Tomorrow, September 15th, abuse survivors and their advocates with be tweeting with the hashtag, #PurpleFriday to raise awareness around child sexual abuse. Supporters are encouraged to wear purple and initiate a conversation wherever they are about the importance of abuse education.
It is estimated that one in three children experience sexual abuse. I was one of them. Like many others, I was silenced for a long time. I was made to believe that it was my fault, and I (correctly) assumed that my parents would have ignored me or punished me if I spoke up about it. I had been groomed and taught by may parents since I was an infant that my body and my boundaries were not worthy of respect. In addition to their abuse, I was molested by a family friend for several years. I had dissociated the experience throughout my adolescence, until it came flooding back to me in my twenties. When I finally told my mom about it, she shrugged and said she had always suspected it, but didn’t want to upset anyone by saying anything.
The majority of sexual abuse cases revolve around someone the child already knows. Children rarely ever have any way of escaping their abusers. Many of them will develop complex trauma (C-PTSD) as a result of prolonged exposure to abuse and the subsequent gaslighting that follows. Child abusers know exactly how to control and manipulate the situation. A study was recently conducted where it was determined that over 90% of children who report sexual abuse are telling the truth. And yet, there continues to be an assumption in the zeitgeist that children are the ones who are unreliable and untrustworthy. If a child ever confides in you, it is extremely important that you take them seriously.
It’s time to end the stigma and speak up.
#PurpleFriday was started by David Lean. You can learn more about his vision for this day and more statistics about CSA/ CSE here: