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Couldn't have written this one any better myself...

by K. Sullivan

Child abuse is one of the most commonly overlooked crime. It is also the most comment committed. Everyday more and more children are neglected, beaten, raped, touched, or mentally tortured. As you read this, one little girl is crying out in pain, one little boy is begging not to be touched "there" anymore. Right now, children are praying for someone to help them when they can't help themselves. And we close our ears and avert our eyes.

It is now estimated that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys are molested in some way before their 18th birthday. This doesn't even begin to imagine how many are beaten or belittled in the name of "love". This is a national tragedy that has to stop! Only we, those adults outside looking in on the problems in the neighbor's house can help. Please, don't hesitate to get involved. Child abuse is NOT a family issue. It is a CRIME! Not reporting suspicion of child abuse is a crime! Have a heart!

Child abuse survivors have many things to live through. Not only do we have to survive the initial abuse, but we also have to endure the lasting effects. These effects can range anywhere from just some bad feelings occasionally to complete insanity. Most survivors have effects in the in between range. Many survivors of all types of abuse have bad dreams, fears of objects or places or situations that other people don't have. We as child abuse survivors also have left over survivor techniques which will become more and more apparent as we grow older. They also grow more and more unnecessary.

The healing process is long and hard, but in the end, it is worth it. The hardest part is letting go of those survival techniques which helped us to stay alive and sane during our abusive childhoods. However, once we are older and safe, we have to learn to let those parts of our behavior go. Once we are adults, they no longer help us but rather keep us from forming close, trusting relationships with caring people.

Another important part of the healing process is facing those things that we did to survive, even if we are ashamed of them. NEVER BLAME YOURSELF FOR WHAT YOU DID TO SURVIVE! You only did what you had to. You did not do anything wrong. YOU did not commit the crime, you were only trying to survive it the best that you knew how. Forgiveness of YOURSELF is a major part of the healing process, the one part that will let you enjoy life again.

I am not one of those people who believes that in order to move on with your life that a person must forgive the person who raped them or abused them as a child. I happen to think that anger is healthy. For too many years, the survivor carries that anger inside, turned inward on ourselves for not stoping what we had no control over. We look back with adult eyes on what happened to us as a child and forget just how powerless and little we were then. I think that it's time to put the anger where it belongs. I think that it is healthy to be angry for what happened to you. If you can find it in your heart to forgive, that's wonderful. But if you can't, just don't be angry at yourself any more, put the anger where it really belongs. You've carried it long enough.

My dream is that someday, this page won't be needed anymore. My wish is that not a single child will be murdered tonight. Not a single child will be raped as you read this sentence. My prayer is that we will hear the little cries and finally answer.