Falling Apart and Staring Blankly

August 26, 2014 3:05 PM

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I like to think of myself as an empathetic person, and that probably has a lot to do with my having to close myself off to people for so long as a coping strategy to get through daily interactions as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I've recently returned from a speaking engagement in Ottawa, and once again I was reminded of two things. One is the prevalence of childhood trauma in so many families. The statistics in Canada are that one in three girls, and one in six boys are directly affected by childhood sexual abuse. And the second thing I was reminded of is how uncomfortable we are as a society to openly and honestly discuss and confront this issue.

It was clear from the questions that we panelists faced that there was a shared sense of outrage and anger amongst the audience about how we can protect our children from this trauma. It would be so much easier, and I believe more palatable, were we able to demonize an abuser as some evil "stranger"...

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