A SURVIVOR SPEAKS OUT…

“Our Little Secret” / A Graphic Memoir / By Emily Carrington

Emily tells her story of being sexually abused as a child and her path to healing in a creative and effective way…through writing and drawing.

This Graphic Memoir is sad, of course, because of what a little girl went through, but it also offers hope to other adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It shows that you do not need to keep that little secret anymore. It was not your fault. You did nothing wrong. You were a child…taken advantage of & violated.

In addition, there are some very important facts in this Memoir about the crime of child sexual abuse such as how a perpetrator grooms a child, etc… In summary, “Our Little Secret” by Emily Carrington is an informative & educational account of the violation and betrayal of a child, as well as a story of courage, hope & healing.

Thank you Emily for sharing your story with us…for SpeakingOut Against Child Sexual Abuse! You are making a difference in the fight against child sexual abuse.

~Susan Suafoa-Dinino, President/Founder, SpeakingOut against Child Sexual Abuse, Inc.

Why Most Children Don’t Tell…

SEXUAL ABUSE = RAPE, MOLESTATION AND/OR EXPLOITATION

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Here are some of the Reasons Why Most Children Don’t Tell Anyone They are Being or Have Been Sexually Abused…

Fear (Being threatened & manipulated)

Love and/or Know the person abusing them (Don’t want that “loved one” to get into trouble / Want the acceptance & approval of that “loved one)

Shame / Embarrassment (Don’t want anyone to know)

Blame Themselves (Believes it has to be their fault somehow)

Guilt

Lack of Understanding

Confusion (Mixture of confusing thoughts & feelings)

Told this happened because they are special

Told they were just playing a game

Have been taught to Respect Adults/Authority Figures (Believe they should never question adults / authority figures)

Thinks/Feels like everyone knows (That people can tell just from looking at them)

Don’t want to upset a loved one (Non-Abuser)

To Protect a loved one or pet from abuse or harm (Mom, Brother, Sister, Dog, etc… / “If you tell, I will hurt ________” / Child thinking that if they let this happen to them & not tell, then maybe this won’t happen to their brother or sister)

Don’t Think Anyone will believe them (That’s what they are being told)

Fear of what a Loved One might do to the Abuser

Private Matter that should not be talked about

Maybe its Normal and happens to all children

Knows it’s not normal and feels very alone in the world (this can’t possibly be happening to anyone else)

They told someone once & was either not believed and/or not protected

NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THIS KIND OF THING

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Please feel free to share additional reasons why a child will more often than not stay silent.

Understanding why is so important and also stresses the importance of talking to your child about this very sensitive topic. You need to ensure the communication line is open between you and your child on this specific topic. They need to feel safe to tell. They need to know that you will believe them.

~Susan Suafoa-Dinino, President/Founder, SpeakingOut against Child Sexual Abuse, Inc.

Never Assume…

Never assume that if your child is being or has been sexually violated that they will tell you.

In addition to the many reasons the child may not tell (more on this coming soon), sexual predators know how to silence children. And as a Parent, your understanding of this horrific crime is imperative for your child’s safety.

Talk to your child. Open up the communication line on this topic. Children need to know that they can come to you no matter what and no matter who either attempted to and or actually violated them. Have the conversation…for your child’s sake.

~Susan Suafoa-Dinino, President/Founder, SpeakingOut against Child Sexual Abuse, Inc.

Never Assume & Take Action…

Never assume that just because you know where your child is and who they are with, that they could not be sexually abused. Unfortunately, it can happen anywhere, anytime…and to a child of any age (birth to 17 years of age). We are talking about molestation, rape and/or exploitation of children.

Understand that the majority of the time, children are violated by someone they know & in many cases, by someone they trust and possibly even love. The perpetrator could be an adult, an older child, a child of the same age, etc… This person may be a family member, friend of the family, someone in charge of children’s activities, etc… The violator may be male or female. He or she may even be married and/or have children of their own.

This is not a scare tactic, but rather the truth and reality of what happens in the world that we live in. The point is to be aware and to talk to your children. It’s so important that children of all ages know the potential dangers out there. In addition, opening up the communication line between you and your child on this specific topic is crucial in today’s world.

Trust me, you want your child to let you know if someone is making or has made them uncomfortable. They need to know that they can say/shout/yell NO even if it is an authority figure or someone they love. In addition, if someone approaches your child with inappropriate behavior or actions and they are violated in any way, your child needs to know that it is not their fault…that he or she can come to you no matter what & no matter who violated them. They need to know you will believe them. If violated, children need to be told often that it was not their fault.

This is a hard topic, but one in which there are age-appropriate resources out there to assist you in having these conversations. Don’t delay…get a plan of action on how to approach your child and have the conversation. I might also suggest broaching the subject periodically; a refresher as the child grows and gets older.

~Susan Suafoa-Dinino, President/Founder, SpeakingOut against Child Sexual Abuse, Inc.