How can I suggest that childhood sexual abuse could actually be eliminated? Is such a thing even possible?
The fact that one in three girls and one in five boys is sexually abused in childhood tells us that we have an epidemic on our hands worse than any the world has ever seen, and yet, no one is talking about it. When the H1N1 virus swept the nation, it was all over the news night and day, but far fewer than one in three were affected. There is growing concern over the practice of human trafficking in our country – a very worthy cause – but, again, far fewer than one in three is affected. Still, no politician makes it a platform. No pastor uses the pulpit. No one says a word.
How can that be? It’s almost as if the practice of raping and molesting children has been tacitly accepted, though no one would admit it. If confronted, I’m sure all would agree that it is a heinous and disgusting crime, and that all perpetrators should be strung up by their toenails – or perhaps by something more sensitive. However, with one in three little girls being abused, it is no longer something that happens to someone else, in other families. It is happening to our children, in our homes, by people we love. That seems to make all the difference.
So, yes, it may sound crazy, but I do believe that sexual abuse can be completely eradicated. It will begin with awareness. It will include the refusal to submit to denial. It will be because each parent makes the decision to protect their own children, no matter the cost. For those children whose parents don’t care to protect them, it will happen because we acknowledge our responsibility to intervene.
No more acceptance. No more denial. Only awareness and a burning desire to see an end to this silent epidemic that is devastating our children.
I personally look forward to that day.