The Plague of Child Abuse

by Kennesaw Taylor
(Georgia, USA)

Okay so you live with the abuse you suffered every day of your life. You struggle to overcome the long-term effects as you go. You beat them, you go on to break the seemingly unbreakable cycle. You’d love to think you’ve accomplished something and you know you have looking at the faces of your children and knowing all they will never endure. As you get older you understand that you must make a difference, you must make some effort to save all the thousands of children, you did not raise, all the young ones out there still being abused.

What is the first step in this process? For me it was to write my story, because that seemed the most powerful thing I could do. In doing so I cried every night as I wrote, for months. I put my heart and soul into every story, every paragraph, I told things no one should know about my childhood. So many stories aren’t told due to embarrassment, fear or just pressure still being applied by the abusers. Silence is the goal, the hope and the refuge of the abusers. Speak up, shout out your story.

The book makes a difference, it helps and I’ve got to believe that. The response I’ve gotten from many is proof positive. Then it’s time to make the next move in my fight to slow down a situation that seems to run rampant, all over the world. So I started speaking about abuse. I don’t have the education to do it, but I have the authority, granted to me by my own experiences, my own nightmare. This is harder than writing the book. I must read and answer hundreds of e-mails from others that were abused, they break my heart and leave long lasting burns on it. The e-mails in the night from people thinking that suicide is their only answer are the most frightening ones.

For a time I’m running along thinking I’m making a difference, then I start to see the ugly side of people more clearly. People who would never abuse their kids, start to let their true feeling come out. I’ve went to lunch with people at churches before I spoke where I get accused of trying to tell people they can not discipline their children. Give me a break, five children die at the hands of their abusers in America every day, if people can’t understand the difference between discipline and beating your child to death, then they are too stupid to be alive. Then I found myself getting too aggressive with these well meaning people who really don’t want to see what you’re showing them. It’s a hard tight line to walk, speaking about abuse.

Then you find that you are about as popular at most functions as an Amway salesman. As soon as you start to speak, half the rooms eyes glaze over, again this is something they really don’t want to know. So you continue to look for ways to make some impact. I decided to make some videos about abuse to get my message out to a broader group of people. It took a while to learn how to do it. I had grand ideas and high hopes.

Then I started looking online for pictures to use in the videos I was going to produce. Every time I try to look up pictures the search tries to go to Child Sexual Abuse. For weeks I try to come up with enough pictures to fill the time needed to produce my first video. It’s a popular subject, there should be many. Here’s what I’ve found. Its such a popular subject because pedophiles have now figured out child abuse is a loophole to trade sexually explicit photos of children. The Internet is full of stories about people going to jail for trading and possessing child abuse photos. Now filters are being installed to stop child abuse images from being placed on or used on the web.

I decided from the start to not use anything involving a naked child in my videos. In fact I don’t look at anything that even remotely makes me thing it is that type of material. I’m probably on some kind of list of sicko’s now for simply trying to do the right thing, how ironic is that? So now the very people we fight against, the purpose my life has taken on, have once again won. The pedophiles and abusers will win again as we will no longer be able to fight using the tools that have been available up until now. What are we to do, those of us trying to help? When does the government, society or God give these kids an even break.

It seems that at every turn something comes up to continue to keep our stories hidden in silence, as the problem continues to grow every day. Recently a story ran worldwide about the numbers of incidences of abuse taking a down turn. I’m not saying that’s not a good thing, but the numbers are still way beyond comprehension. That story has already been thrown up in my face several times. It will serve to pacify all those out there who do not see the problem and do not want to see it. It will in some ways negate what we are trying to do, because people want to think it signifies the death of abuse. It only signifies that we are making some small difference.

Now is the time to redouble our efforts. To all those out there who fight this fight, stay the course. Please don’t be lulled into believing that a small dip in abuse numbers means we’ve won, the fight goes on.

Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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