It’s been a while since I’ve taken time to write or had the words to say. The past few months have been hard, full of change, healing, adjusting and growing.
April is Child abuse prevention month, 1 in 5 children are sexually abused before the age of 18. Ive made no secret of my own childhood experience with sexual abuse. I was raped when I was 7 by a man I trusted my brain blocked it out to protect me, when I was 17 I began remembering and I tried to block it out of my life and move on, but I couldn’t. It was time I faced it, it was time I healed. I’m still healing 5 years after I remembered, 15 years after I was raped, and I know that it will be somewhat of a lifetime battle. So I tried to heal, I tried to avoid confrontation because I didn’t think I was strong enough, but i couldn’t do that either. I had to face it, I had to report him so he couldn’t do it to anyone else. A year and a half ago I began that process of reporting. A little over a year ago the process started picking up, I had to confront him, which is not something I do well. Right before I moved he was placed into jail for a month for lying to the police, then he made bail. Then on October 31st I got a call saying that the case was a over, something I knew from the beginning that end outcome would probably be that there wasn’t enough evidence and honestly in the beginning I never thought it would take a little over a year, I never thought he’d spend anytime in jail, honestly I never thought it would get past me calling the police department. But it did, it didn’t end how I wanted it to, but my hope and the reason that I did it was that the pastors at his church forced him to step down from a leadership role and that maybe as the word got around in his church and in his life people would think twice before letting him around their children. And my hope in writing this is that people will learn the signs, notice the signs in people they let around their children, trust their gut with anyone that interacts with their child. It’s important, maybe sometimes your gut will be wrong and you’ll be called overprotective and but what if its not.
As someone works with children and as someone who is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse this topic is so near to my heart and it is so important that we do everything in our power to prevent any and every time of abuse, but especially to children.