Should Survivors Keep The Past Secret?

It’s funny, yesterday I noticed that a post I wrote about why we should continue to talk about child abuse, because survivors need to know that they are not alone, and that there are plenty of other abuse victims who have overcome their abuse to be happy, healthy adults was exactly one year old. So I shared it again on Facebook.

Later on, I was reading through the news while flying home and came across this editorial in the Spectator:
Another child abuse memoir. Why can’t the past be private?

Look, I get it. There are a lot of poorly written abuse memoirs out there, and there are definitely some which seem to revel in sharing as many details as they can. It does sort of become victimization porn to some extent, a contest to see who endured the most abuse or dealt with the most trauma. That’s a good reason to not spend too much time reading abuse memoirs, but it’s no reason to suggest to any abuse survivor that their past should be kept private.

NO, NO, NO! That’s exactly what the pedophiles of the world would love, society telling adult survivors, and children, that sexual abuse should be “kept private”. It should not be kept private, anyone who wants to, and is wiling to, talk about their abuse should be encouraged to, so that they can share in the larger community of survivors, and pave the way for today’s children to be able to tell others what is happening to them instead of living in a world where they know no one will listen or believe them, because we’re just sick of hearing about child abuse.

Shame on Brendan O’Neill for suggesting that we’d all be better off if survivors quit talking about being abused. It might make his world more comfortable, but it does a disservice to the millions of abuse survivors who need, and should have, a voice. No matter whether that voice is “eloquent” according to him.

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  1. I could not agree more with your post. If only non-survivors would realize how much damage it does when a survivor keeps everything inside, and how silence begets silence, inhibiting healing and enabling abusers. Thank you for speaking out. If you ask me, survivors need to shout from the rooftops!

    My healing journey:

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