Breaking the abusers power: sharing your story

The abusers weapon is silence

DSC_0027-2Silence is the abusers powerful weapon. When silence is broken by one person, chances are he/she won’t be believed. But you’re not alone! There are many, way too many, people who’ve had similar experiences. Sharing your story is an even more powerful weapon than silence is.

My decision to break my silence

I’ve decided I won’t shut up any longer! Sharing my story has helped me in many ways.
Since I’ve published my blogs and books, my life has changed. I’ve found my way back to -part of- my family. My friends love and support me. Especially when I’m going through a rough patch.

Forgiving the abuser

I’ve also decided to forgive the man who used and abused me. And no, that wasn’t easy!
I hate what he did to me, not who he is. I couldn’t feel any positive energy from holding on, so I let him go. He’s no longer important to me. It feels great to be able to say that.

I strive to prevent and heal

Prevention by sharing your story is important. That way more people will realize why sexual abuse is such a horrible crime. Sharing your story can also be very healing. It helps you to let go of your past. Through my coaching sessions and my book I’ll show you how. Healing is possible. You don’t have a life sentence!

For more information about the long term effects of child sexual abuse and how to heal from them, buy the book ‘I Thrive. Healing child sexual abuse’ at Amazon.com

Child sexual abuse is todays and tomorrows problem

DSC_0211Todays problem

Children are being sexually abused at alarming rates. While the world looks and points the finger at India, we fail to look at what’s happening in our own homes. One in three children is sexually abused and most of this abuse takes place in their own bed. Half of these children are abused by a parent, another staggering 30 percent by someone else in their family (older brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, grandparents, etc).

Child sexual abuse is not going to stop unless we stop looking away

Untill we start to realise and let it sink in that child sexual abuse is everywhere, is happening in your street, in your classroom, in your immediate circle of influence, we’re part of the problem.

Talk about child sexual abuse, esspecially if you are not a victim

Talking about child sexual abuse is going to help people come out about what has happened to them. Creating a society where we’re not afraid to tackle this tabu subject and bring what we think and feel about it out into the open will take concerted effort from everyone. In particular people who have not been abused as it is less difficult for them to talk about it.

Tomorrows problems

It’s not just the children we need to worry about and protect. Everyone who falls victim to child sexual abuse is at enormous risk of developing problems later on in life. As many as 50% of victims of child sexual abuse end up having serious mental health issues. The cumulative effect of child sexual abuse in combination with other problems in childhood is huge. You only need to look at the ACE study to know we can’t afford to ignore child sexual abuse happening now, to prevent problems in health care in the future.

The huge numbers of people who have been sexually abused

It may seem like there’s an explosion of sexual abuse at this moment, with big cases coming to light, it seems like every week. In terms of media attention, this is certainly the case. However, the hidden suffering is still many times greater than what these big cases imply. For every ‘Jimmy Saville’ who victimizes a large number of children, there’s at least 100 times as many children being victimized by someone within their family, and there has been for years. Earlier it was reported that possibly 11.000.000 English people have been a victim. The numbers are huge and the effects are devasting.

Helping people heal from child sexual abuse

My book helps people find a way to heal from child sexual abuse. It helps people who have been victimized to understand what they are dealing with in terms of the long term effects of child sexual abuse. It helps people who have not been a victim understand more about what the long term effects are and how they can help. We need all hands on deck for this one. We need to learn and educate ourselves and each other about child sexual abuse.

 

For more information about the long term effects of child sexual abuse and how to heal from them, buy the book ‘I Thrive. Healing child sexual abuse’ at Amazon.com

11 million British children sexually abused

11 million British children sexually abused

The latest numbers are shocking to some, old hat to others, but they do show that England is, like many European countries, full of child sexual abuse. The numbers of 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are numbers many European countries echo.

Scandals, lies and cover ups

Of late, Brittain has had quite a few scandals hit the papers, in particular (and of international infamy) surrounding the BBC. Jimmy Saville, Gary Glitter, Church officials, politicians and chiefs of police: the one thread that these cases have in common is that in all of these case they were a ‘public secret’. Meaning that people were aware that it was happening and chose to look the other way.

