IF IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD . . . PART TWO

IF IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD … 

THEN IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO ABUSE A CHILD

PART TWO

Welcome to Part Two of this series.
Facing the truth about child abuse in our world
is not an easy task.
I honor your courage and willingness to take a deep dive
into this meaningful journey into consciousness…
into this profound journey into grounded awakening…
into this crucial journey into the healing of child abuse in our world…
into this imperative journey into healing abuse and trauma in our world.

In Part One I talked about child abuse, and how it is not caused by just one abuser,
but rather by a larger village of people playing different roles.

I spoke of many examples of child sexual abuse –
both private-not-yet-made-public
and also once-private-now-public.
I gave examples of how the sexual abuse of children requires not just one abuser,
but rather a larger village to “make and allow it to happen.”

If It Takes a Village to Raise a Child... Then It Takes a Village to Abuse a Child (part 2)
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2019/05/28/if-it-takes-a-village-to-raise-a-child-part-2/

In this part of the series, we will look at the village it takes to create child abuse on an even larger scale than before.
It might be tempting to turn away and not learn more.
But then, turning away and not learning more
is one of the ways we become part of the village that helps to abuse a child,
and even many children.

************

Leaving Neverland

In early 2019, the documentary “Leaving Neverland” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Following that, it was released on HBO in early March. It revealed the experiences of two men, ages 36 and 40, who had been groomed and then sexually abused by Michael Jackson beginning when they were 7 and 10 years old.

The two little boys, Wade and James, and their families were seduced and groomed* by Michael Jackson.  They were seduced and drawn in for the purpose of gaining their trust … so that down the road, they would trust Michael, they would be blind, deaf, and numb to what Michael was doing and to the state of their own being, and they wouldn’t dream of telling anyone what was going on with Michael.

A child is vulnerable to such seduction and grooming. If, as an adult, someone is still seduceable in the same way, it is an indication of some wounding in his/her childhood that leaves them still vulnerable and unconscious on a young level of their being.

It Takes a Village to Abuse A Child –
My Awareness in My Practice as a Healing Practitioner

As a depth psychotherapist and Midwife to the Soul, I have worked with countless adults who were abused in many ways during their childhood. Many ways, including sexual abuse.  I have helped them work with the painful experiences, the painful memories as they came, the painful consequences in their inner and outer worlds. I have been with them as they have expressed their feelings – building their capacity to feel them and let them come out safely and for the purpose of healing.  I have witnessed, heard, and felt with them as they have expressed their need for the abuse to have never happened at all … and just as much, for someone to have helped them, for someone to have stopped the abuse. In each person’s experience, no one stopped it and no one helped them.   So in this way, I know up close with people about whom I care deeply … that it took a village to abuse these children.

And knowing from experience with these people, I can also see the dynamic of “it takes a village to abuse a child” in other arenas and other forms. After watching both parts of “Leaving Neverland,” the truth of Wade’s and James’ experiences and the “it takes a village” dynamic was very clear and very resonant.

How People Out in the World Responded
to “Leaving Neverland”

Many denied the experiences revealed by Wade and James.  Michael’s family. Michael’s estate. Many of Michael’s still devoted fans. Twitter was alive with denials and attacks on these two brave men and the people who created the documentary.

While perhaps many of Michael’s staff remained silent, it seems some came forward and revealed things they had been aware of.

The families of the two children, who had allowed their boys to sleep in Michael’s room with him, finally knew what had happened and spoke of their regret, sorrow, and more.

All of these people made up the village who, in one way or other, participated in the ongoing sexual abuse of Wade and James and …. others.

And then came another shocking example of a participant. Someone who people would have perhaps never have suspected.  Barbra Streisand. “Rolling Stone,” March 23, 2019, reported:

“Speaking to The Times UK, ahead of her London concerts this summer, Streisand said she ‘absolutely’
believed the accounts of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, but added, ‘You can say ‘molested’, but
those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have
children, so it didn’t kill them.’

