You are not alone
There are over 39 million survivors of child sexual abuse in America(2)
There is no shortage of people who personally understand the impact of child sexual abuse. However, our community and individual silence serves to isolate us and may keep us from acknowledging the real impact; and from gaining the strength, resources and support we need to heal. But together we have a chance to experience freedom from our past and become truly whole!
Child Sexual Abuse Best Practices Introduction
Every adult plays a part in the resolution of the child sexual abuse pandemic. As a survivor your part is to heal. When you choose to heal, you break the cycle of abuse and minimize future dysfunction in your family legacy. You also inspire other survivors to heal. This creates a ripple affect that will help heal your community, your nation and the world.
The shear act of sexual abuse robs children of their power and when they keep the secret, it continues to drain them of power. Some survivors carry that powerlessness well into their adult life. This program is designed to give you the knowledge, courage and support you need to break your silence and take back your power!
Every survivor is different and we all have our own unique healing journey but there are also great similarities. The intent of this program is to:
Connect you with others who can provide the support and encouragement you need to get started on your healing journey and to keep moving forward.
Meet you where you are on your journey and give you the flexibility to determine your own next steps and their timing.
Provide a framework for your healing process so that you have direction - you will come to understand where you are; you will envision where you want to be; so you can chart a course to get there.
Guide you to become a conscious observer of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors and how your surroundings affect them.
Help you identify lies you have come to believe about yourself and the world and teach you how to speak truth back into your life.
Introduce you to the vast collection of healing resources and guide you to specific resources that will support your next step.
Help you discover who you were always meant to be.
Child Sexual Abuse is predictable and preventable
when we surround children with knowledgeable and outspoken adults
and we all play a part in the solution.
Predict: is to declare or indicate in advance; especially to foretell on the basis of observation, experience, or scientific reason.(1)
From survivors like yourself, experts have documented time after time, behavior patterns that appear BEFORE abuse occurs. So, with the right training, we can recognize when children are in danger and put best practices in place to directly reduce the risk of abuse in our homes, neighborhoods and youth serving organizations. We wish we could say that people were knowledgeable and outspoken when you were a child. We wish they would have protected you. Although we cannot change the past, we can change the future but we need YOUR help!
Your story can help others understand that it can and it does happen. You can help them overcome the potential vulnerabilities that Carla mentioned and teach them how to fight courageously for the innocence of our children. So, after you've engaged in the process of healing for some time and you're feeling strong, we encourage you to give back by advocating for children. There's a variety of activities and organizations you can get involved with but the most powerful form of advocacy is to help the public learn from your story. We call this process "Survivors with Purpose" as you'll read more about in Best Practice #8.
- Empower adults to hold each other mutually accountable;
- Teach kids "the language of abuse" and give them permission to tell;
- And most importantly, you'll put offenders on notice that we're watching and our kids are off limits!