“No More” is the title of the speech given by Gayle D’Ambrosio Crabtree from on steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The rally was organized by FACSA in support of child victims of sexual assault.
A transcript of her invocation is available here.
FACSA Rally Speaking Out Against Child Sexual Assault
From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC
November 14, 2009
Gayle D’Ambrosio Crabtree
Hope for Healing.Org
It is time for the silence surrounding child sexual assault to be shattered, not broken. If the Unite States, as a nation is a body of people then the Lincoln Memorial is the conscience of the nation. Today we gather so that the conscience of the nation can declare its freedom from child sexual assault.
I challenge beginning today in the midst of our nation’s capitol to say “”no more”” loud enough to be heard from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, to the view of Capitol Hill and Beyond. I challenge you to join with me in chanting “”no more””.
“No more” … child sexual assault.
It is time for child sexual assault to end. We gather at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to declare our freedom from child sexual assault. We declare healing can be found for all child victims.
What do we have to do?
If we know a child victim it is time to pick up the phone and call our state hotline. We need to not be afraid. We know we can report anonymously. There are protections in place. We need to reach out for those protections. We need to report. We need to protect our children. We need to protect our neighbors’ children and we need to do this for the benefit of our communities.
There are programs in place where we can go online and search out for the locations of sexual predators. There are websites online where we can find the information and be wary. How many in this crowd regularly visit their state sexual predator websites to look up the information? Learning where sexual predators live is the first step in protecting our children.
Resources are available on www.thehopeblog.org to help you look up the location of child sexual predators. These are free searches. We must be knowledgeable. The child you may be protecting by knowing the location of predators may be your own. Or, it may belong to your friend or family member.
The statistics are not pretty. We are told that 1:3 women worldwide will be a victim of abuse in her lifetime. “no more” should women have to suffer. Many of those women will be victimized as a child. At one time every woman was a child who was innocent and beautiful and had gifts and graces. Child sexual assault can rob even the strongest person of her gifts and graces. It is a robbery that can take a lifetime to overcome.
Sexual abuse victims are not confined to girls. Prevent Abuse.org tells us that 1:6 boys will be sexually abused. How many times have we heard headlines about a teacher who has slept with younger students? Many of these headlines depict a female teacher with a male student. We must recognize and condemn this behavior as child sexual assault. It is time to say “no more”.
“no more” can we turn a blind eye to the family who lives next to us. If we suspect domestic violence involving a child we must take action and call the police. When it comes to abuse and our neighbors their problems may become our problems. We cannot ignore the cries of the weakest in our community. We must take action and report acts of child abuse that we suspect or witness according to the local laws in each state and community.
As a people, we must say “no more” to an inefficient or broken system that allows the protection of abusers. In no area of abuse is this outcry more necessary than in the area of child sexual assault. We must work with our local officials to ensure the strictest sentencing, the toughest penalties and to work to ensure the funding to strengthen our jails to keep society safe. The abuse of one child, the disappearance of one child is one child too many.
For many undetected child victims of sexual assault schools provide a refuge and escape from abusers. As parents, it is time to say “”no more”” to schools that offer substandard education. It is time to say “”no more”” to social promotions or schools that allow bullying. We must stand beside our children to ensure that they have access to safe schools and quality education. We must work with our local schools, districts and boards of education to provide needed funds to ensure the education, health, safety and well being of all students.
Abuse is underreported. We never know which children are victims of child sexual assault and which are not. Many more cases are not reported that there are reported. Sadly, tragically, even when a child victim of sexual assault comes forward, there is no guarantee that the child will be believed. It is time to say “”no more”” through education and opportunities for all children.
It is time to bury issues that keep us divided as a nation. There is no room in our children’s lives for racism, sexism, health care debates or economic disparity. It is time for us to come together as a nation and say “”no more”” to any barrier that keeps any child from being able to achieve to their highest potential.
The silence that surrounds child victims of sexual assault is deafening. It is drowning out the cries of the abused. Children often have no voice until adulthood. It is time to say “”no more”” silence to these victims. We must encourage them to come forward and give them the support they need to heal. Until child victims of sexual assault find their voices we, as a nation, must be intentional in providing supportive resources for all children. Our children and child victims of sexual assault deserve no less.
Click this link for more about Gayle D’Ambrosio Crabtree. Photos from the rally can be found on the Hope for Healing.Org Facebook Fan page.