I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse…….I’m sharing this photo of myself as a child in honour of all of the people who have been sexually abused as children (myself included) and the many who still feel unable speak out.
This was me at around 6 years old I think. I have no idea who I could have been without the abuse because my whole life changed forever when I was 3 nearly 4.
While the #metoo highlighted huge issues around sexual assault generally I don’t feel it really showed the huge percentage of people still unable to talk about it.
But even so, there are so very many more people (not just women) who are unable to say ‘#metoo’. Perhaps especially some of the people who may have been the most vulnerable to assault due to childhood sexual abuse having taken away their belief in the right to say no.
Sadly, for many different reasons including fear, shame and worries about being negatively judged by others, survivors of sexual abuse often find it almost impossible to speak out.
I hope that one day we (as a society) will all be able to talk about things like this without shame or judgement for we are all human beings living through difficult experiences of some kind or another who just want to feel lovable and good enough.
I feel am one of the ‘lucky’ ones who found a way to speak out and not disbelieved and shamed back into silence.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I made it through my experiences to go on to help others. Or perhaps it’s just my way of making sense of what happened to me in a world where things like this go unspoken.
Whatever the reason, although I’d rather this had never happened to me, I feel proud enough of who I am to want to stand up and help others with their own struggles in life. Even one single voice can make a difference to those still living in silence.
I’d quite like to say ‘I’m sorry’ to people who have felt uncomfortable reading this post but that completely defeats the point. Myself and those who have been through other experiences like mine shouldn’t have to apologise. But I will say that if you don’t know quite how to respond…any response is better than the silence a survivor lives with.
And finally, though I’m fairly sure the song “The Greatest Love Of All” didn’t mean to speak of sexual abuse, for me, this was the most beautifully profound song in which I could find some understanding and a home for my pain.
So, no more silence for me ????????
I would also like to credit my friend and fellow survivor Rosie who inspired me to share this and also compose the wording.
Please feel free to share this post – if it enables another survivor to be able to ask for support or speak out – this stops the silence ????