A woman made a declaration recently. She wrote a book exposing something that shook the Catholics here in Singapore- Ms. Jane Leigh claimed that she was abused sexually by two Catholic priests when she was young. She is now 36 years old. The Archdiocese of Singapore is looking into this and encouraged Ms. Leigh to file a police report.
Sexual abuse is widespread. It is not new but it is an issue that should be dealt with proper care. Opening past wounds is not easy but it is the necessary part of letting go and moving on. Survivors of sexual abuse experience assortment of intense feelings like anger, fear, shame and guilt.
It is important that they get away from these feelings so they can move on. Usually, the survivors never discuss the abuse to other people because of lack of trust or shame. You can do something to lessen the burden of survivors. You can begin with:
It is hard to talk about it but if the survivor knows that you are ready to listen and understand, they will trust you with their experiences. You don’t need to comment or something, just listen because it can make a big difference at the end of the day.
You should suggest counselling. There are many experts that will deal with the situation systematically.
Join support group
It is important for survivors to identify into a group. Survivors need to know that they are not alone in that battle. They should hear other stories and how successful they are now. This is to inspire other survivors.
No one deserves abuse. It should be prevented. The law is very strict about protecting children, women and other vulnerable groups against sexual, verbal and physical abuse. You should gather strength when you experience this.