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Seventeen

I must be the only person in America who is not shocked by the stories coming from Penn State this week.  Here’s why:

One in four.  One in six.

In the U.S., one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused, assaulted, or raped before their eighteenth birthday.

And these numbers are low because (another shocker) the crimes are underreported.

Stop reading this, walk out your front door, and count the number of children who live on your block.  Or consider the number of kids in your child’s class.  Then do the math.

Better yet, think about your family.

Then do the math.

Neither economic class nor race will save you from the implications.  These numbers hold true regardless of how much money you make or which box you check on the census form.

Many of you know this already.  In one way or another, you have lived it.

But that is something no one talks about.

Survivors and their families are silenced by the discomfort that their reality causes others.

This truth is ugly and more than inconvenient.

Once you know it, once you decide to know it, you will never again look at your world in the same way.

The truth destroys any concept of a clean reality.

There is no clean reality.

One in four.  One in six.

Those numbers are not shocking.

But that we speak of them so little, allowing others to dismiss the truth of them, that is shocking.

For more information go to The National Center for Victims of Crime

©12 Nov. 2011  Isabella Darling.  All rights reserved.

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