Monday, June 26, 2017

Stopping Abuse

It's unclear exactly how many children a victims of sexual abuse as many instances of abuse go unreported. It is estimated that at least 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys in America will be victims of sexual abuse by the age of 17.

My husband and I just finished watching The Keepers on Netflix. Similar to the Netflix series Making a Murderer, this docuseries explores a case with a lot of questions. Although a large part of the drama has to do with the sexual abuse going on in the late 60's and early 70's at a Baltimore Catholic high school, the docuseries always paints this abuse and the abusers in the ugliest of lights, trying to bring them to justice.

The most shocking part of the series is that the abuser likely could have been stopped long before things spiraled so out of control. People in authority knew there were complaints against the abuser. Yet instead of reporting to the police or terminating the person, they transferred him to a place where he would have even more access to young people. Dozens and dozens of victims could have been spared had those in authority acted. The abuse ruined many people's lives -- they became reclusive, drug or alcohol addicted, or suicidal. Many of them had/have challenges in their relationships with significant others and family.

Child sexual abuse is probably a lot more common than we would like to admit. Abusers often build up relationships with their victims and keep them quiet by threats of violence or murder. It is crucial for parents to protect their kids and let their children know that if anyone makes these threats, they are empty and they will be protected.

If you were abused, seek help. If you know about abuse, speak up. I cannot imagine how hard that might be, but it could prevent many others from getting hurt.

For the rest of us, we need to know this is an issue in our country that needs to be fought and always demonized.

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