I’ve been thinking: how can we educate the public on the sexual abuse of children? Most people don’t want to think about it, or even believe it happens, let alone talk about it. Breast cancer came to mind, and how the public has become aware of the devastating effects of the disease. Years ago people didn’t talk about cancer except in whispers. People were ashamed to admit to having the disease. Then, victims started sharing their experiences in magazines and on television and, as a result, the public became aware of the suffering cancer patients endured.
Perhaps, that is the answer to educating the public on child sexual abuse. A daunting challenge to say the least. For example, would you be willing to discuss the effects sexual abuse had on you, how it affected your life? Would you be willing to come forth and say “My name is Jane Doe and I was sexually abused as a child,” and then go on to describe the abuse and how it affected you? Yet, how else can we get folks talking about the devastation sexual abuse has on a child and the adult survivor unless they learn about it by listening to the victims themselves? Many, many victims would have to come forth and tell their story and then, a well-known figure such as Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopolis or Oprah Winfrey would have to put together and moderate such a program. We can hope.
Caring for victims,