The Kony 2012 video proved one incredible thing: there’s power in exposure. When we expose the grandiose sin of the truly wicked, we crush the veneer power of evil and restore the power where it belongs; within free individuals—those ordained as free by their God. Lies cannot stand under the blowtorch of truth. But so often there’s collateral damage, and, in the case of victims of abuse, rare is it that there are easy ways back to the freedom which they deserve.
Predatory Adults And Victimised Children
The relevance of this principle, herein, is this: almost every adult reading this had an adult (or adults, plural), somewhere in their pasts, tell them when they were a child to ‘keep a little secret’. Some of those children, today’s adults, parents and grandparents, were asked to keep an atrocious secret—they were at the foot of ‘secret’ abuse.
One of the ploys that adult predators of children use is guilt and shame—to perpetrate an act with a child and get the child to own responsibility to the act or part of it. The predatory adult then hooks onto the act and the child’s acknowledged link with it—that they were ‘part’ of it—and manipulates the child, thereby, to ‘keep the secret’. The child becomes trapped through fear and it’s no fault of their own. Trust has also become victimised.
The power game is complete when the child must trust the sick adult, because, after all, the adult is keeping the child from being exposed when they, too, ‘keep the secret’. The key fear is exposure. These power games, therefore, continue on in secret.
Any child who’s asked by an adult to keep a ‘little secret’, however small, is being abused. And any adult perpetrating such an act is abusing a child. We should never underestimate the negative power of lies.
And let’s get another thing straight; it’s not just adults who are predators. Older children may be just as lethal in manipulating younger children. And adults abuse adults too. Anywhere a power differential exists there is the potential for abuse.
Exposing Secrets For What They Are
Somehow we must debunk the secret. Sure, there’ll be the knockers and doubters; those sceptics that think most victims cry ‘wolf’. On the other side of the ledger, there are the people who are manipulated into claims that they’re abusing when there’s been no such intent. But as long as children and the vulnerable are concerned, they must be listened to, and what they say must be respected. We must respond to their fear.
We must alert our children and grandchildren to the presence of adults that might manipulate them or others they see. It’s a stranger danger lesson, but one with a twist; most people who would abuse a child’s trust are known to them; many are close to the family or even in the family. That lattermost reality is saddest.
We must teach children, early on, that adults encouraging them to lie should be exposed, no matter what ‘secrets’ could be involved. That by courageously exposing such things they’d be believed. The safety of the vulnerable is uppermost.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.