Last weekend, we took a little day trip to an amusement park. I heard Michael Jackson songs coming from one of the rides. This sign was on the ride. I absolutely loved Michael Jackson and was always intrigued by his music, dancing, and projects. I was heartbroken when allegations of abuse started filling the news.
In my own family, my stepfather was charged in a sexual crime against a minor- one of my siblings. To say that trust is shattered is not a strong enough sentiment. I learned that no one is immune to sexual abuse. We were a loving, church going, family. My mom and step dad had adopted a sibling group of five so that the kids could stay together. They were always willing to help others in need. My step dad did not spend time in jail, but was restrained from contact with the family. He had to go to therapy, and to my disbelief, ended up marrying his therapist, who happened to have a young daughter!
Sadly, reporting anything other than pregnancy or a sexual disease, means nothing. The other signs of abuse can also be from other conditions. Protective parents can easily be accused of trying to hurt the other parent if there are custody issues in litigation. This is a no-win situation, with a child being used as no child should be. Child sexual abuse stays in the dark…in the closet…behind closed doors.
Perhaps it is so evil that people choose to look the other way, rather than face the horror and empathize with victims. Perhaps people are more sensitive to potentially harming the reputation of an otherwise “good person”. Some predators are given second chances, third chances, or more.
In this era of “#metoo”, and “#nomore”, the voices are being heard. The voices of today’s victims may be forced to stay in the dark, but the rise of victims sharing their experiences is giving a voice to all. Coming out of the darkness of sexual abuse is an act of bravery in my book.
Shine light into this darkness!