“ ‘His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA
he has…’ Streisand said of Jackson.”

How Barbra Streisand could think, feel, and say those things is a painful mystery! What wounds does she carry within her – both those known to her and still repressed deep beneath her awareness – that could be revealed in her responses to the documentary?  What trauma of her own is still unhealed within her that she could believe her attempts at apology could carry any weight? Any resonance to truth?  And Barbra Streisand is simply one of millions – although a celebrity icon, at that! With a lot of impact. A celebrity icon like Michael Jackson was a celebrity icon.

The World Village that Abuses Our Children

After the release of “Leaving Neverland,” something came across my desk about art in different forms that had been created by people who had acted out destructively in their lives. The essence of the message was ‘don’t stop looking at or listening to a particular work of art just because the artist was destructive.’

This message took me to the lyrics of two of Michael Jackson’s most famous songs. Although I was not at all a fan of Michael Jackson in his lifetime, I had seen and heard bits and pieces of him singing these two songs from time to time on the radio or television. I had had no interest in going further.

When I recently saw the lyrics, I was so deeply affected. I saw that they so very likely described both someone who had been abused as a child and also someone who would perpetrate abuse on children, or already had been doing so.  I know “Thriller” was not written by Michael, but he did sing it, dance it, embody it, live it on stage again and again for years. And apparently, he also lived it in his life … probably his life as a child, and now it seems more certainly revealed that he lived it in his adult life with little children.  And Michael did write “Bad,” and also embodied it and likely lived it in his life.

Some lines from each …

Thriller (1982)

It’s close to midnight
Something evil’s lurking from the dark
Under the moonlight
You see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream
But terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze
As horror looks you right between your eyes
You’re paralyzed

‘Cause this is thriller
Thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you
From the beast about to strike


And from “Bad” (1987)

Your butt is mine
Gonna tell you right
Just show your face
In broad daylight
I’m telling you
On how I feel
Gonna hurt your mind
Don’t shoot to kill
Come on …

Well they say the sky’s the limit
And to me that’s really true
But my friend you have seen nothin’
Just wait ’til I get through

Because I’m bad, I’m bad come on …
And the whole world has to
Answer right now
Just to tell you once again
Who’s bad

Questions flooded through me! How many people had been seduced by these two songs because they reflected the listener’s own childhood wounds? How many had been drawn in by the horror of the memory of their own abuse presented outside them in a song, dance, video, performance. We often do that – what we can’t tolerate remembering or feeling from our own young experiences, we project onto, or find something in the outer world to mirror it for us. How much of Jackson’s fame and fans had been responding to this?

And how many had been drawn in by the compulsion fantasy to do to others what had been done to them, also a common response to childhood abuse? The fantasy and feelings almost always, even if repressed. The acting it out – not always, not necessarily, but often expressed in other ways … among them, watching horror shows or songs entitled “Thriller” or “Bad.”

However people were drawn in to Michael Jackson, it’s so important to explore what it was in each person that was vulnerable to being seduced … even by his songs.

I’ve wondered … If I had read the lyrics to these songs way back when, would I have realized the mirrors they were of the abuse of Michael and the abuse by Michael?  Would I have had enough experience working with people’s suffering from childhood encounters with sexual abuse in particular and any kind of abuse in general … that I would have recognized it and been able to create a way to expose it, reveal it, help people pierce their defenses against it?

I don’t know. But I do know … it’s right there in his songs and has been all along. Any one or more of us could have seen it … if we’d had the awareness, the sight, the vision, the heart, the willingness to receive and connect beneath everything else that was going on.

This is a painful example of how we all contributed to the abuse of children all over the world. This is a single painful example of how we have all been part of the village that abused the children.

Some Who Work to End the Abuse of Children

There are some in our world who get it. Who get how much child abuse and child sexual abuse goes on in our world. There are some who get the pattern of grooming that is so enmeshed with the sexual abuse itself. There are some who get the seduction in many forms – including both trusting and frightening, both seemingly gentle and violent, and all very confusing for a child.

