It is April.
Somewhere, sometime, someone named this month as a time of Awareness of Sexual Violence.
This is an ugly topic. Truly. But it is so very important that we wrap our heads around it.
Why? Because we all know someone who has been abused, abased, violated, harmed.
“Don’t talk about it…I don’t want anyone to treat me differently…it’s no big deal, really…it’s my story so I’ll share it if I want to and I don’t want to…”
I’ve heard these phrases spill out of a survivor’s mouth.
But here is the thing—once we speak something, it takes on life, becomes real.
If I have a disease and do not tell anyone, then I might be able to trick myself into thinking it is not real.
Once I speak that truth, the universe has heard and it takes on legs.
The same is true with sexual violence. If it is allowed to be spoken for what it is, it becomes truth.
That may be painful for the one who has been violated. It may be embarrassing for the friends and family, the institution, the church, the establishment, the university, the business, the military….
But truth has a way of making itself known, then heard, then acted upon.
Shall we waste years trying to wish it away?
This year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month theme is, Prevention is Possible. To prevent this insidious crime from happening, it must be called out, recognized. It’s truth, it’s ugly truth, must be spoken.
So let’s do it. Let’s speak the truth, listen and believe. The truth of integrity, kindness and goodness must be–demands to be–spoken and realized.