Sunday, July 14, 2013

Victims' own voices are the best weapons against #child sexual abuse and #incest. But are people listening?

This blog has been quiet for too long now as I have been hell-bent on finishing my book, NO TEARS FOR MY FATHER, but at last, it should be on its way to the printer by the end of this week. I am really looking forward to sharing it with you and hope, in turn, you will talk about and share it with others.

Folks have been asking where they will be able to purchase it. Initially, you will be able to buy the book, an autographed copy, directly from me.  I will have links on this blog, and eventually on my author's website currently being created.  An eBook will eventually also become available.  I'll keep you informed.

In the meantime, I'd like to share with you the content of the last few pages in which I have addressed you, the readers of my book.  I feel the message there is one for all of us who have suffered incest and child sexual abuse. As always, your comments on this post are appreciated and please do share the url to this post with anyone whom you may feel it will benefit. Thanks for reading.


Oprah Winfrey once said:

“What I know for sure is this:  You are built not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more.  To be more splendid.  To be more extraordinary.  To use every moment to fill yourself up.” 

It is nearly impossible to fulfill that vision as long as we believe and live with what our abusers told us about ourselves.  The words with which they manipulated us for their own pleasure influence everything we are, think and do, even years after their abuse has stopped.  

From my perspective, the abuse inflicted on my body by my father is nothing compared to the damage he did to my mind, my self-esteem and my self-love, and it’s taken years of love and support from my family and a heck of a lot of self-talk to make me feel good about myself again.  I now know I was put on this earth for something bigger and better than to satisfy my father’s demands ... that I was meant to “blossom into more” become “more splendid” and “more extraordinary”.

I also know and believe with all my heart that none of us can become more extraordinary or more splendid as long as we tell ourselves that what happened was our fault!  

What happened was not our fault!  

We didn’t ask for it. We wore the shame; we took the blame.  But it was not our fault!  Those words are the only ones to tell yourself now, every day, if you are in the process of trying to heal, and that healing may take most of your life.  But we are worth whatever amount of time it takes!

And above all, we must start talking about incest!  We must COME OUT FROM UNDER and SPEAK OUT FROM UNDER Child Sexual Abuse.  I have bared all in this book to show you one way to come out from under.  There are others and many victim/survivors are using them.  They are writing books, blogs, poems and songs.  They are painting pictures.  Wonderful art is being born of their pain.  With every creation they are becoming “more splendid”, “more extraordinary”, because that’s what we are: we victims are extraordinary in what we have suffered and survived.  Yes, many of us have been silent because we lacked the courage to speak up.  We feared reprisal.  But many of us have been silent because we cared more for someone else than for ourselves.  I’d like to think that in being silent, we showed strength, not weakness.  Unlike our abusers, we didn’t put ourselves first!  And in that respect, we are extraordinary in a world where it’s always “me first!”

I would like to invite those of you who need a private place to talk with others and “bare all” to apply for membership in my closed Facebook group at this link:

and I hope you will “like” my Facebook page, COMING OUT FROM UNDER INCEST

I also invite you to become a follower or subscribe to this blog, VIGALAND: COMING OUT FROM UNDER INCEST

According to the website, VOICE FOUND in Canada alone:
  • 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys experience an unwanted sexual act before their 18th birthday.
  • 95 % of child sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator.
  • 30-40% of sexual assault victims are abused by a family member.
    Non-parental relatives – 35%
    Friends and Peers – 15%
    Stepfathers – 13%
    Biological Fathers – 9%
    Other Acquaintances – 9%
    Boyfriend/Girlfriend of Biological Parent – 5%
    Biological Mother – 5%
    Very few cases (2%) of substantiated sexual abuse involve a stranger.
  • Child and youth victims who were sexually assaulted by family members were on average 9 years old compared to 12 years old for victims of non-family members.
  • 64% of sexual offences reported to police took place in a residence
    26% took place in public and open areas, and
    11% took place in commercial places
  • 54% of girls and 31% of boys under 21 have experienced sexual abuse; (22% of female victims reported two or more sexual offences and 7% of male victims reported two or more sexual offences)
  • In 2005, the rate of sexual assault against children and youth was over five times higher than for adults (206 children and youth victims compared to 39 adult victims for every 100,000 people.)
  • Boys 4-7 years of age were 3 times more often the victims of sexual abuse than boys of other ages.
  • Girls aged 4-7 and 12-17 were twice as likely to be victims of sexual abuse as girls aged 0-3 and 8-11.
So just how big and widespread is child sexual abuse and incest? The statistics for Canada alone speak volumes.  Visit that link to see what the effect of this abuse is on the boys and girls who will be tomorrow's adults. It's frightening. And it's why I state in the beginning of my book that 

"Victims' own voices are the best weapons against child sexual abuse."

But is anyone listening? And if we do listen, do we really hear and believe what they tell us or do we sit silently in denial?  Wake up people!  This is happening in your city, your town, your neighbourhood.  And victims, come out from under however you can. Start talking to heal yourself. Speak out from under incest and child sexual abuse for the sake of today’s child and tomorrow’s adult.