Among those I know get it:
There is the California Protective Parents Association.

There is Oprah Winfrey: who spoke out after the release of the movie, saying that this moment is bigger than Michael Jackson; acknowledging that she did 217 shows in 25 years on sexual abuse, trying to get people to see the scourge on humanity,  the societal corruption that was being revealed once again through this movie.

There are those I have worked with who have been sexually abused, who are thankful, as I am, for the MeToo Movement, but … who are so distressed that these recent movements don’t attend to the sexual abuse that is happening to children all over our country and our world every single day.

There are a few of my colleagues who have supported and encouraged me to write about this again and again.

And there is, of course, my heart and soul and my own muse – calling to me again and again to help more and more deeply, more and more broadly, to heal child sexual abuse as one specific form, and, of course, child abuse in all its forms.

As I ended Part One of this series …

Mind you, this is a mirror to us not only of how we react to the sexual abuse of children, but also of how we react to other serious problems in our lives – in our families, in our institutions and organizations, in our countries and in our world.

Tune in soon for the next installment to learn more about the impact of the village that helps to abuse children … the impact by us and on us all over our world, every single day.

* Child grooming:  https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_grooming

Note 1: To read or listen to Part One of this series:  https://judithbarr.com/2019/05/18/it-takes-a-village-part-1/

Note 2: There are many ways you can learn about child abuse, grooming, sexual abuse, and the repetitive cycle of abuse in our world. It is, of course, a painful learning; but so very crucial.  Some of the ways that are, in addition to painful, also grounded, sensitive, and inspiring, include:

The movie, Leaving Neverland

The book, Little Girl Leaving: A Novel Based on A True Story, by Lisa Blume

The book, How Did We Get Here? Our Refusal to Know the Truth About Ourselves: Blowing the Whistle on Us – For the Trauma We’ve Experienced and the Trauma We Create, by Judith Barr

If you plan to watch the video or read Lisa Blume’s book and have been sexually abused or think you may have been, or even if you don’t think you may have been, or even if you don’t remember, please create a plan to take care of yourself before reading or viewing.  That plan would include having support people available, even to watch with you, and having a therapist you can work with, if something opens up that you need help with.

© Judith Barr, 2019.

 

IF IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD …

THEN IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO ABUSE A CHILD

No, don’t go away. Stay.
This is important. This is crucial.
We all need to know this in order to become conscious …
in order to solve the problem.

Too many of us say we love our children, yet abuse them consciously or beneath our awareness,
in secret or right out in the open,
under the guise of some supposedly high principle or just plain willfully.

So many of us say we love our children yet abuse them . . . physically, sexually, emotionally, mentally, energetically, and spiritually.

If It Takes a Village to Raise a Child... Then It Takes a Village to Abuse a Child (part 1)
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2019/05/18/it-takes-a-village-part-1/

We may not want to know this. We may not want anyone else to know this.
We may normalize it, deny it, outright justify it.
Far too many of us say we love our children and are doing these things for their own good* … lying to others and ourselves, as we make these high-minded claims.

And the problem is not just those of us who actually abuse our children.

It’s the other parent who doesn’t protect them. It’s the other supposedly adult members of the extended family who don’t protect them. It’s the neighbors who don’t protect them.  It’s the institutions that don’t protect them. It’s the law that doesn’t protect them.

It’s those who are afraid and don’t protect our children.
It’s those who were abused themselves and don’t protect our children.
It’s those who were abused themselves and don’t do their own healing work to the roots of their being and therefore don’t protect our children.
It’s those who have some issue within themselves that blocks their seeing and taking protective and preventative action.
It’s those who are somehow acting out something from their own lives as children long, long ago.
It’s those who are blind, deaf, and numb, who don’t recognize what is occurring.

We are all somehow part of the problem.
We all somehow contribute to the problem.

