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  • Writer's pictureNavita K.J. Johnson


For so many years, girls, boys, women, and men have been sexually abused and it have not always been by strangers, as the media today would like to portray. Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and R. Kelly keeps the lens of abuse on the working class, or men in positions of authority. However, no one wants to discuss the true elephant in the room and that is the sexual abuse that goes on by family members and close friends of the family. For years, I felt that this form of abuse was just happening in the African-American community. However, through counseling numerous people over the past ten years, from all races,cultures, and ethnicities, I can tell you this is a hidden shame of American and International families. This is an illness that is being past down from generation to generation because of the 'secret-silence' culture that has resounded in our families. We would like to think this behavior started from slavery or some other time in history, but this behavior is discussed even in our bible. In 2 Samuel, Chapter 13, King David's daughter, Tamar was raped by her half-brother Amnon, and when her brother Absalom questioned her about it, Absalom told her, "Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother. Don't take this thing to heart." The bible goes on to say that Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house a desolate woman. Now think about that. This was before Christ and yet, we are still being told to "be quiet." We don't even hear our preachers preaching against this. In families, the abuser is protected, while the abused has been left to endure the pain and shame on their own, leading them to cope with the abuse through the use of substances, self-harm, promiscuity, etc. In families, the abused is still expected to show up at family gatherings, talk to their abuser, hug and embrace their abuser, while family members quote scripture to help hide the shame and guilt that they often feel..."Just pray for them...Forgive them...Let God work it out," etc...Parents that have been told about abuse have looked the other way or was the abuser. This sickness continues generation after generation. NO MORE! If you have ever felt that you needed permission or that you just needed someone to have your back, you have it! You no longer have to attend family functions where you have to watch or engage with the person (or people) that violated you. You no longer have to take your children around these people in the name of "family," placing your children at risk. You no longer need to "go along to get along." You do not have to continue the family legacy of sickness. It is time to call it out! No more stuffing your feelings or worrying about how everyone else is going to feel. Your feelings are valid and it is time that you be your own advocate. Stand Up! Speak Up! and Speak Out! Anything hidden cannot be healed. How long will you carry the shame, just so that you want make anyone else upset? While you're playing the game for others, you're slowly dying. If it was your mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, family friend, etc. IT IS TIME...EXPOSE THE ABUSE! Not just for you, but for your children and your children's children, and for generations to come. It's time to break the curse. No longer will we "be quiet" or sit in the desperation of our pain. It is time to fight! As you begin to tell your story, you will feel empowered and strengthened. Do not continue to carry the shame of your abuser(s). It is not yours to carry. Give it back to them and reclaim your life. It is time to move into who you were called to be...#ExposeTheAbuse

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