As a survivor of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) I find speaking out a double edged sword; in one way I it feels liberating, in another extremely exposing. Either way it comes with a burst of emotion and sometimes a tail spin of dissociation! It’s tricky! So, last week when I co-authored a piece published in “The Conversation”, which is an on-line platform of news articles written by academics, the emotional under-tow was significant.
Firstly pride and a sense of achievement …I hope you will read the piece. It felt like a success to push back against both Government and Labour party both of whom seemed to CSA to undermine the other without a care for victim-survivors. Arghhhh!
But I also felt frustrated – the article had to be less that 900 words, and The Conversation Editor significantly shaped the final version… yet it appears under my name. My priority was to speak to the damage to adult-survivors by the ignoring of the abuse, and that ended up as less than half a sentence.
Lastly, I was hopeful that this article would be syndicated through mainstream newspapers – but no. As usual (sorry if I sound cynical) silence persists around the predominance of CSA happening behind closed doors by family members including siblings. So the emotion is also akin to a sort of repeat of gagging.