If we just pay attention right now to the sexual abuse of children …
Just for starters …

Think of all the gymnasts who were sexually violated by gymnastic doctors, in a culture where people knew and kept their mouths shut.

Think of all the athletes who were sexually violated by coaches, in a culture where people knew and kept the secret.

Think of all the children who were allegedly sexually abused by scout leaders or volunteers in the Boy Scouts. Over 12,000 alleged instances by over 7800 alleged abusers. Data was kept by The Boy Scout organization since 1944 – “perversion files” about these violations – and these people were removed from scouting. But the Boy Scouts organization did not inform the community that these people were known to be abusers of children. They did not protect the children.

Think of all the children sexually violated by Catholic priests, children who wouldn’t have been abused if others in the Catholic culture who knew – not only at the level of priest, but upward in the hierarchy – had stepped up to protect the children.

The courageous and impactful movie, Spotlight, told the story of the Boston Globe revealing the layers and layers of child molestation by priests and the silence and lack of protection of the children by the Catholic chain of command. Also revealed was the neglect of others in the community to pay attention, take action, and reveal the tragic abuse long before it was actually done by the Globe. Among them, lawyers, journalists, and more …

Victim’s advocate Phil Saviano met with the reporters on the Spotlight team at the Globe, giving them an in depth understanding about the clergy abuse that was occurring.  He is known to have told them … “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them.”

As a depth psychotherapist and Midwife to the Soul, I have been writing and teaching about this for years. There have been events occurring recently that brought it to the foreground again in my mind, heart and soul, calling me to speak out about it once more.

Mind you, this is a mirror to us not only of how we react to the sexual abuse of children, but also of how we react to other serious problems in our lives – in our families, in our institutions and organizations, in our countries and in our world.

Stay tuned for the next in this series … just as compelling as this installment …
perhaps even more.

 

*See Alice Miller’s profound book, For Your Own Good: Hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence, original version, in German, 1980. Translation 1983, by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum, published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York.

© Judith Barr, 2019.

 

 

 

 

KAVANAUGH – FORD: A WINDOW TO THE SOUL OF THE CULTURE

U.S. CULTURE TODAY, ANY OTHER CULTURE TOMORROW

Thomas – Hill. Kavanaugh – Ford. Republicans – Democrats. Men – Women.
And more …

This isn’t just a Supreme Court nomination. Most people realize that.
This isn’t just a political conflict. Many people realize that.
This isn’t just the fight of many women and some men to end misogyny and bring about healthy, respectful, human, heartful treatment of women by men. Many more people are realizing that.
And this isn’t just the insistence that women who were sexually abused be heard, believed and not blamed. Some are coming to that.
More are coming to that.

If you open your eyes more …
if you open your ears more …
if you open your mind more …
if you open your heart more …
you will know …
this is a window to the soul of our culture.

A window that has been closed and locked.
A window that has been boarded up –
as if to keep a storm in the outer world from blowing it in.
But truly, it has been boarded up to keep what is inside
hidden on the inside, kept secret, and buried deep within.
This window is now being blown from the inside out.

This is a window to the soul of our culture.
Where we have been hiding the trauma that lives deep within our culture.
Where we have built on top of that trauma layers and layers of defenses.
Where we have been hiding the trauma that lives –
not only in our government and government processes;
not only in our businesses and their day-to-day transactions;
not only in our religious organizations and houses of worship;
not only in our institutions of learning and their daily activities;
but also where we have been hiding the trauma that lives in our everyday families in our everyday homes –
where our children are born, live, and develop in trauma.

To an eye and a heart of someone who works with men and women who have been abused, neglected, and sexually abused as children, this whole process of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and hearings, is a clear out-picturing of what goes on in a family in our country where one or more of the children have been sexually abused by an ”authority” in the family, and where even one of those children tries to tell the truth.

