Friday, June 14, 2013


A funny thing happened to me this past week. A friend in England wrote to say he was telling others  about my upcoming book, NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER. He commented what a hard job I, and others like me who decide to blog, write poems or books about incest have ahead of us, because when he tells folks what my book is about, 

"I sometimes notice a glazed, or uncomfortable expression appear on their faces..."

Why did I think this was funny? Because that very same day, when I told a neighbour I was writing a book and she smiled and brightly asked "on what?" and I came out without blinking an eye and said "incest", her eyes glazed over, and she didn't know where to look or what to say next. She was so obviously uncomfortable I felt bad for telling her about what to me, is now becoming the most important thing I've done with my life. I'm willing to bet that all victims of incest or child sexual abuse who have found the courage to speak out publicly about.

It shouldn't be so. Why is it so? We talk about rape, the sex trade, sex trafficking of young children, murder ... all of it, without our eyes glazing over. We feel sad, angered, helpless do do anything about it, but we're not uncomfortable and our eyes don't glaze over hoping the speaker will change the subject because we don't know what to say about fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, grandfathers, uncles, aunts who use their own children for sexual release! Does this very discomfort we feel not indicate how important it is that victims speak up when they can, and as often as they can? Somehow, we have to get our families, our teachers, our neighbours, our communities to acknowledge incest might be happening right in the homes of those with whom we're sharing beer over the barby or chatting with at swim club. 

Incestuous abusers are so often pillars of the community, high profile people, the nicest guy or gal in the neighbourhood. No wonder we go into shock when we read some guy shot his sweet mother to death or some gal took a knife to her dear old grand-dad in the house down the street. We don't want to consider that maybe, just maybe that guy or gal had a really good reason to do so ... that they simply lost it after years of sexual abuse at the hands of someone they trusted. I see and feel the rage, the hurt, the anger that comes out of the victim/survivors in my private Facebook group. They are mentally writhing in agony, even years after the abuse has stopped. They try to get on with their lives, pick up the pieces of what's left of them after their abuser is gone or finished with them, but the pieces are so scattered, buried so deeply in horrible flashbacks, they break down time and again. The sexual abuse may be long over but the mental, verbal, and spiritual abuse they have endured lives on in them, forever a part of their everyday activities and reactions to everyone else around them. There is no such thing as "just get over it" because "it" never goes away. 

But the eyes of those who hear that it happened to you or a friend glaze over. They shift uncomfortably, look anywhere but at you, you who deserve and need understanding and love above all else. Maybe their eyes glaze over because they too, or someone in their own families, have been victims of incest and they, together with their families, have covered it up and now you're threatening to tear down that wall of silence that has kept them and their dirty family secret protected all these years. And you know what I say to that? 

Tear down the walls! Shake them up! Get them talking about it. Take off the blinkers! Incest exists and it's real and it's happening all around us in numbers that are downright frightening. According to the article AT THIS LINK:

"One in three-to-four girls, and one in five-to-seven boys are sexually abused before they turn 18, an overwhelming incidence of which happens within the family. These statistics are well known among industry professionals, who are often quick to add, "and this is a notoriously underreported crime."

I call on all victims of incest to do what you can to change those statistics. You might say, "What can I do? I only know my own case and no-one in my family believes me or helps me." Well remember one thing: a single drop of rain will not fill a barrel but a downpour will not only fill it but cause it to overflow. Let's make ourselves heard. Blog, write, talk, do whatever it takes to open those glazed eyes to the truth. Together, we are strong. Let's not forever be what my poem states above:

"Faceless children with silent voices".


  1. Brilliant!!! I absolutely agree & feel the exact same way!!!


  2. Viga, very well said, my friend. Yes, as more of us speak out, fewer will be left in their denial of incest which is happening next door or on the next street or even in their family. We will no longer be silenced by our abusers or by society who wants to stay in their comfort zones. Thank you for being a beacon of light for other survivors.

    1. Thanks for reading this Patricia and leaving me a comment. You know, over the years, the gays have fought and fought to come out from under and today they hold Pride parades etc. I spoke to a young fellow writing his own book, "A Gay Muslim" and noticed how he didn't bat an eye when he first came out and said he had been abused as a child. He has reached a state I would want all victim/survivors to reach: to not be afraid to speak up without hesitation about his past and his present. We need to reach that stage. The children of Incest need to be able to march in parades and not see people flinch and turn away when we utter the word that tells them what happened to them in our families.

  3. Viga, I'm glad to meet you and hear your voice! You are so correct - people can talk about human trafficking because it is still an arm lengths away. When they are faced with the reality that sex abuse is happening next door, denial kicks in because it is too frightening and people think we are powerless to do something about it. We aren't powerless. Speaking out releases power inside and puts cracks in the denial. Can't wait till you organize the parade!

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on this post. I find the denial of incest one of the hardest issues members in my Facebook group have to deal with. They cannot heal if their own family won't even entertain the possibility they are telling the truth about a father or brother or whoever. The victim is so truly alone when this happens and feels even more ashamed and more responsible for it all. No, we aren't powerless but we sure have our jobs cut out for us. I just hope others follow my lead and talk about incest, blog about incest, write books about incest and start making it a word that doesn't bring a glazed look into people's eyes!