Invisible victims of an unspeakable crime, children still shiver, frightened and abandoned in the silence.
They huddle in rusted trailer parks as well as ritzy homes, and they hide from abusers who are both derelicts and doctors.
That’s the thing – people love to talk about pedophile rings, upper-echelon abuse…it’s headline grabbing to focus on the exploits of the rich and powerful. And although it may be true that powerful people have greater access and probably more depraved desires, its also true that incest and sexual abuse of children happens in the most normal of circumstances too. At the end of the day however, abusers are often protected – whether by professed respectability of their positions in society and other powerful people or, more commonly, by other damaged and abused people in their life – including family members.
The hope for all children is that those whose small voices were silenced will say to themselves, and eventually to others, that it happens and it is wrong. And that ultimately, our society will start to follow suit.
Sadly, most people still refuse to acknowledge the far-flung existence of incest. At best, it is a whispered speculation of those who witness the signs. It is such a painful, shameful secret that people often can’t even admit it to themselves.
As many of us survivors continue to fight the good fight, I remind myself that the little green-eyed girl who was no taller than a table made it through the worst alone. That she not only managed to grow up but learned to love, laugh and create a life worth living.
And she became the woman I am proud to be — a survivor.