In the dark world of child sexual predators, these three little monkeys cause helpless children untold pain. Child victims need caring adults to get involved and come to their rescue. Unfortunately for these children, we have a tradition of minding our own business. For centuries, people have turned their backs when it was clear that a child was being traumatized in a neighbour’s home.
No one wants to see. To see means you have to do something about it. You have to consciously register that something awful is happening to a child and you know about it, or at least suspect it. It’s more comfortable to pad your inner world with denial and be “nice.”
As this blog so often says, by telling our stories we survivors of childhood trauma are able to break through much of society’s refusal to know that terrible things are done to our nation’s children. (I tell my story to make the point that child sexual abuse doesn’t just happen to impoverished slum children like Precious.)
When it comes to institutions, hitting people in their pockets turns out to be more effective than soliciting empathy and concern for abused children. Insurance companies were losing a lot of money until they imposed rules on schools and churches to protect children – not out of concern for the victims – but to keep from paying out the huge settlements when priests and teachers sexually abused their charges.
It’s not the caring for the next generation we might hope for. There remains a refusal to believe that sexual abuse really happens or that children are harmed as a result. But it’s better than declaring open-season on our nation’s children. If we can’t have empathy, then at least we can have rules.
Let’s work together to take the abuse out of the dark. If you have stories about protecting children and waging war against silence, please share them and leave a comment below.