Beyond Silence Voices of Childhood Sexual Abuse, is a collection of writings, poems and images by fourteen courageous Island women in a labor of love for the children they were and for today's Island children.
Beyond Silence is a response to the knowledge that many Island children today are frightened in their own homes or in other familiar environments by people they trust the most. Mothers are wracked with anxiety living in situations of abuse and dominance. Sadly, some fathers, caregivers, uncles, boyfriends, are sexually abusing a child. This of all the abuses, remains the most difficult to talk about and therefore to prevent.
In these deeply personal accounts, fourteen women tell about the abuse they lived with as children, the profound effect it has had on their lives, and how their wisdom can empower others to join in the effort to stop it."I'm telling my story so that you can learn something new about what to do, how to become engaged in preventing child sexual abuse. I did not write this to tell only the dark, I'm telling so that there can be light." Melissa Good, author of Beyond Silence. Another author, Colleen MacQuarrie says, "We wanted to present a new perspective, by focusing on prevention through the inherent wisdom of survivors. Survivors know what is needed."
People who love children, and work with children, struggle with what to do when a situation seems suspicious or worse, have knowledge that a child is being sexually abused. Islanders know all too well sexual abuse is happening, but do they know what to do about it? Do they feel they have a role to play in stopping it? Knowing this, a prevention chapter, was written by the group as a whole, focuses on five key areas that need to be addressed in order to end childhood sexual abuse. Each area has a common theme directed to those who are closest to or work with children. Whether you are a parent, care-giver, relative, family friend, or teacher, doctor, nurse or coach, all who read Beyond Silence can become better equipped to collectively protect children.
Beyond Silence takes a fresh approach to the ongoing work of preventing childhood
sexual abuse by focusing on the knowledge and wisdom of adult survivors, and has the potential to dramatically change the ways communities respond to childhood sexual abuse. The stories are raw and real, honest and terrifying and they are inarguable examples of what adults can do differently to protect children. "There are loyalties that are hard to deal with when facing child sexual abuse, I believe our stories can assist you find your way through that with the best interests of children front and center." Annie Nielsen, Beyond Silence author. The women dig into the darkness of the past so that others may see the light. They refuse to be silenced and they’re determined to make a difference.
Beyond Silence is a volunteer effort by the authors and SAGE board members. To assist in publication costs, the book is being be pre-sold by direct order from SAGE.
To order your copy or copies of Beyond Silence, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a order form.
All pre-ordered copies are $20 and 100% of cost will go towards publication.
Beyond Silence: Voices of Childhood Sexual Abuse is being published by ACORN press in collaboration with SAGE and will be available in bookstores June 2009. An official book launch, and celebration of the authors, is planned for early November, 2009.
To read quotes from these women/writers click on any of the following images to view their quote.