Recently, I read an AdWeek article that noted an estimated seven million girls in developing countries become pregnant each year. In an attempt to highlight this epidemic, a maternity clothing line was created by renowned fashion designer, Paola Suhonen. This triggered me to reflect on similar disturbances within my own culture…
In my few years of living, I’ve noticed that young minorities learn to conceal and suppress an unbelievable amount of pain. Too often, we (Black people) act as if rape, incest, and child molestation are reserved for the other brothers. Meanwhile, the bodies of many little Black boys and girls play house to some of the darkest secrets. In fact, a lot of us were taught at an early age how to bury the trauma and show resilience by pretending these things never happened.
I think it’s normal to develop selective amnesia as a coping mechanism. A lot of times, the perverts are protected while the victims are shamed, shunned, or blatantly ignored. And that’s just it! These beasts of betrayal are the monsters. Each of them are sick and twisted beings with a PhD in manipulation. Somehow they coax you into thinking it’s your fault. Now you’re tumbling through life wrestling with the memories of confusion… It’s so easy to accept a truth when you can understand the why of the situation. Unfortunately, the why gets lost in translation and victim shaming is often inserted as the voice of reason.
Opening up and confronting our demons can be harder when the perps aren’t always strangers. Sometimes these are the same people who share our churches, schools, and even DNA. Trying to restrict these moments to the back of our mind can only work for so long. It’s best to understand that God can’t heal what we try to hide. This is geared not only towards the survivors but those who turn a blind eye to the issues that plague our own communities. All it does is make room for the wounds to grow deeper.
There are plenty of silenced screams around the world. Let’s heal together and #StopChildAbuse.