Don’t be surprised who the abuser is, statistics show that it’s rarely the creeper guy down the road or the stranger. It’s the ones who are in power.
And we are normalising sexual abuse offenders whilst continuing to silence the sexual abuse survivors.
It’s on the rise because you are allowing the lenient sentencing and then you wonder why children won’t report. As adult survivors we are speaking out, but although our voices are being heard they are not rising!!! They are not rising to make systematic law changes or to address the sentencing guidelines that are an absolute joke to a victim.
So how are you going to encourage a child to speak out against the power of the abuser for what… To tackle being believed in the first instance and then if they are believed to have an insulting sentence that does no justice and then insults them even more upon release. And like a domino effect, the next child sitting in the corner with his body ripped by abuse watches this injustice and thinks no way am I doing that, I’ll sacrifice instead.
Adult survivors struggle to speak, and you are naively believing children will ?!?
Have you stopped to see it from a child’s eye?
If their abuser is their father, from a child’s eye their mother is not stopping it so who are they going to speak out too when they are the parents who they look up to? Already their sense of trust has gone.
If their abuser is the imam or priest or teacher, from a child’s eye their parents are still sending them to the abuser, so who are they going to speak out too when it’s these powerful authorisation people who they look up too? Already their sense of trust has gone.
If their abuser is the football coach or the scout club leader, from a child’s eye their parents and those around them involved in the community, are still not stopping it or keeping them away from the abuser, so who are they going to speak out too?!?!. Already their sense of trust has gone.
From a Child’s eye, these are the people everyone trusts and looks up too. The role models of society who we are pushed to respect and unconditionally love, and ultimately never say a bad word against.
Stand back, bend down and look up from the child’s eye…. As that child looks so helplessly around at you all, and their body going cold as they see you all laughing together, ‘oh he is so wonderful… such a great man… don’t you love that teacher and how they praise you… don’t you love your father, how much he loves you’ ….
It’s me, I must be the ‘naughty’ one to be abused because everyone else loves him so much… I must keep his secret, no one will believe me as he said…
The trust in a child was lost at the beginning of the grooming process, the role model they are supposed to aspire too is the one who is sexually violating them.
As adults we can’t even process and deal with someone who speaks about sexual abuse, so how the hell is a child expected to speak out when the whole subject is riddled with stigma and taboo. Don’t tell me we are educating our children to speak out with sincerity and belief! We are encouraging them to share it but we are not convincing them we will believe them, we have a hard time believing it ourselves!
We are teaching them a passive form of #me too.
Until we can start ‘normalising’ sexual abuse survivors and raising their voices, we have no chance of preventing this abuse for our children when we struggle to articulate it.
How can we articulate with strong belief and utmost sincerity to a child when we say if anyone is hurting you, I will always believe you…
Because from the child’s eye the person who is to protect them, is the person sexually abusing them and so we’ve already lost the trust before we even speak those words. Think deeply about that…
Now I can’t give you the miracle cure to how we can stop this vile disease, but what I will say to the policy makers is stop the crap that you are doing all you can, when the sentencing guidelines are an absolute joke!
The first thing you can do is set the precedence that we have a zero tolerance to child sexual abuse by making sex offenders serve a full sentence and making sure it’s more than just a few years!
The second thing you can do is make sure victims are actually properly protected and then finally you need to start putting the money where the pot is, and creating child houses and safe spaces for children to actually have a trusted place to run too, when their own home is the devil’s cave.
And we as adults and parents need to stop cringing at the stutter of the words sexual abuse and start normalising survivors and raising their voices to be influential and powerful, so that children look up to us and see us as their role models! So they want to follow in line and speak out against what they are going through, so strong and empowered that there are others like them too.
And then you need to be prepared to not be surprised if it’s your husband or wife, or your local Imam or Priest or Community Champion that is in fact that the sex offender with their hands on your child.
Because when you truly start to take this in and become consciously aware of it, you will then be able to handle it the correct way and not pushing it under the carpet or trying to make it less than it is… An absolutely disgusting, vile act that ruthlessly rips away a child.
Stop normalising sex offenders and for god’s sake start raising the survivors. Stop peddling along and start pushing the ball forward. Everyday a news report of rape and sexual abuse, followed by ridiculous sentences, we are becoming immune to it! Oh another one down the road raped a child last week… rolls eyes… well he will get a few months I am sure… What are we setting here?
The power of an abuser is the silence. But it’s also the stigma and shame that’s been attached to the victim/survivor. So when you break that, you break the abusers power.
And that is when you start to prevent child sexual abuse!