Youth learn the impact of child sexual abuseBlogPublished July 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm No Comments
Feeling a bit nervous, being that most of the people walking in the room to join the discussion this Wednesday were ages 14-17. I thought, should I switch up my presentation? Is what I’m about to share, stories of child sexual abuse and healing too heavy for them? Then I quickly was inspired, inspired by the fact that I longed for information that I was about to share when I was a teenager. I needed to know what to do with all the stories of trauma, pain and suffering I heard over the years and all that I witnessed. Any how, the young faces slowly trickled in, looking a bit unsure and many holding notebooks and sat down quietly.
I had a smile on my face, ear to ear, feeling honored to give what so many long for, some may need to hear an honest story, a story like theirs, some long for the need not to feel alone. Some were interested in learning what they can do to help; many were shocked at the percentage of young girls and boys who are sexually abused before age 18 (1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 6 boys). They too were hungry for answers and knowledge about an issue that is so loud, yet prevails in this culture of silence around child sexual abuse.
I began sharing what child sexual abuse is, once you give something so complex a name you can move on and discuss what “it” is that needs to be prevented or addressed. All of them were attentive, two young ladies insisted on asking question after question, while many of the young men in the room appeared speechless. Like many adults they could not understand why it’s such a challenge to “prove” a case of child sexual abuse. They were interested in learning more about the people in the social movement to end child sexual abuse and how their alternative strategy “works.”
Providing young adults with information that is rarely accessible, definitely not accessible in my generation is a true success. I look forward to speaking at high schools, youth prisons and at youth centers.
Stay tuned to learn when and where I will speak next. Hope to see you there!
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