Friday, May 21, 2010

Silence......... Why?

I knew that by disclosing all of my very deep and dark past that there would be people that would turn a blind eye, people that would treat me differently or maybe even some that would believe a person like myself is capable of lying about such atrocities. This made me want to further explore why a majority of abuse victims stay silent in the fist place.

Did you know that rape and sexual assault are two of the least reported violent crimes in the US. Less than a third is reported. Why? What is it that make victims feels like they can not speak out. Most of us are taught by our parents about good touch bad touch, tell an adult if anyone touches you, yet we remain silent and alone. Not only children but all ages tend to stay quite about the abuse. I am not a Psychiatrist, I am not a Sex expert I can only speak from the perspective of a victim. I can explain why I kept these horrible secrets for so long. Which brings me to my first reason: SHAME
As a young child I do not recall feeling shameful of the events that took place. I didn't have words to describe really what had happened to me. But in my adolescence I become more and more ashamed. I felt used and dirty. I didn't want to tell any of my friends in fear that they would look at me differently and treat me bad. I was so embarrassed that the boys would find out I wasn't a virgin and I would become the talk of the town. I was ashamed that I had not told anybody and felt that it was too late. I was ashamed in thinking of the scandal that this could have caused in my family and in my neighborhood.
BLAME: Still to this day I look at myself and sometimes yell at my reflection "WHY DID YOU KEEP GOING BACK?" In certain instances I knew the abuse was coming and the only value I put on my body was a piece of chocolate. Maybe if I didn't wear such a short skirts or maybe if I wouldn't have tried to make myself look like an adult, maybe if I wouldn't have gotten drunk at parties this would have not happen. It is all my fault. Maybe there is something wrong with me that I keep being targeted every where I go. This tortures me. I know it is not my fault but the feeling is something I can not take away.
GUILT: Oh so lovely art thou..... Every moment of my life I feel guilty. There are some people that have abused me and I never knew their name, or just can't remember. Others are not even here on this planet anymore. I just recently read that the average number of children a child abuser victimises is 117! Add on the pounds of guilt. I could have said something and maybe others would have come forward putting these criminals away. I felt guilty because I knew that if I told my mom she would be so devastated. I didn't want her life to crumble to the ground, just the thought of that makes me feel guilty right now.....
The worst of my silence had to be and still is the FEAR: I was afraid that if I told, I would be taken away from my mother because she did not keep a watchful eye on me. I was afraid that if I told, my abusers family would suffer. I was afraid that if I put someone in jail, they would get out and kill me and my family. I was afraid people would say it was my fault and tell me that I liked it. I was afraid of getting in trouble for waiting too long to say anything at all. I was most afraid of people not believing me. Several of my perpetrators where people that we are taught to trust, like a fireman or a Correctional Officer!
These are the people our parents tell us to run to for help if there is something wrong. What do we do when it is those trustworthy citizens that slice our  young undeveloped minds in half? Would you have believed me if I told you a Fireman raped me? Savagely? 
Now that I have become ready to disclose the truth, those emotions are all still there. The difference now is that I have a child to protect. We need to speak out, we need to make this subject not a taboo. This is the highest volume crime in America! We need to implement special courses in school to explain to the children that it is not their fault. Teach them so just in case something does happen, they will be well aware that their is nothing to be scared of, nothing to blame themselves for and nothing to feel guilty about.


  1. You give me hope for a better chance of survival. I went to school with you, and I still choose to remain silent. But in time I will come around. Thank you Flavia for you honesty. I would have never guessed these things happened to you, You are so beautiful and smart and always were and still are so funny. Nice to put some normality into this bowl of shit we were give. Thank you again.

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    I am glad to hear that you are finding some comfort with my blog. I know it is hard to speak out,especially if that person is still in your life.... I know that everyone s different and we experience things in our own individual ways, but let me assure you this... Every single survivor I have spoken to has told me that the moment they told their story, whether to a Doctor or to a Support Group or just and individual that makes them feel absolutly safe their life was changed forever. In a good way. When I decided to fully commit to letting it all out, I can then put the pieces of my life back together. I can look at things I have done and understand why I did them. I can see why I made the decisions is did etc. Things are not such a blurr anymore. And although I still feel weird about the whole thing I know that I am not alone, and neither are you... I am proud of you speaking out on my blog. Thank you as well for your honesty. I am here at you disposal if you ever need to talk..... My personal information is on my facebook page if you ever decide you would like to get a hold of me.

  3. Flavia, I am so glad that you have found your voice and that you are not being held captive by shame, guilt, and fear; fear being the biggest stronghold that holds us captive. Fear of the unknown, "What will happen if I tell?, not only to me but my non-offending family members?", it holds our hearts and souls locked in our own prison of hell. The first time you tell the prison gate is unlocked...the more you tell, the more FREEDOM you will experience and although shame and guilt were your prison buddies, YOU will learn to put them into perspective and not allow them to have control of the life you want, filled with joy and love and the self-satisfaction of breaking the silence. May all who read this blog break the silence and live in freedom!!!

  4. Flavia I admire your bravery and your strength. I have you in my prayers! Shami

  5. Thank you Shami.....This has truly been a hard journey to embark on, but in the end I know that not only myself will be healed but countless others too. Thank you again for the support, It means a lot to me....

  6. Hey Girlie,

    Just wanted to say that I've been reading your blog since you started it. I saw it on Uncle Michael's page and although I have no idea what this is like.....I am very proud of you and it really hurts me to see children go through this kind of stuff! Those men are disgusting. You have realy opened my eyes and I hope no one I know ever goes through this! I love ya Girlie!