I can't remember when last I read a book that had such a profound effect on me. That has had me going down on my knees to thank God and my parents for the secure and loving home I grew up in, and praying to God that my daughters are thankful for the same reasons. I have read many books about child abuse but somehow, this one, made it so real. I cannot for the life of me imagine how the author of this book managed to pick up the pieces and eventually find happiness with a loving husband and children of her own. Jenny Crwys-Williams called it "an eloquent and courageous book" and that it is without a shadow of a doubt.
It tells the story of a little girl who is sexually abused by her step-father, a little girl too afraid to tell anyone of the horrific acts she was subjected to time and time again. The story of a young man who grew up making a conscious decision never to marry or have children of his own, in case the dreadful "disease" his father had, might be hereditary. The story of loss and trauma. The story of victory and triumph – overcoming the horrors of an abnormal relationship.
It's a frightening fact, that there is so much of this going on around us. So much of it that we don't see or know about, and yet it is a very real and frightening fact of life. The fear of not being able to confide in anyone, and the ability for those we do, to go into denial and not be the support that was hoped for. I worry about the fact that these abusers, who society says, have human rights, are quick to rob the innocent of their human rights, and yet they are able to face their day without a care in the world, knowing full well that their "secret" is safe, through fear.
I take my hat off to Elbie Lótter for her bravery in sharing this story. As parents, as friends, as family members perhaps we should keep our eyes open and be aware of the signs that might indicate a problem. Let's protect our children from the horror of abuse and teach them that it's okay to say '"NO" and it's their right to protect themselves.
I leave you with an excerpt from this incredible story: "To everyone who knows about it, who knows how it feels, I want to say: I wish you strength. I keep you all in my prayers every day."