Silence = Death is far from an original slogan and I stole it from ActUp. To them it was real physical death that they were outraged about, death from HIV & AIDS and a seemingly total lack of interest on the part of fellow Americans. Scary stuff! That same type of lack of interest in getting real help for victims of clergy sexual abuse is prevalent today too. The twist of course is that it emanates from the Church and is the attitude adopted by many Catholics and aimed at members or fallen away members of the Church herself. ActUp was convinced that they were discriminated against because they were hated. I’ve seen hatred and vitriol expressed towards clergy sexual abuse victims also. I don’t think it is going too far by saying that the eight years of propaganda that consisted of the Church blaming media, lawyers and victims for the ever-expanding scandal tainted those in the pews. Hatred is not the answer. Hatred is anathema to the christian God that we believe in. Hatred directed at any group or entity should make people act up. Not all sexual abuse is clergy sexual abuse.
The statistics are shocking
- 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18. (www.darkness2light.org)
It is prideful for a victim not to confront this issue in their lives. It is prideful for families to impose silence on victims. It is “vanity of vanities’ for appearances sake not to acknowledge this horror. Secrecy is the abusers most effective weapon. Some people say that it’s too painful for them to talk about their abuse or it’s too painful to think about it. It is more painful and self-destructive to keep trying to suppress it and the feelings it conjures up. Intrusive thoughts throughout the corse of ones life are also painful.