This week another celebrity revealed that she was sexually abused as a child. Pamela Anderson made this disclosure at the Cannes Film Festival while speaking at the launch of her new conservation foundation http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2014/05/pamela-anderson.... For many survivors of childhood sexual abuse her disclosure raises very personal, emotionally-laden questions about whether or not to tell anyone about what happened to them; about how to tell; about when to tell; and about to whom. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in THE BOOK OF FORGIVING co-authored with his daughter Mpho, writes that “…when we lock our stories inside us, the initial injury is often compounded. If I tuck my secrets and my stories away in shame or fear or silence, then I am bound by my victimhood and my trauma…when we name the hurt, just as when we tell the story, we are in the process of reclaiming our dignity and building something new from the wreckage of what was lost.”
The theme of telling as part of recovery from sexual assault and child sexual abuse is evident in the titles of many memoirs, such as : TELLING by Patricia Weaver Francisco; AFTER SILENCE, by Nancy Venable Rain; HUSH: MOVING FROM SILENCE TO HEALING AFTER CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ASSAULT by Nicole Braddock Bromley; SAY IT OUT LOUD by Roberta Dolan, and my own memoir, NEVER TELL: A TRUE STORY OF OVERCOMING A TERRIFYING CHILDHOOD. Children who are being molested are requently told by their perpetrators - as I was - that they must never tell, and yet telling is an important part of the healing process. For this reason even Jessie, a nine-year-old survivor of sexual abuse, wrote a book specifically for children, entitled PLEASE TELL!