Tell the truth about having been sexually abused? Almost never as a child. Too scary. Too dangerous. But even as an adult … the family authority and very often the whole family – even extended family – circles the wagons to protect the abuser. That occurs in many ways. Two of the strongest are to enlist everyone to not believe the one who has been abused and to blame the abused one for what has happened. The child – now adult – victim of the sexual abuse is attacked, scapegoated, eliminated from the family. Or there may be a fight within the family, with some supporting and some attacking the person who was hurt. Often in either case the truth-teller is accused of having “ruined the family.”

To the eye and heart of someone who has for decades worked with the early trauma of men and women, I can see how that trauma is out-pictured in their own lives. And I can see how that trauma is out-pictured in the life of our country and our world. In the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, I could see the early trauma of many of those who spoke. Some might not have seen angry outbursts and defenses as signs of early trauma. They might cover the real explanations and understandings with justifications and normalizations. But I know what I saw. And I saw the trauma beneath the boarded-up windows and doors.

The steps that have been taken to listen with respect to Dr. Ford and others who have been sexually abused … are, indeed, important steps. But they are not enough. They are not nearly enough.

We need to see the trauma that is showing itself in this process …
the trauma to Dr. Ford and any others sexually abused by the nominee.
the trauma to others who have come forth and may come forth about the sexual assaults they have experienced.
the traumas to children in our country who experience sexual assault –
and other assaults – every day in their homes.

And the trauma to the others in the picture.
The trauma to those who witness the assaults.
The trauma to those who react to the assaults.
The trauma to the family in which the assaults originally happen.
The trauma to those who commit the assaults.
For although some of us may wish to blame the abuser …
that person also has been traumatized in his/her life at some point
in development …
or the assaults would not have been committed by that person.

If we do not look at the trauma that is out-picturing itself in this process…
if we do not see the trauma that is out-picturing itself in this process …
if we do not hear the trauma that is out-picturing itself in this process …
if we do not feel the trauma palpable in this out-picturing that is occurring in the
context of our government …
we ourselves will help to continue such out-picturings,
while believing they are something else.
And we ourselves will help to continue such out-picturings,
while being unaware of our complicity.

This article describes just the tip of the iceberg of the depth exploration revealed In my recent book – How Did We Get Here?* – on the heart of where we are in the life of our nation and our world, and what is here for us to see and heal in our country … and in countries all over the world. The relationship between trauma and accountability is woven throughout the book.

© Judith Barr, 2018.

*Barr, Judith. How Did We Get Here? (Brookfield, CT: Mysteries of Life, 2018). Available through Amazon or JudithBarr.com.

 

SEXUAL ABUSE: OUR COUNTRIES MIRROR OUR FAMILIES

Although it is starting to come out in the open in the U.S. …
This occurs not only in the U.S. but all over our world.

There is a growing list of men who are being exposed for having sexually abused women, men, and children … not only in the recent past but in years long ago. This ugly and painful aspect of the patriarchy has been known, yet kept secret, for far too long.  For too long there have been:  the one who perpetrated the sexual abuse, the one who was victimized by him, and those who colluded with the perpetrator – each for his or her own reasons. We recently got a very public glimpse into this dynamic when the accusations against Harvey Weinstein in the U.S. (and abroad) started coming out into the open in the public realm. An even more public view of the perpetrator-victim-colluder dynamic is being seen as Roy Moore, candidate for Senate from Alabama and former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, denies his sexual abuse of young women and even worse … of children. Those in collusion with him, support his denials with all sorts of guises – from his “godliness,” to the guise of his “innocence,” to claims of dirty politics by the other side, to the insistence on voting for him even if he did these things … just to keep the other side from winning.

This plague of sexual abuse – isn’t only limited to male abusers. It also includes women.  But still it is part of the patriarchy – which includes men and women. And the women who stand by their abuser husbands are definitely part of the patriarchy.  Just like the women who stood by Clarence Thomas were part of the patriarchy, when Anita Hill was exposing to the world his sexual abuse.

The sexual abuse aspect of the patriarchy – and the destructive patriarchy itself – must end. How? Through healing to the root. When? Now.

