by Jack Sinclair
I’m having a rough time thinking about Tina and Stephanie and what they must have had to go through when they went back to the reserve. I feel sympathy and sadness, but even more than that I’m angry with the pervert who did this to them. I think that sexual abuse is one of the lowest forms of human behaviour. Abusing your power, size and strength over someone who doesn’t even understand what’s going on and is powerless to stop it makes me sick.
Canadian statistics indicate that 53 percent of all adult women and 31 percent of all adult men were sexually abused as children. That means over half of all Canadian women have been sexually abused at some point in their lives. I find those statistics particularly disturbing especially when you consider that in most cases it was a family member who was the abuser. And many of them grow up with severe psychological problems, alone and ashamed keeping a secret that’s sometimes too painful to share. What’s also scary is that the psychological effects are often even greater if the abuser is a member of the family, and especially if somebody else in the family knew about it and didn’t do anything.
I don’t know if Tina’s grandmother ever knew what was going on or not. The only person who can really answer that question is her grandmother. Although she denies it, I have to wonder if she knew and was too afraid to do anything about it or if she’s simply been living in denial for the past 11 years.
If you or somebody close to you is experiencing any sort of abuse, sexual or otherwise, please get help. Help can be found through places like:
- The Police
- The Hospital
- Mental Health Centre
- Sexual Assault Centre
- Child Welfare Agency
- The Kids Help Phone
Also, don’t just stop at one person. Talk to as many people as you need to in order to get the help you need. You deserve to live free from abuse, so don’t settle for anything less.