A few weeks ago, a friend stumbled across a picture of her 10-year-old son and his younger cousin that threw her for a loop.
While visiting a pirate museum with family, the two boys became intrigued with a statue of a scantily clad woman dressed like a female version of a pirate. His grandmother snapped a picture of the smiling boys, one on either side of the statue—each boy with his hand carefully placed on the woman’s nearly bare chest. My friend was horrified. “He’s only 10!” she cried. “Don’t they realize that’s wrong?” She glanced at me for my opinion. “Um… teachable moment?” I suggested. Read more
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” didn’t work for the military, and it doesn’t work for the deeply troubling issue of sexual assault either.
Our culture’s longstanding fear of asking and telling about sexual assault has contributed to an epidemic rate of child sexual abuse (1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005). As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I can attest to the deep shame surrounding this issue that keeps both survivors and everyone else silent.
We should consider an alternative approach Read more
The first time I told someone what was happening to me, I had no understanding that I was being sexually abused.
I wasn’t reporting a crime. In my mind, I was confessing a sin. I believed I was having an affair with a minister. It was nearly 10 years later that I even started to understand what really happened—that I was groomed by an experienced, accomplished master abuser—that I was raped.
It’s an interesting word, “rape.” Our culture seems to think it has decided what rape is and what rape isn’t. When the word “rape” is used, most people imagine Read more
For millions of children in the U.S., poverty, neglect or abuse is a reality of everyday life, though these struggles are often hidden from view.
Adult survivors often feel ashamed about and stigmatized for their childhood adversity. This makes it difficult to recognize that these events occur.
While it’s easier to turn away than to face these issues, we can no longer afford to do so. Stress, Read more