Some of you fabulous readers may remember from this post, that I am a survivor of childhood sexual assault. It is something that has shaped my life in many ways, and thankfully, it has turned into an experience that I was able to take something positive from in the form of educating my children and empowering them with self protection knowledge and skills.
Even though it is an experience that I have come to terms with and no longer feel uncomfortable about discussing, the topic of childhood sexual assault in the wider community is still one of those things in the "don't go there" basket. It seems that for a lot of people, the thought of children being sexually assaulted is far to awful to even contemplate, let alone actually speaking about it... And I agree that childhood sexual assault is an awful, gut wrenching, unthinkable crime against children... But NOT speaking about it only gives power to the perpetrators and adds to the feelings of shame and guilt that so many survivors experience, even though it is not their fault, and they have nothing to be ashamed of.
A very good friend of mine, Megan from Imaginif, used to run a website called the Teddy Tour, where survivors could submit a tag anonymously that would be given to a Teddy who would wear it for the whole world to see. This website harnessed the voice of many, many survivors from all over the world and was as confronting as it was inspiring. Unfortunately, due to Megan's real world commitment to protecting children, she was unable to keep up with the online Teddy Tour and the website was closed down.
Last week, I received an email from a friend, who is just as crazy and just as passionate about ending the silence surrounding childhood sexual assault as I am... And I was thrilled to see that she has taken over the Teddy Tour!!! She has built a new website which looks absolutely fantastic, and started a new Tour as the previous content was lost when the old site was closed.
If you haven't already, please head on over to the Teddy Tour .com and support this fantastic project. Like Ali says,
"Yes, childhood sexual assault is an awful crime against children, but these stories are important and they deserve to be heard."