This blog will make far more sense after you watch this music video. (This is a side project of mine and is not an official Love146 video but it touches on some of the things we deal with as an organization. If you are a survivor of any form of abuse or exploitation this is especially for you.)
I remember the first time I heard the lie. My friend’s parents got divorced when he was in elementary school. He figured it was his fault. Tragically, I have heard that same false notion of self-blame far too many times since then. Here are a few examples:
When Joanne was 7, a baby sitter molested her.
She assumed it was her fault.
Erin was date raped at age 13 by an older boy.
She thought she deserved it.
Throughout John’s childhood, his father took out his frustrations on him through regular beatings.
He too felt that it was his fault.
Kristi blamed herself for the physical and verbal abuse
she suffered from her high school boyfriend.
Staci thought it was her fault for being trafficked and forced
into commercial sexual exploitation at age 16.
After being abducted at age 11 and forced to kill innocent people,
Abejide told me that he struggled with the memories and
overwhelming guilt from being a child soldier.
(The names used above are pseudonyms)
Although I am a Co-Founder and US Prevention Director for Love146 – an organization working to end child sex slavery and exploitation – I long for survivors of every kind to be successful in the restoration process. Unfortunately, one of the greatest challenges we survivors face is the lie of self-blame. But overcoming it is possible!
If you are a survivor I made this for you. And I made it for those who are still being abused or exploited. (If you have information about suspected abuse or exploitation you can find ways to report it at www.itsnotmyfault.org.)
The most common phrase I am hearing from survivors who have watched this video is, “I wish I saw this when I was young.” If you would like to join me in empowering young victims to find help and survivors to overcome the lie of self-blame, please send these links to your contacts/networks (especially to young people.) http://bit.ly/9n8AQK and www.itsnotmyfault.org