Nicholas Kristof has done admirable work in talking about sexual violence occurring all over the world. In this column he talks about silence being an enabler of sexual violence, and urges all to speak out about it.
I was sexually abused by older boys in my neighborhood at age 5, and it has severely damaged my life. I recognize it is up to me to make healthy changes... but I ache for children given such a poor start in life, and hope that together we can make changes. I remember I was horrified at one time to discover that every woman I talked to about sexual violence had either been raped or molested. And I particularly want to remember and honor Joanne Hankamer, who was a friend and coven mate of mine. She endured sexual abuse from her father from the time she was 5 or so. Despite that, she grew into a beautiful young woman with a great, loving soul. She was taken from us when she was 21 by a man who beat her to death in another act of sexual violence. Joanne, sweet heart, I remember you well.
Here is my witness, Mr. Kristof. Thank you for your efforts.