The silence demanded from a child after she is sexually attacked by someone within the family system is where the most harm comes, not from the sexual attacks. A child can recuperate from those with love, help and protection from any further attacks.
It is the silence most children are forced to bear to keep the family safe from shame which kills, figuratively and literally. The family’s shame is too great, greater than the survival of the child. This mistaken belief, that all must be kept quiet to keep the family’s name and unit together needs to radically change to save our children.
Society would not approve, and that must reverse. We as a society must face that this crime occurs and occurs at an alarming rate within families; one of every four girls and one in every six boys.
Forced into silence at an early age, containing horrors that traumatize, a child grows into adulthood mute only knowing how to please others. She is sensitized to the feelings of others not knowing her own or even if she has a right to have them.
It is a constant effort to go down deep and access what is really there because it is still very much a mystery to me. I remind myself daily that I have the freedom and the right to have my own thoughts, views and feelings.
I could have healed and moved on from the sexual attacks when a child. My belief is that an entire family can heal and move on. But only if the attacks are brought to light along with one(s) committing them.
The child should never be alone with the attacker again. All in the family have the freedom to talk about it and to show anger toward the attacker but compassion for the child. Family and individual therapy must be provided.
Compassion for the child must supersede all else. Others are taught to love her even more and protect her from further damage. Then they are taught to work to forgive the attacker(s) but to never forget and always remain vigilant.
It was the silence demanded that took away everything I had. My body was taken, and from that I could recuperate, it was the silence that took everything else.
Note: I name all childhood sexual abuse as attacks even though the crimes are usually committed manipulatively and quietly. Each one is a heinous, serious assault on a child’s mind, body and spirit.