New Feature: Laura Connett

Today’s feature is a poem by Laura Connett about some of the challenges of leaving an abusive situation. She delves into the mental games that romantic partners can play to exert their authority and power. She also describes the courage that it takes to leave. Read Laura’s poem here.

New Story – Roberta Dolan

Thank you, Roberta, for sharing your story! Here is an excerpt from our newest submission. Click on the link to read and comment on Roberta’s story.

“For nearly forty years I buried the secret deep within. To anyone that knew me my life was nearly perfect; successful career in education, good marriage and three beautiful children. It appeared wonderful and for the most part it was wonderful. I loved my role as educator, wife and mother. I just didn’t love myself. There was something “wrong” with me but I didn’t know what it was.

My final thought on ending the silence sits close to my heart. As a little girl I never dared to tell anyone what my parents were doing to me. To this day victims live in silence out of fear and shame. If this is going to change, society must change. Sexual abuse is still a “dirty word.” For those who are old enough remember when we could not use the word ‘cancer’ or ‘AIDS?’ It took the brave souls who were willing to speak out about cancer and AIDS to educate society and open the door for victims to receive support without shame.  Children take their cues from adults. If we as adults can talk openly, shamelessly, about sexual abuse it is much more likely that children will have the courage to tell that they have been abused. Ending the silence is the step we need to take to end the abuse.  If only I was able to tell an adult when I was a little girl…well, I am telling you now. Please help by taking the risk to end the silence and Say It Out Loud!”

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Sticks and Stones

“That was the longest day of my life. Not one person called me by my real name. I was beginning to get mad. Each time I said “Olivia,” I got louder and louder and angrier and angrier. By the time I left school that day, I was ready to explode. What was so hard about calling me by my real name?

Outside of school, a gang of kids was waiting for me.

“Hey Squak! Come here,” Brad yelled to me.

“My name’s not Squak, it’s Olivia,” I yelled back, continuing on my way.

I knew that if I got near enough to him I probably would have hit him so I just kept walking. I made it about half a block when I felt a hand around my arm. Whoever it was, they were alone because I saw all of the other kids leaving the schoolyard. I never felt so alone in my life.”

- excerpt from “Sticks and Stones” by Cheryl D.

Read more of Cheryl’s story and other stories of survival in the Prose and Poetry sections. And submit your story to endthesilencecampaign@yahoo.com. Together we can tell our stories and prove the importance of sharing these words.

Boys will be Boys

“I’d love to tell you that that was the end of it, that my life went on normally, happily ever after, yadda yadda.  My nightmare is not knowing how many other kids he did this too, and the guilt of not having said something to someone, anyone, about what he was doing.  As an adult I became promiscuous with both sexes, ruined two marriages and many relationships…

Say something.  Please.”

-Eric, from “It must be okay, he’s a doctor”

Read the rest of Eric’s story and other survivor stories on the Prose page of End the Silence.

I think we can all take Eric’s advice. It’s time for us to say something. PLEASE.