In the anger I felt when I saw the video of the abuse you suffered through, I lashed out on the one who lashed out on you. I forgot the most essential part of how to help heal in cases of child abuse- talk to the victim, be there for them.
Before I tell you that I’m sorry, I want to say thank you.
Thank you for doing what you did. You are now an advocate for millions of children who are still too afraid to stand up for themselves against the abuse they’re suffering and those who can’t. You’re an advocate for millions more who have survived. And they all thank you for it.
I’m proud of you for the courage you showed in standing up for yourself. I’m proud of you for showing the world what horrors can lie behind closed doors. I’m proud of you for fighting back without violence.
And I am so heartbroken, and sorry that you and every other victim of abuse were abused. I’m heartbroken for Jamar Johnson- a 5 year old who died at the hands on his mother in the Bronx. I’m heartbroken that a 3 year old in Oklahoma City had his body sold to men for drugs by his mother and another woman. I’m heartbroken for the countless others.
And I am heartbroken that things like this happen on a daily basis but nobody talks about it. And I am sorry that the silence in which pain multiplies has left you alone to fend for yourself.
I’m sorry that my first letter wasn’t to you.
Hilary, you’ve started what I believe is a call to action for those of us who have survived to come together and a platform on which we can unite.You’ve inspired us all.
I’d like for us, all of us- the victims of child abuse to start a line of communication with one another. I want all of us to share our stories with one another and with the world. I want us to be the support system for each other our parents failed to be- all of us.Will you (Hilary and all of you reading this, who carry painful memories) help me with this? Can we the survivors band together to help put an end to child abuse?
No child should go through what was seen on that video. No person should see that video and think it’s a respectable form of “discipline.” The only way to put a stop to it is to educate the world on how parent’s abusive behavior affects their victims for the entirety of their lives. How it robs children of childhood. How it neglects key emotional development essential to a human. How in many cases child abuse diseases the victim into becoming the abuser later in life- a cycle which must be stopped.
We are all survivors. We are all strong, brave, beautiful people- and they can’t beat that out of us.
You are not alone