My family has been plagued with sexual abuse – all at the hands of other family members. Women in my family hung their heads in shame. My mother refused to drive my sister to a facility for counseling and support because she was afraid someone in our small town would see them. She also instructed me and my sister to never speak of what happened. She stayed with the man that abused my sister and I discovered later in life that she, too, had been sexually abused by an uncle as a child. Then I discovered an aunt of mine had also been sexually assaulted by a family member and that several others in my family had similar experiences. It’s as if the women of my family accepted this horrible act as ‘normal’. I also have two close friends that were sexually abused by their stepfathers – both of which told their mothers and their mothers refused to prosecute the husbands because they felt ashamed and didn’t want anyone to know. Of all the people I know that have been sexually abused NONE of them ‘outed’ the abuser. None of the abusers were prosecuted. Instead, all the women were silenced by shame. We need to stand together to end the abuse and put the shame where it belongs – with the abusers not the victims.!