Today is National CSE awareness day, with organisations and social media being full on and very proactive showing their support on preventing and supporting those that are currently victims, potential victims and survivors of this horrid crime. I am thrilled that FINALLY this is a topic at the forefront of peoples agenda!!!!! (Government! It’s amazing how high profile stories can get peoples act together!)
I am proud to say that I am one if the many people actively involved in supporting the course, and work my socks off to deliver the message of feeling safe. I deliver all my work through the message of Protective Behaviours (PB’s), reinforcing the messages of ‘we all have the right to feel safe all the time’, and ‘we can talk with someone about anything even if it is awful or small.’
So why do I practice what I preach? Live and breathe PB’s, well…. I am a survivor! Like many that choose to go into this profession, that choose to fight for this cause. It has taken me just under half of my lifetime in years to understand and accept what happened with me, and it’s been probably one of the hardest things I have had to deal with, however when I was introduced to PB’s it was like finding God.
Today a lot of focus will be on ‘spotting the signs’ and the ‘behaviours’ of (potential) victims and perpetrators. However I think we also need to focus on the thoughts and feelings that coincide with these behaviours – of the (potential) victim (I hate that word!) and of the perpetrator. After all the education, and therapy a little voice still sometime says to me now, BUT I wonder if he did actually love you….just a little bit?……Errrm NO!! I am older and wiser now, so I can wobble my head, but I would be a liar to say that this chapter in my life still doesn’t haunt me. It has shaped who I am today, I am a wounded healer.
I didn’t even plan on writing this, I am still sitting in bed ( I got up at 6:30am) and I need to wake the kids for school and nursery! I don’t even know if this will get read, however I feel a little better for bleeding through the text a little.
What I’m saying is, I suppose I just want to get across that no matter how much we focus on today regarding behaviours, a massive focus needs to be on how we may feel and think during this process – especially the grooming. I knew something didn’t feel right because I had my Early Warning Signs and I ignored them out of my need to be loved and wanted – Prevention is better than cure.
I honestly believe that if we had National CSE awareness day before this time and the delivery of Protective Behaviours in school things may have been different for me, and for all those others that has been through CSE.