On choosing to look away

Whether it’s a celebrity or a relative who perpetrates child sexual abuse against you, the effects are devestating. But many victims of child sexual abuse also report the effect of people looking away as at least equally devestating. When you look away from a child in trouble you’re implicitly giving permission to the perpetrator and you’re telling the child he or she is not worth bothering about.

Not guilty

Allowing child sexual abuse that you’re aware of to continue doesn’t make you guilty in the eyes of the law. There are no laws that say you have to report a crime you are aware of. But are you at the same time, not failing to protect a child? Are you not neglecting the childs needs, effectively ignoring the fact that it’s being hurt.

Finally people are getting real about child sexual abuse

In England alone, an estimated 11 million people have suffered from child sexual abuse. Those numbers are huge and they may be the tip of the iceberg. Righteous indignation is aimed squarely at public figures who perpetrated or enabled these acts. The more difficult questions for people get their heads around are:

  • Is this happening in my own environment?
  • In my street?
  • In my own home?

It’s easy to think Jimmy Saville did it. It’s much more difficult to look critically at your own husband (or wife), at your family, at your children. The number don’t lie however and more than half of those 11 million people are abused by someone they know and love. Someone within their own family. Someone you might never suspect.

We need people who choose not to look away

On behalf of the children who are, right now, living in fear right under your noses. We need you not to look away. Pay close attention to whoever as access to your child. Listen to what your children say and believe them, even if it sounds incredible to you! All of the survivors that I’ve counselled, have told me that they have tried at least once to tell somebody, but they were not heard.

Get informed about child sexual abuse

My own book is a good place to start, to begin to understand what child sexual abuse is all about. How grooming works and what tell tale signs of child sexual abuse are. My book is geared towards the adult survivor of child sexual abuse, explaining what the short and long term effects of child sexual abuse are and how to heal them. It’s a great resource for social workers, counsellors and therapists alike, wanting to know more about that it means to be sexually abused as a child.

 

For more information about the long term effects of child sexual abuse and how to heal from them, buy the book ‘I Thrive. Healing child sexual abuse’ at Amazon.com

Delay of publishing date

Writing a book is a process in it’s own right

After the healing from child sexual abuse, I felt the need to write about my experiences. I didn’t at the outset mean to write a book, instead I wrote articles about child sexual abuse on hubpages because they had a challenge going ‘write 30 blogs in 30 days’. Well, I like challenging myself so I felt this was for me. In the space of 30 days I wrote 29 blogs. Yes, I know, didn’t quite make it… But I felt pretty pleased about it regardless. After all I had written 29 articles on child sexual abuse and in the process of writing them had gotten to an even deeper level of healing.

Letting go

After writing the articles I let it go. It wasn’t untill a few years later that I noticed how much response my articles had generated. People telling me how something I wrote had touched them, helped them heal from child sexual abuse. When I realized that, I knew I had to do something about it. All of this lead me to write my book.

Making a book is different from just bundeling articles

A book is quite a different product from articles. As you can see on the blog I’ve left on hubpages, on forgiveness, even then I felt my sometimes grim words needed the beauty of photographs. For the book I wanted even better, more appropriate photo’s to accompany each chapter.

The result: a comprehensive book about child sexual abuse

I wanted the book to be about more than just my personal experiences. I wanted it to add something of value to the world. I set out to further all peoples understanding about child sexual abuse and how to heal from that. I added experiences from my practise as a coach. I included some statistics and knowledge about therapies and ways for people to heal. I directly adressed issues facing people who love someone who has been sexually abused. The result is a book I’m very proud of. A book that has been embraced by professionals and survivors alike. And a book that partners can also glean important insights from.

Final stages of publishing

The final dotting of the i’s and crossing the t’s is taking a little longer than I expected. The book is back from it’s proofreading and I’m currently working through all the corrections. Sometimes vehemently disagreeing with the comments by the corrector, sometimes making improvements that will make the book that much better. I need a little time to do this. I want the book to be the best version possible. It is for that reason that I’ve delayed the publication date by a month. The new deadline is 31 march 2014. I promise you all it will be worth the wait!