By Janelle Hamilton
December 12, 2006
Abuse lives and thrives in every town and every city in the United States of America and around the world. Child sexual and physical abuse is not unique to Hydaburg. When I left Hydaburg in 1983, I moved to Sitka. Trying to deal with the abuse in my background, I begin to attend counseling. Wow, talk about eye opening. Denial is a special evil, we are not taught how to see it, deal with it or confront it. It took a lot counseling to understand why no one protected me, no one talked about it and no one reported it. To this day, the denial still has it's grip on my family. I am the only one naming names and reporting abuse! It takes a lot courage to do that and like Frances C. Natkong I wish people would begin to protect the children if they know abuse is occurring. The hard part, the scary part is, it is usually within our own family or close friends. We usually don't want to acknowledge that or confront the person who is doing the abuse. One year I participated in a training that the WISH program put on in Klawock. A person who knew my background, asked me to do a presentation about physical and child sexual abuse. I did the presentation hoping to show the workers who were attending how to work with children who were abused. I ended with a personal story about the physical and sexual abuse I suffered as a child. A worker approached me after I finished my presentation stating that she did not know children could remember incidents from early childhood. Take note folks, children do not forget!! I believe that adults who have harmed children hope or believe that children forget. Ok, GREAT, to read a letter on SitNews about child sexual and physical abuse is encouraging, someone is talking about behavior that we hide behind closed doors. Today there is so much information about all types of abuse. You can browse the net or call a local shelter for information or go to the library. Encourage others to become informed. Volunteer at your local shelter. Today the epidemic of child sexual and physical abuse is alive and prospering. Now predators have access to children by the net. All right, one last thought. It takes great courage to stand up and confront or report an abuser. Just think, children cannot speak for themselves or protect themselves against an adult. I can better deal with an adult than a child, think about that. Psst, children never forget!
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