A recent story on CNN.com caught my attention. CNN Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts described the abuse he suffered as a teenager at the hands of Father Jeff Toohey.
What struck me was Thomas’s statement about his decision to publicly talk about the abuse he had suffered:
I was scared. I was scared of being so honest and televising this journey.
What would people think? Would I ruin my career? But I came to the conclusion that I will not be scared anymore. I will not be scared of telling the truth because it might be uncomfortable for people to hear.
If this story compels even one person to seek help for being sexually abused, then it is all worth it. All it takes is telling one person. From there, strength grows and you can tell a second person and so on. Then you can finally have control of your life back.
I commend Mr. Thomas for his courage. You can read the whole story here.
In my practice representing sexual abuse survivors I cannot count the number of times that a survivor has told me that their healing began the first time they disclosed to someone what had happened to them.
Child abusers prey on their victims’ fears. Their fears of what family and friends will think of them; their fears that people will not believe them. Child abusers are able to destroy people’s lives because of a wall of silence. The only thing that can break down that wall is for victims of sexual abuse to tell someone!
Here’s a link to the Government of Canada’s Directory of Services for Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse.