Dear Second Wound, I am a survivor of sexual Abuse. Why wasn’t I believed?

Photo credit: Neasa Waaler Dear Survivors, You 100% deserve to be believed. Though it’s nearly impossible to gather accurate statistics on false reporting of sexual abuse, we do know that it’s rare. If we look at sexual assault reports made to law enforcement, research tells us that false reports make up about only 2 to … Continue reading Dear Second Wound, I am a survivor of sexual Abuse. Why wasn’t I believed?

A No-Win Situation

My mother sighed, clearly exasperated with me yet again. My transgression? I had objected after finding out that she’d hidden information from me for no apparent reason. I’d learned that my half-sister was flying into town from across the country. My mother (her stepmother) knew all about the trip. In fact, the two of them … Continue reading A No-Win Situation

Reasons Family Members Side with Sexual Abusers (as seen in Psych Central)

~ 5 min read  Living with the emotional effects of sexual abuse is painful enough. Unfortunately, many survivors open up about their abuse only to find that their family members’ reactions toward them are just as painful — if not more so — than the original trauma. It may shock some people to learn that … Continue reading Reasons Family Members Side with Sexual Abusers (as seen in Psych Central)

An Open Letter to Messengers of Estranged Relatives (As seen on Elephant Journal)

Becoming estranged from a relative is a sad and difficult decision, one that is usually made with grave consideration and based on the belief that the emotional cost of continuing contact is simply too great to bear. Most of us wish we there was another choice we could make, especially when the family members are … Continue reading An Open Letter to Messengers of Estranged Relatives (As seen on Elephant Journal)

A Survivor’s Decision to Cut Ties with Family (As seen in Trigger Points Anthology online)

I have come a long way. From the fractured child who was silenced when I tried to speak up about my abuse to the whole and healthy woman I am now. I rose from confusion and pain and faced what I knew to be true. But like many other abuse survivors, I paid a painful price … Continue reading A Survivor’s Decision to Cut Ties with Family (As seen in Trigger Points Anthology online)

Child Sexual Abuse: the Neglected Little Sister of the #MeToo Movement

I was enormously gratified last year to watch as the #MeToo movement erupted with a sudden and powerful force, to see sexual harassment and assault survivors courageously tell their truths as the world finally paid proper attention. I cheered the brave women and men who came forward, risking more of the judgment, doubt, and scorn … Continue reading Child Sexual Abuse: the Neglected Little Sister of the #MeToo Movement

7 Ways Family Members Re-victimize Sexual Abuse Survivors (as seen on Psych Central)

Twenty years ago when I first disclosed to my family that I had been sexually abused by my brother as a child, I never would have guessed it would mark the beginning of a long, confusing struggle that would leave me feeling misunderstood, dismissed and even punished for choosing to address my abuse and its … Continue reading 7 Ways Family Members Re-victimize Sexual Abuse Survivors (as seen on Psych Central)