UPDATED Version: Earlier this week, a version of this blog was inadvertently posted while I was still working on it. My apologies to my email followers who would have instantly received an unedited copy. Upon realizing my error, I immediately deleted it online. It’s always a good idea for my email followers to visit the online version as updates (further editing and thoughts) are done from time to time.
Please note – you may not have the luxury of time to read today’s blog as it is incredibly long. I did however, take hours to write my thoughts out – so I will be thrilled if you will come back and read at a time convenient to you.
Here now is my edited blog 👇🏾
The Undocumented-Silence Oath is a term I came up with – to illustrate the effect of what happens to a victim of sexual abuse, and the incredible weight of guilt the victims often live with as a life sentence. My goal is to bring renewed awareness to victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or unwanted sexual advancements. If I keep quiet at a time like this, help will come one way or the other. Who knows? Maybe it was for a time like this I was created.
The scripture below reveals the reason Queen Esther was placed in the Kingdom:
“If you keep quiet at a time like this, help will come from heaven to the Jews, and they will be saved, but you will die and your father’s family will come to an end. Yet who knows — maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!” Esther 4:14 GNB
Please keep in mind the scripture above as we search ourselves to see how we can help for such a time as this. The following questions may stimulate our minds to see if or how we can make a difference:
- Are we prepared to stay quiet?
- Will we choose to leave it up to someone else to deal with?
- Will we speak up for the disadvantaged?
When I hear about stories of abuse, I become enraged and I am moved with compassion for the victims, whose ages can range from as young as babies in diapers to frail seniors who reside in Seniors’ Homes.
Anyone who sexually abuses a baby in a diaper, a helpless senior, or any age group in between, can be looked upon as …diabolical, mentally sick, evil, and a heartless individual. Furthermore, anyone who makes a decision to destroy a relationship built on trust between family members, making innocent family members into victims of sexual assault, has no moral ethics. Anyone who uses their power of influence and control to intimidate women, who are fearful of rejecting their sexual advancements, is a dysfunctional citizen.
Many victims of sexual assault have automatically been handed a death sentence of silence coming out of the very first sexual interaction with their abusers. I’ve called it, “The Undocumented-Silence Oath” as the victim’s voice had been immediately silenced by this criminal act.
My hope is that those who were handed this awful life sentence of silence, because they were victims of sexual abuse or rape, will now have a voice breaking “The Undocumented-Silence Oath.”
The meaning of ‘silence’ is, ‘Complete absence of sound. It’s a hush. It’s a don’t speak. Say nothing. Muted. No volume. Shush. Quiet. The dead silence of the night.’
For the last few days now, I have been appalled and in disbelief of what I’ve been hearing and viewing on the breaking news on TV stations all around the world. After many hours of watching most reports, my spirit has become so bitterly enraged, almost to the point of having an anxiety attack.
Sadly, I could not pull myself away from watching this horrifying sex scandal that has been so detailed and filled with language that I had NEVER heard of in my life. My reaction to the news today: sad, devastated, astonished, numbed, disturbed, angry, upset, shocked, outraged, traumatized, offended, agitated, appalled and nauseated.
As I listened intently – I reflected on young victims of sexual abuse, and what part can I play to help those who have been victimized by rootless men. I thought maybe I would use my blog to spread the word, encouraging victims of sexual abuse who may now be adults, to come forward and share their stories . We all live in villages where the statistics show that 1 out of every 6 girls or women will be a victim of sexual assault. This means that if I’m with a group of six women, one of us would have been a victim of sexual assault in our lifetime. As horrifying as this fact seems, consider, if I’m with a group of twelve women, there will be two women who would have been sexually exploited before the age of eighteen. I wish this known statistics would have been incorrect. I don’t want to believe that it’s possible that in a small group of six of my women friends- one would have been a victim of sexual abuse. Our voices must be raised to renew the call for women to come out and share their stories.
Victims should never be ashamed or silenced by what has happened to them. We need to empower and encourage our young vulnerable girls including women to speak up and share their stories – forcing the abusers to face the consequences for the violent acts done to these precious lives in their childhood.
