One of the truths of human experiences is the possibility to use pain to both inspire and empower.
For thirty years, I lived as a victim with the pain and trauma of child sexual abuse. I was scared to even talk about it, shelved it in my mind from where it haunts me, and found a way to skirt around the shame.
All of that was until I looked into the eyes of my daughter as she celebrated her eighth birthday – the age I was first abused. It struck me that my continued silence risked her, and many other children.
So, I braced myself for whatever would be thrown at me, and I told my story. For my daughter, and all other children, I hope my pain would be enough. Rather than to continue to bury it inside, I have chosen to use it to uncover the deafening silence, raise the needed awareness, and inspire prevention around child sexual abuse.
It is time to end the menace – to stop the theft a child’s innocence and abuse of their trust often by their own relations with impunity!
Thanks to Lorpu Scott and a number of Liberian artists, my story has become a short film. In a few days, in partnership with OXFAM Liberia, using the film, #KEEPwill undertake a public awareness campaign on the menace of child sexual abuse and how to possibly prevent it.
This campaign will take us to 15 schools across communities in Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Gedeh and Rivercess counties.We hope to target 700 students and parents, and inspire.. Stimulate conversations in homes, churches, mosques and schools.
And this is only the beginning.
We will announce the specific dates and locations for each public broadcast of the film, to be followed by what we hope will be inspiring conversations about the need to take collective actions to halt the theft of the innocence of our children, and the abuse and violation of their minds and bodies mostly by people who should be protecting them.
Educating the kids early on what is inappropriate touching, comments and behavior can go a long way in preventing sexual abuse.
For those who’ve not seen the film 👉https://youtu.be/udcbn_lhGV0
And for those who’d like to read the blog 👉https://liberianjue.com/2017/12/21/stolen-childhood-outing-the-menace-of-sexual-abuse-in-liberia/
I’ve learned that to change a culture, it is not “one time talking”. You have to keep at it.
So… I will talk.
And talk again.