Monday, June 7, 2010

Awareness Walks and Getting to the Root of Child Sexual Abuse

Awareness walks have been around for a great many years. Everywhere you turn you see them. One of the most recognized is of breast cancer awareness walks. They have the pink shirts and pink ribbons. They have testimonials of how many years they have survived. They have a huge following of family and friends who support them and walk with them and when they die they have many who walk in their honor and raise money for more research and to help pay bills of the women who are dealing with breast cancer at the present time. I am very happy for their support of each other. It is wonderful to see the care and support those mostly women and some men are getting. I recently saw one of those many commercials for a breast cancer walk and wondered what it would be like if there was such an outpouring of support for this very prevalent epidemic of child sexual abuse. I am 47 years old and I would have a shirt on it that read I was a survivor for 47 years! My own personal journey of a survivor started when I was only months old! The many different types of walks all began in different ways. For instance I know that it took many years for any kind of walks dealing with any kind of cancer. There was a tremendous stigma about cancer and many people thought they could contract it by just being near a person with cancer. There was not support back then as they have today. For years there was a huge fear about A.I.D.S. and again it took years to get people educated about it and the ways you can contract H.I.V. which can lead to A.I.D.S. There are many walks and they all start with a few that lead into the many. Many of the walks are faced with protesters. Many walks evolve in many different ways. Some of the first gay pride marches had people dressed in suites and ties. The women, lesbian or not were in dresses. The gay pride marches and pride fests in some places were places to vent and were sometimes laced with a great deal of hate to heterosexuals. Now the gay pride parades have very few protesters and a great many families join in the Gay Pride Fest. I know that there are some awareness groups about child sexual abuse and I believe there are some gatherings that may take the form of awareness walks but it seems to me that they are in their infancy.

To have the kind of walks that will draw the attention to the epidemic of child sexual abuse there needs to be a great deal more awareness and a great deal more education. A great deal more education and a great deal less silence and hiding the people that molest children. Families, meaning all your relatives and not just extended families you create when your own relatives turn their backs on the survivors, need to band together and address this as a united group. There will be tears and pain at first but that's the only way to get to the root of the cancer that will grow in a relation if the cancer of child sexual abuse is not addressed directly. Who will walk with the survivors?

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