Thursday, March 3, 2016

SHINING the #SPOTLIGHT on #CHILD #SEXUAL #ABUSE

The movie, "SPOTLIGHT" winning the #Oscar for Best Picture was more than a victory for the producers, directors, actors and journalists acknowledged in the film. It was a victory for victims of child sexual abuse. As a victim, I was thrilled to see this happen. And coupled with what I wrote in my previous post regarding #Lady Gaga telling the world it doesn't know how we feel until it happens to you, it's given me real hope that maybe, just maybe, awareness of child sexual abuse will indeed increase as more of us share our own stories and break the hideous silence surrounding abuse.

But how quickly will that awareness increase? How many more movies like "Spotlight" or the documentary, "The Hunting Ground", or songs like Lady Gaga's will it take to get the message across that rape, at any age, under any circumstances, regardless of culture or religion is NOT okay?! What will it take for victims to speak up without fear of reprisal and/or rejection by their own families? Look at Lady Gaga for instance: she opened up about the rape in 2014. But according to THIS ARTICLE, her grandmother and Aunt Sheri didn't find out about it until her performance at the Oscars. No surprise there for us other victims of sexual abuse: I told no-one that my father had sexually abused me for nearly 45 years! For pete's sake, I was 65 when I finally spoke up! Am I unusual? Not at all. More likely the norm. And I know that for a fact from the many who have told me about it in my public talks on sexual violence and in my private Facebook group. While shame keeps us from speaking up, much of the time it's our fear of the humiliation and shame such disclosure will dump on our families. So to protect them, we remain the sacrificial lambs on the altars of silence.

Speaking of altars, while the film, "Spotlight" put the spotlight on the Catholic Church, I think it would be dreadfully narrow-minded of those interested in this subject of abuse by the clergy to limit their finger pointing to the Catholic Church. Just pick up the book I've been reading and studying for a year now, "BREAKING THEIR WILL: SHEDDING THE LIGHT ON RELIGIOUS CHILD MALTREATMENT" and prepare to be horrified, even shocked by the degree, range and reasons for the abuse of children in ALL organized religions. What an eye-opener! And what you will read, if you dare, will make you want to vomit. No religion is "clean" when it comes to child sexual abuse. What's more...and don't get all uptight at me for saying this...much of the abuse is based on the teachings of the Bible and all the other "holy" books depending on which religion one follows. If I had the time and space here, there are so many sections of "Breaking their Will..." that I have highlighted, mulled over and would love to share. But I'd rather suggest one buy the book and read it for yourself. And speaking of books, you might also like to read "SPLIT" by a former nun, Mary Dispenza. That link will take you to my review of Mary's book on my other website. (Mary must be rejoicing, as I am, about the Oscar for "Spotlight").

Oh I could go on an on here but I'll summarize my feelings on religion and sexual abuse of children with this quote I found HERE:

We should not attempt to mould human sexuality around otherworldly religious ideals. Sexual dysfunction always results. Psychologists and sociologists have noted the association between extreme religious fervour and psycho-sexual problems (the former causing the latter)

No, I'm not saying religious belief is behind ALL childhood sexual abuse. Not at all...and it certainly wasn't a factor in my father's sexual abuse of me. But sadly, it is a justification too many give for abusing children sexually and every other way. When you factor in religion, along with narcissism and the sense of entitlement too many men have when it comes to women's bodies and minds, well, we have one hell of a long way to go yet in shining the spotlight on child sexual abuse, let alone eradicating it.



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