In the 2011 movie The Help Aibileen Clark kept repeating to her young charge: “You is beautiful, you is smart, and you is important.” Today these nine words are for you too if you’ve been sexually abused, molested, raped, violated …
April is National Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and this month I want you to be fully aware so you can do your part to stop, report, help to restore, forgive, handle the business—whatever the case may be.
Aware of the statistics—every two minutes another American is sexually assaulted; Multiply that by conflict-torn countries where rape is often used as an instrument of war and destruction and you begin to see what our challenges are. While women are the usual victims, the number of men who are sexually assaulted continues to grow. Children and women worldwide being sold into slavery, pornography and sex trafficking requires a whole ‘nother week’s worth of blogs.
Aware of the impact—it is a scar that never fully heals; AND 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to police and 97 percent of rapists never spend a day in jail. In most cases the offenders are not strangers…
Aware of your role in healing, helping, preventing and reporting—if you see it, say something. If you suspect it—investigate. If you are afraid you will become an abuser, get help. If you’ve been a victim, (especially of incest) seek counseling to rebuild trust, put your life back together, to forgive and move forward.
Discuss with your children about “Touch” and show them what is “good” and “inappropriate” touch and tell them how to react/respond to both. If your child has the courage to tell you something is amiss, listen.
Today read and learn as much as you can about this often invisible problem so you can become an advocate for the “innocents” and part of the healing process for those you love and care about. The statistics are sad and staggering yet there is hope and restoration — we were created by a loving God who wants us to live triumphantly and enjoy our lives, our bodies and our choices.
On Easter you received the right to again be beautiful, important and smart no matter what your past looks like—claim it! Live into it! Build on it! Speaking beauty, truth and life into our dailiness is a great beginning! Bishop T.D. Jakes reminds us “we need to invest in our own deliverance.” And so we must because awareness is the first step. What you do next is up to you…
- The Help, based on the book by Kathryn Stockett, 2011, Dreamworks Films