“Don’t tell anyone or I’ll disown you as a daughter,” — that’s what one father told his teenage daughter after he sexually assaulted her. And that’s what she publically shared at a church-sponsored awareness event in Naperville, IL. This victim eventually got the courage to tell a neighbor who believed her and the guilty father served a year in prison, followed by two years of probation and two years of counseling. But all too often, victims are not believed when they tell.
Awareness events like this are so important for multiple reasons. Victims need the validation of knowing that what happened to them matters and other people care. The rest of the community needs to know how often this tragedy happens and needs to learn how to recognize it and what to do when it happens to someone they know. Perpetrators need to know their community will not turn a blind eye to their hideous misdeeds.
This event was sponsored by the DuPage Universalist Church. I’d love to see Protestant churches get on board with this issue which affects so many people sitting in their pews!
Filed under: abuse and the church, child abuse, child sexual abuse, pedophiles, predators, sex abuse, Speaking Out | Tagged: child abuse, child sex abuse, pedophiles abuse awareness, predators, sex abuse, sex abuse awareness |