***************************

When the sexual abuse is over…
The end has only just begun.
The end of sexual abuse in the church.
The end of sexual abuse on the couch – in the therapy room.
The end of sexual abuse in entertainment, by producer, director, agent, actor.
The end of sexual abuse in business – the board room, the CEO’s office, the supply room.
The end of sexual abuse in the doctor’s office, the hospital, the ambulance.
The end of sexual abuse in sports, by coaches.
The end of sexual abuse by national and world leaders, by government officials, and
candidates running for office.
These brave women and even men … they’re exposing the abusers, one by one by one.
The numbers grow and flood the news.
The exposure gives hope to millions of women and also to men.
Hope for the end of sexual abuse.

But alas, that will not come
until …
the exposure of sexual abuse in families
all across our nation,
all across our world,
has taken us closer to the roots of the painful experience …
closer to the source of the wound that causes the wound of sexual abuse.

Though committed by men and women alike,
sexual abuse is a scourge in our world.
In too many places, an accepted scourge,
a normalized scourge,
a way of life.
A wound that’s passed down,
generation to generation,
mostly by men.
Acted out upon women, and other men,
and innocent children.

Innocent children …
needing, trusting, loving freely,
hopeful, growing, expressing, being.
Innocent children
stopped in their tracks.
Frightened, frozen, running away,
frightened, angry, fighting against …
Stopped on the path to becoming their selves.

Innocent children …
Powerless in the face of the sexual abuse.
Powerless in the face of the grossly distorted sexuality.
Powerless in the face of the grossly distorted use of power over them.
By someone who …
once was an innocent child sexually abused himself.
Once was an innocent child powerless in the face of distorted sexuality.
Once was an innocent child powerless in the face of distorted use of power.
Once was an innocent child who so deeply wounded,
turned into someone else.

Those who have been sexually abused in their families,
alone in a patriarchal family culture,
are terrified of telling their experiences of being sexually abused.
They’re frightened of not being believed.
They’re frightened of being blamed and scape-goated.
They’re afraid of being humiliated, threatened, abused.
They’re terrified at the possibility of being cast out, abandoned.
If all those possible consequences of talking
are intolerable to an adult in the entertainment industry,
how can they be at all bearable to a child?

When the sexual abuse is over …
The end has only just begun.
The end won’t be completed until
we want to know.
But we don’t want to know.
Too few of us want to know.
Too few of us want to know the truth.
Too few of us are willing to go through the fear
and through the painful feelings
the truth will bring.
Too many of us want to defend ourselves against
the truth and all those feelings …
the consequences be damned.

And they are …
the consequences are damned by the willful defense
and denial of the painful truth.

So when you defend against the reality of sexual abuse –
somebody else’s or your own …
you fan the flames of sexual abuse at its roots.
And when you defend against the reality of sexual abuse –
the abuse you, yourself have committed …
you fan the flames of sexual abuse at its roots
in your family and in families all over our world.

But should you dare to end your denial …
you have begun to contribute to the end of this horrible wound.
And should you dare to dissolve your defenses against this painful wound …
you have begun to feed the end of this terrible wound.
You have begun to feed the end of the wound of sexual abuse
not only out in the world in public arenas,
but even more importantly …
right at its source …
right in the homes of families all over our world.

© Judith Barr, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

CATHOLIC PRIESTS, COSBY, WEINSTEIN AND MORE

CAN YOU SEE IT?

This occurs all over the world, not solely in the U.S.
But recent events in the U.S. are instructive to us all.

Sexual abuse of the young and vulnerable by the rich and powerful has been brought out of the halls of secrecy into the light of day. The part of the Catholic Church in childhood sexual abuse came out in the open many years ago – brought out by the Boston Globe in 2002. More recently we’ve seen this in the cases of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. And after Harvey, men in entertainment and other arenas of our world, as well … James Toback (screenwriter/director,) Ben Affleck (actor,) Chris Savino (animator,) Roy Price (entertainment executive,) Lockhart Steele (Vox media editorial director,) John Besh (celebrity chef,) Mark Halperin (author and political analyst.)

