Stop the Silence

Kenya Blackmon, Contributor

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Statistics show that many  victims of sexual abuse were first assaulted as children by people in authority, according to The  U.S Department of   Justice.

The Centre Against Sexual Assault states that  62,939  children were  sexually abused in 2012  and in 2006 alone 300,000 women were sexually abused. Many  victims   keep the abuse  a secret, because they feel  helpless. The ones who disclose abuse may be flooded with guilt, fear, and feelings of betrayal or confusion, according to  the article “The Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome”.

Kim Arcos,  March Mountain High School (MMHS) counselor, has  dealt with students who have been sexually abused, for about seven  years.  “Hearing about the students being sexually abused is disturbing, sad, and heart breaking, and no one should have to deal with it,¨ she said.

Each  victim reacts  to  abuse differently according to Arcos. There is  assistance available for victims who have been through similar  situations. She  wants to give a message to  all  students and victims of sexual abuse, “Open up and know that you don’t have to be afraid to talk to anyone because they’re  so many victims that have  been through the same situation and we are here,” said Arcos.

A recent graduate of Rising Star, who wishes to remain anonymous, was sexually abused by her uncle from  the age of  eight years old. After the death of her mother she was placed in the custody of her aunt. This former student was abused every night at her aunt’s house.  She told her aunt many times but not once was she believed. To make the abuse  end she  called the police when no one was home in order  to protect her little sister from become a victim as well.  “The things I have been through were tough but it only made me  stronger,” said the student.

It took four to five years  for the student to overcome the fear of men, and still to this day she has trust issues. Her advice for others who have suffered similar abuse is “to report it and it may seem like you are alone but, you have supporting family, friends, and teachers, and counselors there to support you and be by your side,” the student said.

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