On Saturday I went to an afternoon to to raise awareness about sexual abuse. It was a very moving and emotional afternoon as people shared their stories. What struck me the most was a statement by the organizer. She said “there is a cost for telling the truth.” It touched me as she said it because it so easily summarises her traumatic experience but it also has so much depth and meaning.
I continued to reflect on this and realised the importance of it in being a social worker. How often do we think about the cost of the truth we’re requesting from clients? Is this even a consideration or is the expectation that information will be shared openly and honestly?
Sexual abuse inspires emotions in victims that are almost unbearable – anger, shame, guilt, self hatred, low self image, low to no self worth and the list goes on. The consequences of sexual abuse are born by the victims themselves and sometimes society at large as it is estimated that 50% of runaway girls and boys, 70% of adolescent drug addicts and 60% of young prostitutes were the victims of sexual abuse (@MosacMoms). It was difficult to sit with in the room but also a day of inspiration. Daughters Arise (twitter: DAriseCiC) is an organisation based in South London helping women to deal with their abuse. They offer support and activities to help combat the feelings of isolation. @DAriseCIC are doing some amazing work and with links to organisations like MOSAC (mothers of sexually abused children) and NAPAC (national association for people abuse in childhood) they are helping a population of people hidden for too long. We need to help rebuild the lives of those young women who are to brutally disrupted by sexual abuse @NAPAC.