Child Abuse Effects Website and Visitor Expectations
by Darlene Barriere - Webmaster
(Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)
I'm writing today to address an issue brought up by a visitor who submitted a story here on this site some time ago, a visitor who is upset over the lack of particular responses to the story submitted.
It is true that I do not permit judgmental or unsupportive comments on visitors' stories and commentaries. I do this in order to ensure this site remains a safe haven for those who courageously choose to share. This is an important aspect of what I do here; otherwise, there would be risk of re-victimization. I also do not permit comments and submissions that hail the so-called "benefits" of spanking because to do so is to invalidate the very real effects that spanking has had on countless people who have written their stories here. To do so would be allowing a debate on this issue; and I have not set up my site to be a place for debate on what I consider to be inappropriate forms of discipline. If that's what a visitor expects, then they'll have to go elsewhere, because this site is all about validating the effects of abuse.
However, I have NEVER deleted a post from a visitor who directly spoke to a story submitter via the comments, even when that comment dealt with the issue of spanking. To suggest that I might have is a disservice to what I do here.
I have operated this site with integrity since it's inception 7 years ago. When I have deleted a comment on a story, it was because the visitor did not abide by the rules set out on this site, rules that are here for the reasons stated above. When visitors are judgmental, or worse, come right out with a wholly inappropriate comment and tell the story submitter they "deserved" what they got, then of course I'm going to delete that comment. Such inappropriate comments find there way to various pages on this site far more often than some might think, which is why I have the system set up to require my approval before anything goes live.
It is also important to say that I don't control who does and who doesn't comment on particular submissions. Visitors who comment do so because they are compelled to, be it a mother, a father, a foster parent, a caregiver, and no matter their occupation and how that occupation may tie into a visitor's story.
I set up the stories segment of this website in order to provide a safe place for survivors of child abuse to share and be heard, in large part because I understand on a deeply personal level how important it is to be heard. I have tried to comment on each and every post since the day I started accepting stories. Indeed, over the course of years, I've even managed to provide multiple comments for some who have submitted here when I could. I can no longer do that. But this site wasn't set up for the purpose of ongoing support. I am one person with only so much time. If I were to provide ongoing support that so many wish I could provide, it would be the equivalent of a social worker having a case load of some 3500 clients, with more coming on board each and every day.
Healing is a choice, a choice we must all make. As we all walk our own unique healing path, it's important to recognize that some people are just stepping onto their path, others are further along. It must also be understood that a path is anything but straight and flat. There will be hills to climb, there will often be side-stepping and even back-stepping. There will be potholes that will make you stumble and boulders that will test your strength and endurance. Every path is riddled with obstacles. So it is not unusual for a person to fall into a pool of muck and end up stuck in their tracks. What's important when that happens is to look inward for your intestinal fortitude, the same intestinal fortitude that got you through the adversity you endured so long ago, adversity that is no longer happening except in your thoughts. My hope was always that the comments I leave on individual stories, commentaries and articles would be a rope thrown and then grabbed by visitors who find themselves either stuck or somewhat hampered as they try to move forward along their own path. But if that doesn't happen, that's not on me. I've thrown the rope; it's up to each individual visitor to take hold of it.
As always, I send love, light and healing energy to all my visitors.
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir