This post may contain stories or triggers memories that may be difficult for you, the reader, to consume. I apologize for that, but this website is entirely about talking about the things that we do not talk about. If you or someone you know needs help, please use this page to find a helpline phone number in your area. If you can’t find it on this list, please use any search engine in the world. You are not alone.
For every 1,000 children in B.C., about 21 experience child abuse that is subsequently reported to authorities, although many more cases likely go unreported, according to a Child Health B.C. report.May 10, 2020CBC.CA
I don’t care what word you use to describe abuse, as long as you aren’t “surprised,” when someone comes to you and tells you it’s happened to them, or when and if they name their abuser, largely because honestly…the fuck are you surprised about?
For every 1000 children in BC, at least 20 are being abused, and you’re surprised when your friend, coworker, sister, uncle, mother, father, daughter, niece, nephew, or neighbour comes out saying “#MeToo?”
Each and every person on this planet knows what it feels like to have someone be offensive, go too far, or push when they shouldn’t. We all know what it feels like to feel violated, so let’s cut the bullshit and stop being “Surprised” when people come out with stories of abuse. It’s fucking offensive enough that we have to go through being abused, we don’t need you to pretend that you didn’t know.
Instead of being surprised, ask what you can do. There will be a lot of times we don’t have the answer to that, so when prompted here are some options that you can OFFER to the person sharing their story.
Some of these may be things that are seemingly impossible – if that’s the case do NOT push. People will move forward when they are ready, all you can do is offer them the options to move forward and support them as they decide what they are capable of doing.
- Find a counsellor first – Finding a counsellor will help the person coming forward find a safe space where they can speak to what happened without judgment. Please make sure you check them out thoroughly, I’ve had abusive counsellors in the past.
- Suggest – but do not demand – that they speak with the police. PLEASE NOTE You are allowed to ask for a) a sex crimes officer first and or b) a female police officer, and they have to send them if they are able to do so. They may NOT be able to do so, so you may have to wait as there are too few cops who work specifically with victims and have the training to do so.
- Whatever you do, do not, ever, consider writing a blog about what you went through, unless, you are absolutely certain you can be safe. if I had known, I’d have done things a lot differently. (I’d have been far more vulgar.)
Each of us who has been abused, or locked away due to our abuser’s choices and actions needs you to be less surprised than you’ve been lately.
We cannot take care of you. We need you to take care of us, so if you’re angry (and you should be,) please, PLEASE keep it to yourself.
I know that sounds like a lot to ask but it is not, it’s a simple thing, which means that there is 1 less thing that we have to control or take care of. We appreciate you for loving us enough to be angry, it’s just…your anger is an extra weight that we can’t take care of when we’re stuck with our own emotions.
Most survivors when they hear a story of someone being abused, in the news, often just roll their eyes, not because we don’t hear the survivor, but because we hear the allies using words like “explosive,” “shocking,” and “surprising.”
ABUSE IS NOT A SURPRISE. ABUSERS ARE NOT SURPRISING. NONE OF THIS IS A SHOCK, so stop acting like it is, just move on from “holy shit,” to what can I do and let’s end this crap, yeah? Yeah.
If you have thoughts you’d like to add about this post, please leave a message, and let’s talk about them,
Sending All My Love,
Devon J Hall