When you and I were unborn

An image has been taken, carefully constructed–a smiling woman with her small child, a pink placard, and a message of support for the categorical destruction of babies remarkably similar to her own.

When I was younger the rhetoric surrounding the clinical extermination of humans before the age of birth was careful, reluctant, almost sheepish or apologetic. Famous among these voices was Hillary Clinton who said that the aim of promoting legal abortion was to make it, “…rare”

When I was younger “the unborn” were called babies by those on both sides of the argument.

When I was unborn, abortion was illegal.

Not now.

Now there is a veritable cacophony of irate institutions and voices–democratic presidential hopefuls, movie streaming services, (ironically) the Disney company, a long list of celebrities, and that smiling lady with her baby on the grass

All bent upon promoting and facilitating medical murder.

And with each carefully posed picture, each premeditated exclamation of outrage they push down the simple facts–we have laws in this country which promote and facilitate the brutal, violent, dehumanizing murder of millions of people.

People who would one day watch Disney movies

People who might subscribe to Netflix

People who would argue unequivocally for their own right to life

If they were allowed to live long enough to

Sing

where have all the flowers gone?

Our children all

Gone.

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Meet Mrs. Whiskers

By the time M was two she had a fully realized world of people she had created. They were and are vibrant characters.  This past year she wrote a story peopled by punctuation marks.  Also quite interesting.

I say this because she is a beautiful survivor.  She was being abused by Charles when she created her first kingdom.  These people we still love.

But she is haunted as well  knowing that Charles continued to abuse her little sister for a long time after she asked him to stop abusing her.  She assumed he would not abuse her little sister.  She was seven.

I am haunted by the abuse as well. There is a wall in my life that signifies S’s solitary hurt.  One night this week I wrote on it, first a memorial, then a Bible verse, then a picture of a cross.  Then I got an idea.  I realized that my children’s vividness overcomes evil.  Jesus brings new life.  So I painted a chalkboard over my grief wall.

First we wrote each other love notes.  Then M drew Mr. and Mrs. Whiskers.  They are English cousins of Harvey and we love their accents.

When she tells me about the Whiskers, I just hug her really tight.  It is grace to see an ordinary resurrection of something as pedestrian as a wall.

Grace.

The list

So before our family knew that we were the victims of a sexual predator in our midst, I knew that the statistics for all sexual assault and child sexual abuse in particular were underreported, I just never realized by how much.  I never knew how many ordinary, wonderful people had experienced the loss of their innocence as children, mostly at the hands of a friend or a family member.  I had no idea.  I have been so grateful for every person who has shared their stories with us and value their anonymity, but I still think that someone else should recognize the shear numbers I am talking about.  So I am going to compose a list.  This list is only of private citizens who have either shared their story directly or a family member has shared it with us.  The list will have the following components:  the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim, the age of the victim at the time of abuse and stars next to perpetrators who had some legal consequence for their action.  Let’s see how this goes…

1=age 0-10

2=age 11-17

3=adult sexual assault

 

 

Brother* 1

Father   2

Stepbrother 1

Stepbrother 1

Father 1

Brother 1

Friend’s father 1

Father 1

Father 1

Uncle 1

Unspecified male relative 1

Pastor 1

Male relative 1

Mother 1

Father 1

Brother-in-law 1

Coach* 1

stepfather 1

stranger 1

stranger 3

male babysitter 1

male babysitter 1

acquaintance 2

friend’s brother*1

friend’s brother 1

acquaintance* 3

brother 1

male relative 1

stepfather* 1

stranger 1

mother’s boyfriend*2

stranger 2

stranger 3

stranger 3

grandfather 1

grandfather 1

uncle 1

sister 1

female babysitter 1

male relative 1

male relative 1

male relative 1

father 1

teacher 1

teacher 1

teacher 1

family friend male 2

family friend male 2

male relative 1

male relative 1

 

I have to say I do not believe even this list is comprehensive to the people I know.  It does not include several of C’s victims just because they have not been categorically confirmed.  Add five for him alone, and then there are at least another five I know who I do not count because they are not fully confirmed.  I do think there have been additional people I have talked to who know or are abuse survivors who simply did not tell me there stories.  So think about the diagram or circle you could draw with more than forty children whose lives have been scarred by sexual abuse, people who have been raped.  When i review the list i realize how many more people i would add if i included family members of perpetrators.

I am one person yet I know over 40 people violated by sexual abuse.

How about you?

Who do you know suffering alone in the aftermath of abuse?  tell them our story, tell them they are not alone.  break the silence