List of unacceptable behaviours done by abusers:
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- emotional abuse
- verbal abuse
- childish tickling
- exposing sexual content to create sexual arousal
- sneaking into victims’ beds at nights
- forcing vulnerable girls to go for drives
- accessing vulnerable girls and women bathrooms and apologizing
- groping and uncomfortable touching
- sexual content jokes and gestures
Young children can become innocent victims when left unguarded by evil minded people who misuse the trust given to them by unassuming parents or guardians. For example:
- neighbors etc
When this trust is violated by an adult, innocent lives are destroyed by one bad act. If however,the parent or guardian is unaware of what had transpired in the environment these kids were left, then the young victim’s voice goes silent. For most children growing up, asking for help or speaking to an adult about their hurts is never an easy thing for them to do. Children are raised to respect adults, and since the adults are usually the ones who commit these awful crimes, they continue to suffer in silence.
Children are our greatest miracles and blessings, but the people around our kids can be our worst nightmare. Working mothers are forced to depend on day care, and family members as support as they hurriedly rush off to their jobs. They have to vigorously compete alongside men for top positions, and high performance in the job market. Working mothers who hold top positions in the corporate world, work twice as hard and are under more mental stress than those who do not have children. Working mothers who have to effectively perform both at home and at the office, come at a high cost to the family where the kids are left with babysitters for most of the daytime. Kids now have to grow up quickly, trading the following:
- Long hugs for quicker and shorter ones
- Babysitters are the modern day kind of Moms, so the maternal affection is missing
- Homework becomes a challenge if the child isn’t up to the task
- Bath time is reduced to a speedy five minutes
- Bedtime stories are carefully selected according to time
- and the list can go on and on
Working women often have to leave home early in the mornings, arriving home late in the evenings. It’s what I will call, ‘The bacon vs cheese’ challenge, in comparison to the stay at home moms whose full time job is -being there for her children all day, caring and nurturing her little ones. I’m absolutely not knocking those who are gainfully employed outside the home – since three of my four daughters fall into the category of hard working professional mothers. However, I am encouraging working mothers to place lots of emphasis on spending quality time, focusing mainly on keeping a healthy family lifestyle, and quality of time with the kids.
Kids who prefer to stay in their rooms away from the family become easy targets for unwanted sexual interactions. Intermingling with the family creates a beautiful bond for healthy living. How tragic it is for young girls to have to live with painful memories of being victims of sexual abuse? Who’s going to fight for her? Who’s going to let her know that her life still has worth and meaning? How would she be convinced that her mess could become a great message that other victims need to hear? Without a Divine Intervention, another young innocent life is destroyed.
As members of society, we must adopt a Village mentality that will help reach the wounded daughters of society . Someone once said, ‘Time heals all wounds ‘ – it’s a statement I don’t fully agree with, because a wounded child left with years of bad memories becomes an adult, then that wounded adult can become a dysfunctional parent or grandparent.
If we choose to keep quiet at a time like this, help will come, but who knows, maybe it was for a time like this that we were created.
There are wounds that run deeper and cause more pain than our eyes can see. Young kids cannot understand the concept of sex, more so the abuse they have had to endure at the hands of their abuser. By unlocking the code to “The Undocumented-Silence Oath” they were innocently forced into – making them victims of childhood sexual abuse – we must help to give them back their voices. They must know that someone cares.
There’s always a beautiful message coming out of a messy situation – that needs to be heard.There’s a deafening silence that needs to be broken. There are chains to be broken, and prisoners that were once held captive by sadness and guilt to be set free to soar.
Breaking ‘The Undocumented-Silence Oath” releases new life for the wounded to soar high above their very own expectations, and preconceived limits.
We all can make a difference in our own village where the statistics say, 1 out of every 6 girls or women are victims of violence and sexual abuse.
Could it be that- “If you keep quiet at a time like this, help will come from heaven to the Jews, and they will be saved, but you will die and your father’s family will come to an end. Yet who knows — maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!” Esther 4:14 GNB
May God give us eyes to see the hurting, and be the lifeline to those who are longing for an opportunity to share their story.
Update: Within hours of the publication of my blog, I received two calls from women from two different countries who lost loved ones to domestic violence. One of the victims was just 20 years old, whose boyfriend shot her in a park. The other woman was 30 years old, and her husband severely beat her to death.
As tragic as these stories are, there are still women who live in abusive relationships out of fear, and if help doesn’t reach them in time – will eventually become another fatality to domestic violence.
How can we ignore the cry for help? Let’s be the eyes that will see the hurting, let’s be the ears that will listen attentively to their stories, and let’s be their voice to speak up for the cause.
This article will be updated from time to time as the calls come in, and our voices be heard. There must be a change to the way men treat our women. Say, ‘No to domestic and sexual violence against women.”