The following post appeared on social media on October 13, 2016. I have been given permission by writer to post it to my blog. It is powerful, from the heart and very important to read.
A Public Statement.
I would like to take a moment of your time to extend a thank you to The Dewey Gathering Planning Committee, this was my first year in attendance and I had solid reservations and frankly some anxiety on attending this event. I know this year was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions and some fire’s to put out for some. I know many may be confused or do not understand the reason for any separation of events and making statements of “It is all about the dogs” and “He has paid his dues”.
Taking the child attendance out of the equation for just one moment, we need to realize that before these events can be about the dogs, there is a requirement of the human interaction to “make it happen”. Those humans whether they have children, had children or have Grandchildren, all started off as children. What many may be overlooking to place into this equation is, what about the adults who attend who were once children and may be a victim/survivor of abuse? Whether it was Sexual, Mental or Physical.
It has taken me more than thirty years to have a voice and make any statement in public about my past as a child. Much of my family is still not aware of what happened to me as a child. For what felt like eternity, was in actuality many years of sexual abuse by a family member. Each year, 60,000+ children are victims of sexual abuse in the USA alone. These crimes can have a serious impact on the life and development of a child, and can continue to impact the survivor later in life. Which has clearly been the case for me, at 41, I am now able to understand the impact this played on my life and will continue to play a role in for the rest of my life.
So please, before you voice your distain about why you may disagree or choose to ostracize The Dewey Gathering Planning Committee please remember this, there are adults on this forum who are survivors of sexual abuse, be it vocal or not, it is all a personal choice. The Dewey Gathering Planning Committee would like to make their event safe for any children who may be in attendance, may it be just 1 or 100 but also for those of us still trying to navigate through life as a survivor.
At the end of the day we all make choices and many may continue to choose the other side, which is your choice and yours alone but please try and not forget those of us who may be struggling on a day to day basis because an adult took advantage of us as a child, and now we walk through life trying to feel as human and as whole as we possibly can. If he has paid his dues, done his time and the slate should be wiped clean, ask yourself this; what about us, the survivors? How does that help fix us? How do we get to wipe the slate clean and move on with life as a normal human being, we don’t get that option!! So if you still think this event should be “All about the dogs” remember this, think of the owners of those dogs who may be in attendance as they continue to struggle through live trying to be a survivor!
So I will reiterate this again, to The Dewey Gathering Planning Committee, thank you for making me feel safe and making me feel like my life as a survivor is valuable, honored and respected.