As some of you know, I write a blog. For awhile there, I had my blog on my counselling website but then I made the decision to separate church and state, to coin a phrase. Some counselling clients prefer a clean slate when it comes to their counsellor and because I write from a personal perspective, I thought it best to have distance between my professional and personal selves.
However, the last blog I posted might be of particular interest to my Butterfly Tree readers. The subject matter got so much positive and heartfelt feedback that I thought I would share it here.
The subject of childhood sexual abuse is fraught. I grew up in a generation when these things just weren't talked about which, of course, lead to deep shame and confusion. These days, talking about any form of sexual violence is not so taboo and thank goodness for that.
The more we talk openly about the harm done to children, the more we "normalize" the conversation. When 1 in 4 (conservative estimate) North American girls under the age of 18 are sexually abused, it means we should not only be talking about it but actively finding a way to end the epidemic. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, half as many females as are sexually abused, and yet major charities are set up to find a cure, to provide therapy, and to fund hospices.
It's time to bring sexual abuse out of the dark and into the light. The long-term effects of it are so far-reaching and include disordered eating, misuse of drugs and alcohol, abusive relationships, chronic unemployment, self-harm, depression, suicide and more.
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse deserve to be heard and protected. Talking openly and publicly will help us get there. Will you join the conversation?
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