Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Silence is not always golden

How many of us grew up hearing "Silence is golden" or that "silence gives consent"? For the past couple weeks, after hearing some horror stories I have had reason to question the wisdom about the first statement. While I agree that there are times when silence is necessary there are some situations where silence is harmful.

Therefore, I want to tell the children who are being sexually abused that silence is not golden. In this instance the silence may very well be mistaken as consent by the sickos. In fact while it may be golden for the abuser it will trap you in a well of despair and self loathing. I know you may worry about getting daddy, uncle, big brother,older cousin or the family friend in trouble but speak you must. Parents,guardians,other adults please do not dismiss the children's stories as lies. Take time to find the truth and then get help for the little ones.Children,it's not your job to protect adults moreso those who have robbed you of your innocence and left countless scars on your being. Your job is simply to be a child.

All is not lost. You are still precious. There could be light at the end of the tunnel but you have to speak.

true words abeni... true words...
I echo Will.
Everything they tell you as a kid is wrong. My parents told me that you shouldn't go swimming after eating. LIE! That bunnies lay eggs during Easter. LIE LIE LIE! That I'm the most handsome boy in all of the world... Ok, that one was true.
true that abeni
One thing that I think helps children to speak up about when they are being sexually abused, is always giving them a voice and listening to their voices.

Let me explain: The culture of "Children should be seen and not heard" contributes to stifling children's voices. It tells them that they should not speak and that the adults around them are not too interested in what they have to say as a general rule.

If children grow up with this notion that they should only speak when spoken to and they should be " seen and not heard', then when ugly things happen to them, they are unsure if it is okay to speak about the "ugly things". They are not sure that they have a right to speak and even if they do speak, that anyone will listen or want to hear what they have to say against another "adult".

Instead, I believe that as a regular practice, children should be given their voices. They should be taught to speak up for themselves as a part of their upbringing. Now,certainly, it could be argued that this makes for some chaos, but... I suggest it a wonderful teaching opportunity. To teach children that there are ways of speaking up. Teaching things like, waiting your turn to speak, making your point politely, being assertive without being rude.

I think when children begin to feel as a general rule that their voice is important to the adults around them, that what they have to say matters to the adults around them, then they may be more willing to speak out about the "shaming things" and the "hurtful things" that even we as adults sometimes don't want to hear, don't want to see, and don't want to believe are happening in our homes, families, schools and communities.
there is such a fine line between fabrication and truth when it comes to parents and children. Growing up I was often questioned about the validity of what i was saying. Thank God i lived a very sheltered life, but i echo your sentiment. Sexual abuse is a serious matter and often children tend to keep quiet because of the shame and the broken communication in families, but i think it is crucial now more than ever for them to realize that there is no shame involved in announcing when they are put in harms way.
There are very many things to speak out about... no. Silence isnt always golden.
Kathy,that's an interesting way of looking at it. Most times children are not really listened to but more treated in an off hand manner. That's good sound advice there relative to giving them their voice.
True words and a very good post. Parents and guardians need to teach children about sexual abuses and how to respond and to reassure them that they can tell them about it. And parents need to take their children seriously when they tell them they have suffered such abuse. The perverts that perpetrates such acts are to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
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