It’s almost impossible to be visible when a key part of our existence has been hiding in the dark. Being a survivor of child sexual abuse means that we become as unwelcome as the truth and when the words finally emerge, the reaction to it ensures we move further back into the shadows.

‘Speak out’, the world says, ‘It’s appalling’ they cry, ‘How can this be?’ they ask.

Lying beneath all of that is us, the survivors, just silently waiting to deal with the reaction we know is coming. And that is, no one wants to know.

There are 4 main reasons for this:

  • People do not like discussing this, it feels confrontational and awkward, and they don’t know what to do about it, so would rather it not be highlighted, thank you.
  • Survivors do not like mentioning this, because (we), once again, feel judged and ashamed, repeating the cycle the abuse initiated.
  • Enablers and Gatekeepers don’t like this raised because confronting themselves, which means either owning up to it, or making it right, it is NEVER going to happen.
  • Paedophiles and abusers will never want it mentioned as it spotlights their criminal and sometimes lucrative actions.

This all translates to us staying invisible because of the uncomfortable impact the truth reveals. Good people struggle with it, because once heard, they don’t know what to do with it. We don’t talk about it because of our shame and people’s reactions when we do.

The only group who gains from our invisibility is the abusers, as it ensures their secret will be kept hidden. Circle back to the point raised above.

As this silence continues, we are safe as no one has called us out, or denied our truth, and that is crucial to us as survivors, as we had not, in some cases felt safe for years, even decades. The problem is by denying who we really are we become damaged even more. This does not mean it has to be a public interview, or a newspaper article. This could be done in many ways. Some of these include talking to a trusted person, writing it out, expressing it through painting or other mediums. Taking up boxing or even running. Using a therapist or even a support group.

There are many ways to start to share and find your voice, and none of them are an exact science, or a script you need to follow. If it feels right, it is for you, and that will become your way and your avenue to express what you need to.

Creating visibility needs to feel safe, but also freeing, it needs to embrace looking up instead of down, and moving forward instead of back into the shadows.

Your light can only shine if you allow it to, and when the time is right, this will ignite and there will be no stopping you.

There is no right way to do this, there is only your way. What you choose is exactly suited to you in that moment of time.

Never doubt the situation you are in, if the timing is right, you will feel it.

In the meantime, perhaps begin to consider the impact if you were to remove the letters i. and n. from the word invisible and become visible.

In your way
In your time
In your honour

Gloria Masters
Gloria Masters
[email protected]
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