The abused should seek help

Johann Kikillus, Soteria Ministries, Ocean View

Recently the issue of violence against women has been a lot on our front pages.

For many years, Soteria Ministries has been assisting victims (and perpetrators) of violence, especially women and children.

It is a complicated matter that cannot be stopped through a handful of new laws. Adding more police to our streets won’t do much either.

Besides the fact that many men need to change their attitudes towards women and quite simply stop their abusive actions, there is another problem that I have noted.

It is very difficult to control what happens to us outside of our homes. We can put precautions in place to ensure that we are safe. However, it is what happens inside our homes that is proving to be the greater problem.

I have lost count of the number of females who have been sexually abused by their mothers’ boyfriends or step fathers. One of the saddest things for me is that most of these young women became victims at a very vulnerable age, often between 10 and 15 years old.

The first injustice was when they were abused. The second injustice was when they told their mothers who promptly told them to stop making up stories.

This haunts the victim for years, even decades. And sadly this is more common than we like to admit.

Many women have told me about how they were beaten when they raised the issue or even chased out of the house.

It is a very lonely place for any person to be in when those that are supposed to protect them became just as bad as the abuser.

While we cannot control what happens on the streets, we most certainly can ensure that the people that we let into our homes do not abuse our children.

A child’s safety should always take preference over a relationship with a new boyfriend. It is little wonder then that sexual abuse is known as the “silent crime” when so many young girls are discouraged from taking action against their perpetrators.

I want to encourage every victim of sexual abuse to go and speak to someone today.