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.
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