To Cover-up is a concerted effort to keep an illegal or unethical act or situation from being made public (Webster’s Dictionary)
Pedofiles will use many tools to protect their image. They are skilled in deception and will lie to you and others; They will not only manipulate you but will be a master puppeteer in all areas of there life to benefit their own desires. They will deceive you into believeing that you need them and without them, you will are “less of” a person. Some may flatter you with gifts and make you feel special. Ultimately they will do whatever it takes to keep the secret sealed. Fear begins to play a major factor in the holding of “the secret”. You, will buy-in to the lie and begin to blame yourself. You would much rather keep the secret hidden, rather than risk the redicule of no one believing your story.
During this past month, I have crossed the paths of several people who have experienced being abused and they shared their story with me. In one incident, I had a conversation with the father of a victim. He had protected his daughter from the abuse that had happened to her by her step-dad and step-brother while living in her biological moms home. The pain in his eyes as he told me the story continues to haunt me. You see, he had protected his daughter from her abusers for 12 years, and when his daughter recently turned 18, she moved out of his home and returned to the home in which the abuse occurred. Because she is an “adult”, there is nothing legally he can do.
An 18 year old young lady, shared her rape and sexual abuse story with me. When she was 13 years old, she had spent alot of time at a family friends home. One night, the husband of the family friend came into her room and took her innocence. All adults involved in this young lady’s life at the time, had proof that the abuse happened, but chose to protect the pedofile and swept the crime under the carpet. The Pastor of their church decided to counsel the pedofile and his wife and asked the victim to keep quiet.
I had a “confidential” conversation with a teenager who told me that a former youth ministry leader, had confessed to her that she had been having a sexual relationship with a college student who is actively involved in the youth group. The college student is 21 years old, and the youth leader is in her 30’s. Though the college student is a “consenting adult”, the youth leader was a trusted adult in a leadership role and clearly crossed all ethical and moral boundaries.
She recently removed herself from the church and is not a youth leader. But…her behavior has not been exposed to the church leadership or to the parents of this college student. I was told this information and asked to keep it confidential due to the amount of stress it would cause the people involved…But how could I sit by idly? Remaining quiet, goes against every fiber in my being.
Numerous stories like these flood the media, yet..many survivors continue to live in shame and countless victims continue to be abused.
Author and Speaker Ressurrection Graves, powerfully talks about overcoming emotional and childhood sexual abuse. In her blog, she has a petition to help make child sexual abuse grooming a felony. I have signed the petition and I am asking everyone to please sign the petition as well.
Being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape, I am determined more than ever to continue to share my story and will encourage others to Break the Seal of Secrecy.
~ xoxo Denise