If you’re reading this blog, you probably have your eyes open to the fact that childhood sexual abuse is endemic in our society. And you probably wonder how this crime against society, so seamlessly woven into the very fabric of our existence, still lurks in the shadows. How come we haven’t stamped it out?
Please join me in my life’s mission to bring child abuse out into the open. That’s the only way to stop it. Secrecy, dissociated memories, denial and shame of telling allow these crimes against children to fester in the dark.
Child abuse is our world’s best-kept secret, and it’s happening everywhere right under our noses. Conservative statistics tell us one in four females in North America is sexually abused before the age of eighteen. (The figures are somewhat lower for males.) That means we all know personally people who have suffered this childhood trauma.
Vast segments of our population have had their lives bent out of shape by predatory adults. These victims often suffer from what George Orwell called “double think.” They know and at the same time, they don’t know they’ve been cheated of a normal life. Their bodies carry the memories and the trauma abuse shapes their behavior. Yet consciously they know nothing about how the adults they trusted betrayed them.
This bad news is certainly not unique to our century. In the 1890s, Sigmund Freud in Vienna and Pierre Janet in Paris fully understood the prevalence of child sexual abuse and recognized how victims have no memory of the experience.
My next post will tell how the awareness of Sigmund Freud and Pierre Janet got lost in the mists of time.