The person who first sexually abused me when I was a child has been dead for a long time now. The effects of that abuse still rattle around in the back of my mind though, coming out to the forefront of my thoughts occasionally. When a child has their confidence in the safety of their home, or home substitute is abused. they may find it difficult to feel safe anywhere again.

I am currently hearing stories about institutional abuse by teachers, preachers and others in positions of power over children. This abuse is appalling to hear about/read about, and I wish wasn’t having it put up there on the TV screen, on the radio or in the newspapers. But it’s happening, and having the stories taken out of my view, but still occurring would be an awful things still.

It’s necessary for society to hear about such things, and it’s necessary for offenders, when found, to be properly punished. This punishment cannot stop the event from having happened, but it can work toward building up trust again, and life can move toward a safer inner place, perhaps. When stories of abuse are told, and believed, it can hearten those abused, that their own story may begin to be believed to.

This telling of personal stories, and sharing them with people who truly understand, because they have a similar story, is an important thing. Women’s groups, where the abused people feel safe enough to share with others is a great thing. Dwelling on the pain is not going to help an abused person, but sharing stories, understanding the true one or ones to blame, these can lead to a better mind-set for a person.

picture jen 013_edited

(image by Pauline Edmunds from cover of my book, “damaged children, Precious Gems”)

I am not a counsellor. I don’t put myself forward as one who has looked into the causes and consequences of abuse in a broad ranging way. I am a survivor though, one who has moved from victim to survivor, and I want to help other people to do the same. Being a victim is not a good thing, but being a survivor is great!

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For 2015 I resolve to do all I can to help to stop the damage that is done to so many children, by others who abuse them. This is usually, but not always, done by adults, who most certainly should be the people nurturing and protecting children from harm.

Children will experiment, yes, but they should not be ‘initiated’ into such things by others with sordid reasons for their illegal actions. Children should be allowed to grow, unharmed to become the best people they can become, with no bad things being done to them to make them doubt their own worth.

I realise this is a huge job to do, but little by little, if more and more people foster similar resolutions, the good things done, can far outweigh the bad.

I know there are other people who have ideas like mine, and who are working hard to help children to get over the abuse they have experienced. One such group is this one. The Bravehearts group does much in many states, and a new group in South Australia is helping them, by raising money for Bravehearts so they can continue their good work.

I dream of a future where no child suffers, and all are allowed to be children, and only move toward adulthood unchallenged by sordid adult desires.