Dare to Raise Your Voice
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live
Women and children that have experienced sexual crimes live in silence, trapped within a closet of denial, secrecy, and shame. To speak about their experiences of rape, domestic battery, and incest is to invite public humiliation, ridicule, and disbelief both from family members and society in general. Slowly people are acknowledging these horrific events as heinous and criminal. However, we are a far cry from supporting the many women and children inflicted by sexual abuse. There are still many in hiding living in fear, terror, and hopelessness.
It's time to raise awareness to these criminal acts that are occurring under our noses. I strongly agree that family members, relatives, and friends whom do not report these odious crimes, and choose to turn away, should be held accountable as well. All accomplices of other crimes are held accountable. Why are the sexual crimes any different?
I have to say that I was naive enough to think that family would stick by my side in such criminal acts. That they would be the ones to support me when I finally dared to raise my voice. However, I was wrong and rudely awaken by this fantasy. I'm sure there are many individuals that would go to the authorities in support of the victim. Nonetheless, there are many that refuse to.
In the end, once again it is not about the others, though. It is about you, the abused, and your own healing process. Do you dare to raise your voice and speak up? Do you dare to talk the truth in order to sort through the abuse? When the traumatic memories and the intense feelings that accompany them are put into words, a lot of the wild and crazy emotions and behaviors slip away. I feel raising your voice is still worth it in the end. Although you may endure a ton of judgment, raising your voice is still worthwhile. You acquire a great sense of freedom - a new sense of being.
A side note: Safety comes first! Make sure you are in a safe environment depending on your situation.
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