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Take Back Your Power

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It seems like every female friend of mine has had “something” happen to them.

I have one friend who watched her mother be raped by an intruder and then she was raped as well. She was 15. I have another friend who was date raped by her first boyfriend. She was 16. Two friends were molested by family members as children and one friend was raped and testified in court against the bastard.

The first time one of my friends shared their past with me, I was beyond shocked. I didn’t know ANYONE who had anything remotely like this happen to them. And then another friend shared their story with me. Don’t get me wrong here. I wasn’t meeting random people and asking, “Hi! You don’t know me that well but have you ever been raped or molested?”. Some of these chicks I’d known for 10+ years and somehow it had just come up.

When the third person told me what had happened to them…well…I was starting to wonder if I was a magnet for abused women. Did I have a sign over my head that flashed “SHARE WITH ME YOUR DARKEST MOMENT!!!”? Though I was/am deeply touched that I was chosen as a confidant, I started getting a little freaked out. *whispers* I see abused people.

After I got over my paranoia, I started wondering if all of this abuse was really as rare as I had thought. The interweb is an informative place and sometimes maybe you’re better off not knowing certain statistics.

Examples:

  • 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18. (96)
  • 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18. (96)
  • 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet. (30, 87)
  • Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under. (76)
  • An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today. (1)
  • 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member. (2, 44, 76)
  • Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
  • Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know. (1, 44)
  • Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers.
  • Evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious, and many children do not report that they have been abused.
  • Over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to ANYONE.

Think about those numbers. I mean, REALLY think about them.

If you go out to eat with three of your girlfriends, then statistically, one of you has been sexually abused in some way and chances are good that they [maybe you?] have never told anyone. Imagine carrying that kind of thing around with you your entire life.

I bring this to you because SILENCE TAKES AWAY YOUR POWER! By staying quiet, the person who did this to you still holds all of the cards. They still have control over you and by not speaking out, you’re making yourself a victim all over again.

Maybe you can’t tell the people you love. Maybe you can’t confront the person who victimized you. BUT, there is a place where you can go to have your story heard.

If you have been a victim of abuse of any kind, visit Violence Unsilenced and tell your story.

You don’t have to tell your name. You don’t have to tell your location. But, you do have to tell your story because you owe it to yourself to take back your power.

Image|Samat Jain

Statistics|Darkness to Light

Comments

  1. Ohhhhhh, wow. Excellent post. Thank you SO MUCH for this.
    .-= ´s last blog ..And the wall comes crumbling down =-.

  2. Koeniou says:

    Wow, that post and that website are amazing. I just read through the first page of the Violence Unsilenced website and I am nearly in tears at work.

    I’m so luck to have never been exposed to this while growing up or in my adult years. My love, support and sympathy for those that did.

  3. Damn. Powerful.

    Thanks for the nudge.
    .-= ´s last blog ..Summer =-.

  4. i didn’t tell anyone for 20+ years, and then i was told i more than likely encouraged it.

    yeah.

    thanks for this…

  5. Those are very scary statistics. I’m not as concerned by what happened to me anymore (I bury it back in my mind and only take out little bits once in awhile to process it). But, I’m more concerned with those statistics in terms of my kids. I have two kids, and statistically, there is a REALLY good chance that one of them will be sexually abused. That messes with my head…
    .-= ´s last blog ..New Member To Our Family =-.

  6. Wow, very scary statistics indeed. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing and putting that out there.
    .-= ´s last blog ..You think you know me… but you have no idea. =-.

  7. Excellent post…one of the subjects that can be very hard to write (and read) about. Very interesting & scary statistics. I hope that someone out there who really needs this information finds it & is able to put it to use for a positive step they may really need.

    You go girl!

  8. Great post. It isn’t possible to give this subject the amount of attention it needs. Just look at the statistics and you can see that it affects us all.

    More to ponder: the majority of sexual offenders were themselves abused. The solution is not to vilify the offenders, which is DEFINITELY my first instinct. The solution needs to be to address the underlying causes, which is a very deep and lengthy subject indeed!

  9. Great post. Those statistics are staggering. There are some sick people in the world.

  10. Great post.
    I’ve got chills all over.
    God bless you for giving the nudge to those who are still not talking.
    .-= ´s last blog ..Never Let Go – Part 5 =-.

  11. Excellent post! The statistics are scary. And, frankly, pi** me off.

    Yes, go to http://violenceunsilenced.com and share your story. The support of those wonderful women who moderate it, as well as the comment support you will get will be down right therapeutic.

    As for me, I am pondering what I, as a man who never gets violent (yet will be forced to restrain myself if I ever catch another man doing something this heinous), can do to help reduce these statistics?
    .-= ´s last blog ..The Value of Good Friends =-.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Great post. Those statistics are frightening.

  13. Thanks for sharing these stats and getting the word out there. I teach a parenting seminar on Talking to Your Kids about Sex and it’s amazing how many people have had an experience like this. It’s difficult for many adults to talk to their kids about sexuality because their own experiences are not “typical” or ideal. Talking about it allows for the healing to begin…
    .-= HipM0m77´s last blog ..Thelma & Louise – Part 2 =-.

  14. charlie says:

    I’m most frightened about how people all obsess over statistics without even considering their actual meaning, I mean how do they calculate the percentage of people who never tell anyone about it? Holy shit, its actually impossible, just like calculating the amount of marijuana NOT seized in the U.S. TENGO MIEDO

    • My husband is a big time statistics nut so I’ll ask him how they get those statistics but I do know that there are formulas to calculate the percentage of people who “don’t tell” based on the ones who do.

  15. spaceface says:

    well that was..depressing..

    I just got a sudden urge to beat some pervert half dead in my basement.. oh the complications of human emotions >_<

  16. Babalouie says:

    We hear these statistics so often yet so few people comprehend the damage that is left in the wake (often, least of all those who have been abused, who live on in a diminished existence, unaware of the psychological mess that lies beneath their/our messed up selves). But what about the other statistics? With numbers like that, how often do we look around us and wonder what percentage of the people we met are abusers? Are 1 in 4 men the perpetrators of abuse? What would those statistics teach us?

Trackbacks

  1. Amy Tucker says:

    In case you missed my post, please read it because it’s important to someone you know. http://tr.im/oKbA

  2. Lin Burress says:

    Abuse victims: Take Back Your Power http://bit.ly/P26g via @Tastelikecrazy AND http://bit.ly/ReltW

  3. Amy Tucker says:

    Holy crap jabbers! This post has gotten a butt ton of hits today. Wonder why? http://bit.ly/LIZyB

  4. MarySchaefer says:

    That Violenceunsilenced.com site knocked me silly – whoa… RT @Tastelikecrazy: This post has gotten a ton of hits 2day http://bit.ly/LIZyB

  5. Amy Tucker says:

    I tweet this again because I'm proud of it and it should be read: http://su.pr/2uphv7 #gno

  6. Susan N says:

    Read this–powerful words, stats. RT @Tastelikecrazy: I tweet this again because I'm proud of it and it should be read: http://su.pr/2uphv7

  7. Susan Lash says:

    RT @whymommy: Read this–powerful words, stats. RT @Tastelikecrazy: I tweet this again because I'm proud of it and it should be read: http://su.pr/2uphv7

  8. RT @whymommy: Read this–powerful words, stats. RT @Tastelikecrazy: I tweet this again because I'm proud of it and it should be read: http://su.pr/2uphv7

  9. DarryleP says:

    RT @whymommy Powerful words. RT @Tastelikecrazy: I tweet this again because I'm proud of it and it should be read: http://su.pr/2uphv7

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