An open letter to those who know a child survivor of sexual abuse

Subject: An open letter to those who know a child survivor of sexual abuse
From: Keshani Perera
Date: 17 Apr 2016

" There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds"
-Laurell K Hamilton

It is a cruel world we live in, ruled by men; where the female voice is little or no use. We all have come across someone who has been ripped away with their right to speak , their right to stand up for themselves and their right to be the little girl they were.

We all know someone who has been through hell on earth, ripped away from their childhood for the needs of inconsiderate sexual predators. We all know that one person who cries herself to sleep at night because she can't shake off what happened to her, the girl who sits in a corner and thinks about how life would be in the future, the girl who has scars on her arms and legs from all the self harm she's been doing to herself, the girls who attempted suicide because it was all too much to take. This letter is for all of you who have someone in your life who's recovering from sexual abuse.

Not having the slightest idea of what these girls have gone through it is impossible for us as humans to imagine, understand or even consider how much psychical, emotional and psychological harm these girls undergo, to understand how they put one step in front of the other every day, to understand how they finally block everything out or how impossible it is to carry a child of the perpetrator.

It might be impossible for us to understand this, but is it really impossible to be there for them?

She might be your friend, your family or even someone you barely know but the fact that she has opened up to you or the fact that you are aware what happened to them opens you a door to help them or at least be there for them. This letter is for all those who believe that it is not important to lend a helping hand because its none of your business or it's not important to be there for them because it didn't happen to you and you don't know how it feels. See, the thing is you don't have to!

These girls have been through so much in their lives, most of them aware of what happened to them and some of those who have accepted and are trying to move on but almost everyone who does not have a social support system; a safety net to fall back to someone to hold them through thick and thin. And this is where you come in, you don't have to do major things to be there for them, but at least let them know you are there for them to talk to or to hold a hand when needed and that you are there to support their journey, or at least try to be a decent human being not discriminating and being inhumanly cruel to them. They have been through enough, they don't need more bitterness in their lives.

As humans and as social beings trying to build a better community these strong women are not to be left out. For they have been through hell on earth and are strong enough to accept what happened to them who are strong enough to know that life as they know it is over but still look forward to a better future, those who are strong enough to give life to another human being even though it reminds them of what happened to them every single minute of every single day. Those who are strong enough to plan their future through the tears she shed at night, those who are motivated and strong enough to believe that there is nothing stopping them from achieving their goals for herself and her child.

So be there for them for it is not a lot to ask from you, be there to support encourage and empower them. Be there to lend a hand in need to sit by her side when she needs someone to talk to or when she feels like she has nothing to do but kill herself. Be there for her so that she can get past what happened to her to accept and maybe move on, be there for her because you can be her support system for a girl who has no one to call her own.
Be there for her because she's another person just like you and me going through a tough time that we can't even imagine, be there for her as a friend, as her family. Be there for her so that we won't lose another valuable life through self harm and suicide. Be there for her so that we can make a better future for them, be there for her because alone we can do so little but together we can do so much.

Lets heal, empower and emerge as one community!

Keshani Perera