A parent abuses a child, yet that same parent is also responsible for feeding and sheltering the child. Fear of retribution deftly silences the child. No adults are seen as safe.
Condemnation and punishment await an unruly and antisocial boy, who has no words to describe his chaotic emotional world or the abuse he is experiencing. Opportunities for disclosure are lost.
A teenage girl internalises her shame, silenced by the myth of the perfect family. No one would believe what happens in her family. The self-inflicted slashes on her thighs scream her pain, but no one hears.
The young woman sexually assaulted at work doesn’t complain. She believes she’ll lose her job. Her workmates don’t understand why she no longer joins them for Friday night drinks. They mistake her withdrawal for snobbiness and stop inviting her. The #MeToo campaign hasn’t changed her world yet.
A separated parent, hearing that the Family Law Court sometimes view a complaint of child abuse against the other parent as vexatious, remains silent. They long to see their child.
A victim of institutional abuse does not have the education, power, money, or skills to fight a monolithic organisation. Those with power and money use delaying tactics to maintain silence, perhaps like Lucky Cardinal Pell.
We seal our lips
A psychologist writing the biography of a Forgotten Australian is advised by pillars of society not to publish. Although hopeful we are only silenced temporarily, I dread that it will be forever. I swear and rant against this suppression, yet they assure me silence is in the best interests of the victim.
My friend. who I will now call Ms Fogotten Australian, is both despondent and infuriated. Once again her voice is silenced…….. Oh and we can’t tell you why, so please don’t ask.
Are you silenced? Let me know how, either in the comments below or on the Notforgotten facebook page.
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