So, I met this beautiful woman, Delores.
You know she is the only person I have ever come across who hates trees.
Who hates trees?
Well to her, trees represent pain.
When she was a little girl if she did something wrong there was a penalty. She had to go out into the yard and pull off a skinny branch from one of the trees in the yard. Then take that skinny branch to one of her parents.
They would then beat or spank her with that skinny branch.
Delores had parents who loved her, educated her, taught her great values, and fully nurtured her.
But while they were giving her all of this. Someone was doing great harm to Delores. Delores was raped by a faith leader for most of her childhood.
No. She never told her parents.
In fact, they both died not knowing the truth.
Delores shared with me that she was always terrified to share the truth with her parents. She was afraid that they would send her out into the yard to choose a skinny branch for not telling them earlier.
She was afraid that they would send her into the yard to choose a skinny branch for having sex with the faith leader. In other words, they would blame her for the abuse.
She was afraid that they would be angry. They were always angry, in a state of rage, whenever they were beating her with skinny branches.
So, it was a strange mystery to them why the beautiful daughter that they nurtured ended up the way that she did.
Delores married not one, but two men who were extremely emotionally and physically abusive towards her. And since they isolated her from her family, she barely saw her parents. Delores’ children barely knew their grandparents.
This was not the life they envisioned for their daughter.
Her parents just couldn’t figure it out. How could this be? Delores wasn’t raised in a home where her parents fought or even yelled in front of the children.
It broke their hearts that in their last years, they barely saw her.
But when I met Delores she was filled with shame and pain.
Her entire life, anytime that she was non-compliant she was beaten.
She was afraid to speak her truth.
She was afraid to make mistakes.
As an advocate, I have served many like Delores. I had to weigh in on this spanking debate.
I am a mother. Yes, I popped my child when he was very young on rare occasions to keep him from doing dangerous life threatening acts.
But, I am against spanking beyond that for many reasons.
One, I know that it can put up a huge obstacle to children talking to their parents if they about child rape/sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse can potentially ruin a person’s life.
As parent’s we must make sure that our children always feel comfortable coming to us with their most sensitive concerns. That is the priority. There are many effective ways to discipline children.
Childhood comes around one just time. Handle it with care.
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“We’ve been there, experienced that. Trauma, Pain, Abuse & Rape. These are the lessons that we brought back.”
–Tonya GJ Prince has been a leading subject matter expert (SME) in domestic violence and sexual violence.
For over 25 years she has helped people heal, prevent, and overcome domestic and sexual violence.
In order to accomplish this mission, she founded several diverse & inclusive platforms designed to allow Survivors to use their own voices including;
WESurviveAbuse.com, SurvivorAffirmations.com, & BraidtheLadder.org.
Tonya is an author, activist, advocate, Survivor, speaker, counselor, & mentor.
B.S. Organizational Management & Development/Bluefield College
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