... just knowing you are there at the end of the day is reassuring. Just wanted to talk.

Jo said...

Thank you for letting me know what is going on. That poor baby. Please keep me updated. I'm so worried for her.