The Most Important Conversation We’re Not Having

By Alexandra Cirone, Childhood USA Summer 2016 Intern

 

One in every ten children is sexually abused before he or she finishes high school. Of these children 35% are abused before middle school. It is time now to use our true voice to bring an end to child sexual abuse.

As an intern at the World Childhood Foundation, I witnessed the power of social media in raising awareness. The #EyesWideOpen campaign, created by Princess Madeleine, has been a potent, ongoing initiative that has changed the way many view and understand sexual abuse. Just because we cannot see children being abused does not mean it is not happening.

To end sexual abuse, we must normalize the discussion surrounding it. We must empower children, adolescents, and teenagers to share their stories and ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, regardless of their proximity to the victim, are brought to justice. Children should feel safe; criminals should not.

We must all remember the adage: “One voice speaks louder than 10,000 that are silent.” If you have a story, do not be afraid to share it. If you have a voice, do not be afraid to use it. If you have not been heard, we are listening. If you do not join the solution, then you are perpetuating the problem of stigma in sexual abuse. Become the solution!