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Recently, I read a couple books by Rachel Thompson. She’s an amazing author that unfortunately went through something very tragic as a child. She was sexually abused by a neighbor. The two books I read are Broken Pieces and Broken Places.

In these books she talks about her experience, along with other experiences, in great detail. It’s hard to read sometimes. I was crying through most of it. I didn’t relate to the child abuse she went through on a personal level, but I did relate to it because my four-year-old niece was abused by my sister’s ex-husband.

As a long of abusers say, Rachel’s told her, “Don’t tell or I’ll kill your family.” Or, at least, it was something to that extent.

I think a lot of people become afraid to say something when we hear that threat. I know I would be. I wouldn’t want my family to be killed because I told someone. So, a lot of people keep it bottled up inside.

I think a lot of the reason my niece didn’t keep it bottled up is because she’s so young. She’s never afraid to talk about things how she sees them. It has a lasting effect on her, though, and I will never be able to forget that.

The fact is, keeping it bottled up destroys you. Yes, you’re scared. Yes, you’re trying to keep your family safe. But what about yourself? You’re damaging yourself.

You have to be brave. Be strong. If you tell, you can get the abuser caught, and get the help you need. The abuser can’t hurt you or anyone else if he or she is caught.

Be strong. Be brave. You can do this. I have faith in you.

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