Silent for too long
Move over and give us space, it’s our time now…we’ve been silent for too long. Pull up on your condescending, judgmental, pious and pompous attitudes, ‘cause we’re coming out…no holds, no names, no place barred! It’s called healing….our healing!
Sexual harassment, child sexual abuse, human trafficking – molestation and rape are real – and is more prevalent than we think. They affect individuals in different ways, that said…Let’s start with the current issue in the USA – reports of sexual harassment primarily as it relates to work and the workplace. “Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”
It is intimated that some of the women coming/talking out now, might have encouraged, enjoyed and benefitted from the behaviors. No doubt there are individuals like those out there [sexual encouragers/opportunists], but one would beg to argue that they are hardly the ones coming forward and speaking out.
Those truly harassed, who never encouraged or welcomed perverted advances, but who for various reasons did not come forward, or were not heard before, because of fear, repercussion, inept leadership or HR practices, and a myriad of other reasons – are now happy to find other voices, a listening ear, a platform and most importantly support! Let them speak! Chronological years means very little…when your reality is arrested at the time and place of abuse/harassment, and the years that follow are merely that of survival beneath a mask of hurt, embarrassment, self-hate and denial.
Victims have been silent for too long, living under a cloud of societal pressure. That they are now emboldened to come forward, is testament to that of their healing, their obligation to support, or simply to bring awareness to this taboo. It is time…time to ‘out’ these perpetrators, allowing society to see these individuals for who they really are, and not what titles, positions, power and money has made them.
Child sexual abuse and human trafficking…a whole different state of affairs, which tugs at the heart string. It speaks to perverted generational practices and behaviors affecting the innocence, welfare and health of the youth, and being paid way too little attention. It is time to speak up and out.
Molestation is “the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, inducement of sexual acts with the molester or with other children and variations of these acts by pedophiles. Molestation also applies to incest by a relative with a minor family member and any unwanted sexual acts with adults short of rape.” (http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1274)
Rape is “sex you don't agree to, including forcing a body part or object into your vagina, rectum (bottom), or mouth. Rape is not about sex — it is an act of power by the rapist and it is always wrong.” (https://www.girlshealth.gov/safety/saferelationships/daterape.html)
These atrocities are a global problem, but as they relate to the island home of Jamaica, 2017 was a very pivotal year in terms of individuals, organizations and initiatives – supporting victims, speaking out, sharing personal stories and breaking the silence, removing the ‘carpet’, addressing the stigma, and bringing awareness to real, hard, painful truths!
Change can’t be expected without action – now that there is talk, there are platforms for discussion, there is awareness – I know change goin’ come! Women [and men] we have been silent for too long, we have lived passively in shame and fear, for too long. Now is our time:
To stand and be heard
To loose ourselves of the shackles that have bound us for too long
Let’s talk up and talk out
Lets walk in boldness
Knowing…Believing…and showing that we are ‘phenomenal’ individuals – beautifully and wonderfully made.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgement and personal discipline