Breaking the Silence

I recently read this blog entry in Chicago Moms Club. It hit a nerve within me and I just felt so compelled to share this with you. Especially all of you mothers who have lovely little girls who will one day set out into the world on their own. Sadly, it's not such a bright and friendly world out there anymore.

Rape is never a topic that people are willing to openly discuss. Just the thought of it stirs up feelings of fear, shame, rage. So in the end, we all would rather keep mum about it. But it's a sad, unfortunate reality that is lurking out there. And we must remember that out there is where your precious girls will one day be in. Instead of being in denial, for the sake of your girls, you must be actively aware of these dangers. And they themselves have to be aware.

It's a prickly topic, but I urge you to read on. It's an insightful entry written by a mother who herself has been through it and is now fighting to stay strong:


"I stood in my kitchen this morning, grilling cheese sandwiches. We have entered the demographic of Looking At Colleges. Earlier in the week, there was a story about guns on campus. I have yet to find a database where I can select a Gun Free school. Guess we'll have to look at schools abroad, in countries that don't have gun cultures. Or conceal carry laws. If someone's packing, I want to know.

Then a story came on the radio that stated one in five girls is raped at college.

Of all the glossy brochures we get in the mail and the flood of emails, not one mentioned that Oh by the Way, we will keep your daughter safe. I didn't think to ask.

And as they begin to describe the way that campuses handle rapes, I began to cry into the grilled cheese.

Because many many years ago, I was raped. By men, boys really, that I knew, sort of. And there was alcohol involved. And it took me over a decade to tell anyone, because back then, everyone would know it was my fault. And no one would have helped me--rape victims tend to be victimized all over again in the prosecution of the perpetrators. I blocked it out and kept going. And I became very, very careful.

All these years later, I still bear the scars of surviving that assault. It never goes away, and you learn to live with it. I don't talk about it, and I have not made it one of my regular causes because to do so would bring back the shame, and my own sense of failure. I stay silent because I don't really have the words.

And I thought it would go away. And I certainly thought it was something my girls would never have to deal with.

But today I am an enraged mother tiger that the world has not changed for my daughters. This is something they have a one in five chance of having to deal with. Not if I can help it."

To read the rest of the article, go here.

What do you think? For you, when is the right age to be discussing topics like this with your daughter? What measures do you take to ensure your children's safety? Do you think there is not enough awareness about such crimes?


Image from