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.
- 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.
Statistics|Darkness to Light