This week will more than likely be a week of blogs that I feel are some of my “personal best” if I may be so bold to type that. I’ll be posting like this on the days that I writing my book. I mean, if I’m writing ten thousand words a day to complete the book, I dare say there isn’t much original thought left in my brain, and definitely no time to surf the web looking for things that are making me go “hmmm.”
So while I write my non-fiction book I hope you’ll be content with me sharing things from the past. But first, I’d like to start by posting the speech I gave at the Boost for Kids Butterfly Ball on May 24th.
Look around this room, at the beautiful, elegant, successful, well put together women, and the handsome, dynamic men. Do any of them look like abuse survivors to you? Based on stats Yannick shared with us earlier in the evening, it is 1 in 3. Which means; one, possibly two people at your table are sexual abuse survivors. These numbers are not happy stats to hear, or to know. But sadly, they are a reality for too many kids. Those numbers for a great many children aren’t just stats, they are dark truths that make up the very fiber of their lives. Based on another stat he shared with us, only 10% of the children who are being, or have been abused will even tell anybody about their suffering. 90% will live and suffer in silence. Some even taking ownership of the abuse, trying to reconcile within themselves that it must be because of something they did that caused this person to “be attracted to them” or they deserve to be hurt in this way, because they must be bad. So many irrational, convoluted justifications bouncing around in the minds of children who should be thinking about childish matters and interests. If I sound like I know a lot about the inner workings of a sexually abused child’s mind. I do. I know so much because at my table I am that one person. I’m also in the 90% of not telling anybody about my sexual abuse.
Would you think this of me if you saw me walking down the street, or sat across from me at a Gala just like this?
Just because a person doesn’t look like they have a story doesn’t mean they don’t have one.
The reality is none of us know when, where or how a predator will strike. If we knew who they were in advance we could stop them. But we don’t have that luxury of knowledge. What we do have is the great privilege of having an outstanding, thorough organization such as Boost in place. Ready to provide the best care and support for a child who has become a victim of a predator. Don’t even get me started about the dangers of online predators, that is a separate topic for another evening.
You might be one of the fortunate ones who isn’t a sexual abuse statistic, but can you be sure your children will be able to say the same. I pray to God that you can. It is a pain, and injustice that no child or parent should ever have to endure. But since so many do, I’m thankful that there is Boost.
I hope, as a survivor, and a mother that I along with each of you here in this room with me can all get to become grandparents and still be able to say; my children, and now my grandchildren are not statistics of sexual abuse. Boost is the only organization of its kind in the country. I wish to God we didn’t need a Boost but since we do let’s do everything in our power to ensure Boost is reaching every single child who is in need of their support. Let’s make Boost so successful that other cities the world over turn to us and emulate Boost. No child should ever have to live with the suffering, loneliness, and fear that being sexual abused/exploited instills in them.
We need to make sure the message gets out there that we, as a community, and Boost as the boots on the ground organization are committed to doing so. But they need our help. Had Boost been around when I was a child, when I needed them I would have been able to get the help I so desperately needed, instead of keeping it to myself for so many years and struggling and agonizing as to whether or not I could or should tell anybody about my abuse. Luckily for Mary, the very courageous young woman you are about to meet in this video; not only had the strength of character to ask for help, but fortunately for Mary, she also had Boost to turn to. The aid, guidance and support she got it at Boost quite literally saved her life. Please join me in watching her story.