Why are we still allowing sexual abuse to occur

Last night I was reading an article by James Dobson on “Why my family doesn’t do sleepovers?” and it sparked a rage inside me again of why this type of abuse is happening. The statistics that I have heard are 1 out of 4 women have been sexually abused while 1 out of 6 men. This might not even be accurate as many cases go unreported where the speculation is that the numbers are really 1 out of 2 women and 1 out of 4 men. This is astonishing.

The impact that this has on society and how these individuals function in relationships impacts the larger community. Over the years, I have heard and seen so many of these stories unfold of how adult survivors are impacted by their innocence being taken away. As I delved deeper into my coaching practice, I started to see patterns and behaviours of survivors. In my own research of the impacts on survivors of sexual abuse include

  • Guilt, shame, and blame. You might feel guilty about not having been able to stop the abuse, or even blame yourself if you experienced physical pleasure. It is important for you to understand that it was the person that hurt you that should be held accountable—not you.
  • Self-esteem. You may struggle with low self-esteem, which can be a result of the negative messages you received from your abuser(s), and from having your personal safety violated or ignored. Low self-esteem can affect many different areas of your life such as your relationships, your career, and even your health.
  • Intimacy and relationships. It’s possible that your first experiences with sex came as a result of sexual abuse. As an adult, intimacy might be a struggle at times. Some survivors experience flashbacks or painful memories while engaging in sexual activity, even though it is consensual and on their own terms. Survivors may also struggle to set boundaries that help them feel safe in relationships. Source.
  • Questioning their sexuality. I have also seen where people question their own sexuality based on their childhood experiences.

In working with survivors who have already gone through the counselling, forgiveness of self and have the awareness of the impacts, I am fortunate as I am able to support them through to building the life they want. It breaks my heart everytime though that they think something is wrong with them but it isn’t. Someone felt powerless in their own life (usually the predator is a victim of sexual abuse themselves) that they needed to take the power away from someone else. In some cases, the predator doesn’t understand what is going on in their body especially when they are teenagers because they are not taught boundaries or have had their boundaries violated. The predator will act on impulse. This cycle of abuse needs to end. It is wrong. It is damaging people and societies. It needs to stop.

What is the solution then? We can’t monitor our children 24/7 but we can

  • teach our children about their bodies
  • we can listen to our child’s intuition and if they say they don’t want to be near someone then honor it. Children are clear channels and are really good about reading people’s energies.
  • teach our children not to keep secrets from their parents
  • have high self esteem as the adults so the children mirror that high self esteem
  • Through example through the child they have a voice and their voice is honored. Listen to them, explain things to them and discipline through explanation and showcasing positive behaviour.
  • If you know someone is being abused or has been abused, go with them to get them the support they need. Many times people will numb themselves through self-destructive behaviour, food, alcohol, drugs. They need to be loved unconditionally and they need to trust again. It is a long journey of self-love, feeling worthy and feeling powerful and they will need all the support they can get.

Together, we can change this in society. As adults and parents we need to live in our purpose, our passions, and be happy and confident. This behaviour will then be an example for the children around us. They will have the confidence to honor their bodies, value themselves and say no with the fierceness it is needed. Teaching them a good kick in the private parts if ever needed (because predators can be male or female) is never a bad thing either. Ps. I don’t really don’t condone violence but I am enraged by this topic so teach them the confidence and self-worth.

Why am I not doing what I want to?

At some point, we may ask ourselves – Why am I not doing what I want to?

We know what we want, we know how to get there but we don’t do what we know we need to do. We may be
-too busy
-there is too much going on
-the time isn’t right
-I am not ready yet
-it’s the other person’s fault
-fill in your reason here.
Our mind can find us a million reasons why we are not doing what we want to do.

Resistance shows up in different ways. We are maybe just too busy and stressed to have a few hours for a coffee date, networking event or even for ourselves. When we are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or too busy is really the time when we need to go within ourselves and ask what am I really avoiding right now? What connection am I avoiding? What emotion am I feeling?

This may not feel so good anymore…. here are a few questions to help move out of resistance.

What is it that you really want to do?

What would be the ideal conditions for you to do what you really want to do? Make a list or images of these conditions.

Being honest with yourself, now assess this list or image for what is really necessary and what isn’t.

Now write down one thing that you can do today towards your goal. Yes just one thing.

Once you have done it, how does it feel to have taken that step towards your goal? How do your reasons feel now?

What is another step you can take tomorrow?

It is very important to have compassion for yourself as you are moving towards your goals. It is also important to recognize the support you have or the type of support you may need right now. Sometimes it is a simple act of nurturing yourself through going for a walk, taking a bath or getting a massage. Other times, you may need some energy work that will help to shift some patterns. Sometimes we need a longer term relationship with a mentor/coach that we can have as our support and allow us to be accountable to our goals.

Honor yourself by asking yourself what is it that your soul is really asking for at this time.

Just “Be”

One of the clearest messages that we receive each day is to just “be.” We hear this through sayings such as ‘love yourself,’ ‘be kind to yourself,’ ‘accept yourself as you are’ among others.

People love us more when we are just being. The more we accept ourselves, the more others are able to accept us. The unconditional love that we have for ourselves and from source is all we really need to just be.

So what does it mean to just be…well it is really just being you. Take a deep breath, place your hand on your heart and ask yourself – “I want to just be, what does that mean to me?” Allow the answers to flow through and then act on them.

Now that you are just being, what else do you want to create?