It is a healthy step for our society that journalists are finding and documenting the stories of sexual abusers. It is also a healthy step that those who have been abused by them are coming forth and speaking out. Each step taken helps us get closer to the root. But we’re not there yet.

A number of things from this past week give us glimpses that can lead us to the root.

  • Corey Feldman, of the movie “Stand by Me,” has spoken about Hollywood’s secret of childhood sexual abuse of children in the entertainment industry, expanding the view past young adults and adults.
  • Ashley Judd’s statement in her interview with Diane Sawyer, that “we act like we’re between 3 and 6 years old in those moments,” meaning the moments when someone is starting to or in the act of sexually abusing us. We usually do regress to a young age within ourselves when traumatized. And sometimes it’s to the age we were first traumatized when we were children.
  • Ashley, responding to Diane’s question, what would she say to Harvey if she saw him today, responded: “What I would say to Harvey is, ‘I love you, and I understand that you are sick and suffering, and there is help for a guy like you, too. And it’s entirely up to you to get that help.’”
  • Ashley also described her response to her getting out of harm’s way and away from Harvey by making a deal with him to do what he was pressuring her to do after she won an Oscar in a movie he produced. “Am I proud of that? I’m of two minds: The part that shames myself says ‘no.’ The part of me that understands the way shame works says, ‘That was absolutely brilliant. Good job kid, you got out of there. Well done.’”
  • Alternet published an article recently, whose title is, “How on Earth Is Corporal Punishment Still Legal at School in 19 States?”1
  • “Law & Order: True Crime” is airing a television series about the story of the Menendez brothers’ murder of their parents and the real cause of that murder. Whether the brothers are in jail or not, whether or not you believe the series’ portrayal of the real cause as the brothers’ having been sexually abused and threatened by their parents, the series is clearly showing us all some of the deadly consequences of childhood sexual abuse.

All of these point to the root – the part that hasn’t yet been brought out into the light of day. What is coming out into the open is not just about powerful men out in the world today sexually abusing women, men, and even children in the arenas in which they work – entertainment, media, politics, business, spiritual, and more. It is showing us the outpicturing into our world of what occurs every day in families all over our country – and the world.

Powerful parents – fathers and sometimes mothers, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles – who are kings and queens of their domains, sexually abuse children in their homes, where it can be done in secret. Or if others know – like the extended family – they collude in keeping the secret. The children are vulnerable and innocent and terrified. The very people they are supposed to be able to trust are the people sexually abusing them. And others who could protect them are not protecting them … at all. Even the law in the US, which should be protecting, ends up colluding in the abuse by protecting the abuser.1

People are afraid of looking at what their part is in the perpetuation of this family dynamic. People are afraid of seeing how their part of the family dynamic outpictures into our world outside the home – whether they have sexually abused others, whether they have been sexually abused, or whether they have colluded in the sexual abuse in the home.

It is urgent that we look. It is urgent that we see. And it is urgent that we each heal our part in what is showing itself out in the world, but starts in our childhood homes.

We can see the huge, damaging impact it has on ourselves and on others when we don’t. We can see and feel the destructive consequences for ourselves, our families, and our societies, when we don’t.

This is the root of what we’re seeing in the exposure of sexual abuse in our world today. Healing it necessitates going to the root.

All of us, those who have been sexually abused, those who have colluded with sexual abuse, and those who have sexually abused others …
All of us who are part of this are sick or wounded … and our society is, as well.
All of us who are part of this are suffering … and our society is, as well.
There is help for all of us … and our society, as well.
The help for our society depends on all of us, each one of us individually.

And it is entirely up to each of us to get that help.

Will you do your part?

© Judith Barr, 2017

1 To learn more about how the law can be used to dehumanize and allow abuse in our country and world, see my article What Is Beneath the Willfulness in Our World? at http://judithbarr.com/2017/10/01/beneath-willfulness-world/