Silence is the least effectual response to sexual abuse, and yet the most widely used.
Silence keeps your world operating as if nothing happened. Silence sits with fear and terror. Threats, and just the natural ugliness of abuse, demands silence.
Truth sits with no sound.
Which reminded me of this:
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality."
I wonder if most need to hear the sounds, in order to acknowledge the reality of sexual abuse? That unless the accounts are spoken, IT didn't happen.
However, EVEN when someone speaks out, there is still doubts. It is like telling about the sounds of trees falling, when they never have seen one with their own eyes.
Do we literally have to witness abuse in order to accept it in reality?
We use silence as the proof of incest and sexual abuse not existing.
The silent children (adult children too) within the church are inadvertently painting the picture of purity; while being deeply wounded from abuse.
Silence of abuse equates to no abuse.
Without a verbal account, we tend not to believe.
And even after a verbal account, most will not change their image of the abuser, to sexual predator.
Those who break the silence have the job of convincing others that their abuser is a predator, and say not just a dad, or a church going man, a preacher, a uncle, a grandfather, a brother, christian neighbor, a family friend.
95% of abusers are known to the family, and 50% are family.
Breaking the silence, is to break the image our family holds about someone.
And, who will listen and believe such perverse familial abnormal behavior coming from those we know?
And, further still, what if those who are listening are wounded too...and you breaking the silence, will open their own wounds. Who wants to sit in the deep family legacy of abuse.
Who wants to sort through all their relationships to see their contents, it is easier to shut the door on your voice. To holler and demean you, shame and degrade, to shut you out, than to welcome decades worth of filth.
Who really wants to know their family and love is laced with abuse. That the undercurrents and silent rage that is bottled up inside of them, has your truth.
Their silence is threatened by your speaking out.
Their truth wobbles when another victim finds their voice.
I am turned away from, steered clear of, and kept at a distance, and space is sought from me. It isn't because of MY story. It is because they do not want truth to seep into their worlds.
Silence keeps truth at bay.
Or, so they think.
Silently more and more children are getting abused.
Predators need your silence.
Children look upon your silent face and believe, they are wrong.
That grandpa or daddy isn't the monster they see.
Your silent face speaks of their innocence.
Surely an adult would break the silence of abuse.
Especially one in the First Apostolic Lutheran Church.
Who knows it is taboo for there to be sex before marriage, outside of marriage and with children.
A woman who sits in church and speaks against all the sins of the world, surely would also keep a predator away from her family.
A child watches your silence.
And believes he is wrong.
She feels wrong.
Her fear is unjustified.
Her terror a mixed up wire in her body.
She is wrong.
Your silence is God's Peace.
A small young girl sees what you see and breaks the silence.
She says, Grandpa touched me.
Your father is now confirmed as the monster you felt.
Silence is an option.
To stand with the little girl and speak out...or to be silent.
I went with the little girl and the fear in my body.
Into the unknown, but known.
Towards the unpopular vote of naming the monster in our midst.
Breaking not only my silence; but all ties with those who stood by him; no matter their reason.
Silence is powerful.
Silence is what kept my father abusing for over 40 years.
Or worse, knowing and doing nothing.
Nothing that would stop abuse.
Most will offer to me, that abuse is everywhere. Like you can't really find a relationship or church that will not have abuse within it. May as well stay in a family of abusers, cause otherwise you will all alone.
So far, I am not alone.
Breaking the silence was an act of a little girl. I just supported her words. I followed my body and its truth.
She is my forever hero.She set me free, and broke my cage of silence.