I was a litigator for over 20 years.  I am, also, an abuse survivor.  For me, the two experiences have been inextricably entwined.

A child who is sexually abused is taught by the most graphic means that she is of no worth and her protestations pointless.  In the process, that child’s voice is lost.

Even silenced, however, she cannot understand why her shame and distress are not obvious to the adults around her who might intervene.  Every fiber of her being cries out.  Her only conclusion is that those adults must value the predator’s version of events over her own.

This applies though there has been no adjudication, no disclosure at all.  Emotionally speaking, the child stands at the bar unequal to her assailant, unrepresented, and unheard.  Ultimately deprived of a voice, since speech would be futile.


Copyright © 2001-2022 Anna Waldherr.  All rights reserved.

21 responses to “Speechless

  1. Many of my homeless friends are victims of abuse and molestation as children. Your posts are of great benefit to those who have suffered and are still suffering.
    Blessings. ~ Dennis

  2. Two things here, a serious one Do you think the laws in the U.S punish the abuser as they should or should they be more jail time for these animals.
    Second, you´re a lawyer! Forgot about that, when I was a kid I wanted to be a lawyer after reading a book from John Grisham. And unfortunately I think I might need one for next year, you still up for the job? Would be pro bono though.

    • You’re a good man, Charly. I’d be there in a New York minute. But, unfortunately, I no longer practice. 😦 As to the sentences for abusers, the bigger problem is finding and prosecuting them. Online that can be difficult. The identities of child pornographers and pornography users may be masked electronically. Sex trafficking is a tragic reality, worldwide. In rural Thailand, for instance, children are promised well-paying jobs, separated from their families, then forced into prostitution. Often, victims are afraid or ashamed to come forward. It’s an uphill battle. Even one life though is worth the effort.

  3. My Dear Anna, Maybe I am fortunate that I have not been sexually abused. But I feel that ‘Life’ has Raped me!

    My Father was perhaps an Overly Strict man, but a Very Loving one. I will attest to that. Then it is perhaps my Religious views that make me a kind of ‘Lone Ranger,’ where the evil minded are Strong, Well Entrenched, and are Enjoying Life. My Battles with them leave me Tired, Weak, and Low.

    Yet I Battle On, only, taking more ‘Time-Out’s’ these days!

    Just shows that the maladay can have more sources. And also perhaps to show that like You, I too go On in spite of things.

    And Glad to see Dennis Cardiff on the page! He is a Soldier, for Sure!

    Hearty Regards and Love.

    • Dear Swami,

      My heart goes out to you. I understand why you would make the connection. There are many forms of evil, abuse being only one. It can be deeply discouraging to fight evil, especially when we feel alone. David, himself, wrote in Psalm 140 “Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men…”

      It takes greater faith to continue in the face of defeat, than to celebrate easy victory. Jesus said about this: ” ‘Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…'” (Matt. 5:11-12).

      We cannot know the full impact of our efforts, Swami. I, however, think of you as a light. Are you aware that the light from a single candle can be seen 15-30 miles away? The very fact that you are out there is an encouragement to me — so your light has already spanned the globe.


      Your friend A. ❤

      • My DEAR Anna, Thanks for reminding me of the Well known words of Our Lord about our being the Light and the Salt of the Earth.

        More than all that, Your words at the end: ” The very fact that you are out there is an encouragement to me” is something that Lifts me Up, and that I am going to Treasure.

        I know You are a Soldier too. Carry on, my Friend, am Inspired by YOU, too!

        Love and Regards.

  4. Light Ministry Blog

    A very good post, Anna. I’m sure you have seen many more cases of abuse in various states. May the Lord bless and help them, everyone, and those like yourself who look to help them…


  5. Congrats on this beautiful, therapeutic and helpful blog. So glad you undertake so much against child abuse. I hope this poem will also speak to you and to any abused person: https://momentsbloc.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/power-abuse/

  6. It is very quickly evident to me what a gifted writer you are, and what an inspirational person. Thank you, truly, for sharing these truths, and for gifting us with your perspective. ❤️ – Jennifer

  7. I appreciate your blog. It raises lots of awareness and offers healing to those who need it. God Bless.

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