Article: Be outraged at the abuse of children, not at one mother’s efforts to protect her daughters

March 2, 2017by Jane Gilmore

Me, on Kasey Edwards’ article, but before you read it:

There was a huge amount of debate over the original article, some of it helpful, much of it not. Very little of it about the actual topic of child abuse and the statistics that say how prevalent it is.

The thing no one should ever forget with those statistics is that they are not just numbers, they are people who survived abuse. Some of them have children who survived it. Some may even have children who didn’t survive it.

The lifelong effects of sexual abuse, which are shown to be greater than any other form of abuse, include mental illness, suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, bad relationships, higher risk of further abuse as an adult, and social isolation.

Anyone who has researched the effects of such abuse knows how common it is for survivors and their carers to constantly second guess their reactions at the time. Was I responsible? Could I have prevented it?

The questions are entirely understandable but the answer is always no, because if you could have done something, you would have. The only person who had choices was the abuser, not the abused. That is the very essence of abuse.

And often the responses are emotional because there is no other way to respond to such trauma. Those emotions are real, valid, complex and demand respect.

That respect is not present when men who have never been forced to feel those emotions are simply offended by the facts.

Any responses that don’t show respect to survivors will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked and I don’t care how offended you are.

Read the article on The Sydney Morning Herald

© Jane Gilmore 2014