'A child shouldn’t be responsible for coming forward to prevent abuse'
As a survivor of child sexual abuse and rape, I back the efforts of Stop It Now!.
Stop It Now! is the first organization that put the responsibility of protecting children onto adults and really understands what children and the adults that care about them need to do to stop the cycle of abuse – especially in families.
As a child I was molested and physically abused by my step-father regularly. I remember feeling that the adults in my life had to know what was going on, and that they just chose not to take a stand.
Now that I’m an adult I’ve talked with my family about this point of view, and it’s obvious they didn’t know what to look for. (Learn Warning Signs) For example my aunt was a therapist with a degree in Sociology and yet, she still said she had no idea I was being sexually assaulted. Looking back over my childhood, I thought it had to be obvious to them. I didn’t like to give people hugs, started shoplifting at a young age, and was caught multiple times. I had no desire to do my school work and in kindergarten the school system put me in classes for kids with Learning Disabilities. I’ve since gone to college and received only A’s and B’s. I might have had to work harder than many people, but it’s something I don’t think I could have accomplished if I truly had a learning disability.
I believe I was in first grade when I first tried to tell my mother about my step-father sexually abusing me. She told me she knew that he could be mean and that he was a little too physically abusive, but that he’d never touch me sexually. She refused to believe me. Inside I was dying for someone to see my signs, but no one did. I’d stay after school to finish my work and I felt like teachers knew something was going on at home. I remember a second grade teacher asking me if things at home were alright.
I could not speak up because I was afraid of my step-father. I had no doubt that he would try to kill me if I spoke up.
Children are often afraid of the people who abuse them. They won’t speak out unless they learn that adults will keep them safe. I couldn’t count on my mother to protect me. She comes from an abusive family; abuse is all she’s known. This is why it’s so important that teachers, coaches, and the general public learn the signs of sexual abuse. All adults – not just parents – need to know where to get help.
As an adult I’ve worked diligently on myself to become a positive influence for society. It hasn’t been easy. I may have to work on myself till the day I pass. But I owe it to myself and the family I’ve created.
Singing and writing are my deepest passions. When I started to write my album I did so because I wanted to connect with other survivors. Not far into the project I’d felt obligated to do more. I wanted to help prevent abuse. I wanted to donate a portion of my music sales to an effective organization.
I started to research many of the anti-sexual abuse organizations and the more I’d read about Stop It Now! the more I backed their efforts. That why when I put out my first CD last year I chose to use my music to support Stop It Now! (See more at www.stefaniejane.com)
So as a survivor and someone who is dedicated to breaking the cycle of childhood sexual abuse, I hope you will make a gift to support the prevention efforts of Stop It Now! Please donate now.
A child shouldn’t be left responsible for coming forward to prevent abuse.