People silently live with abuse every day, because it is not openly discussed.
Often, it is treated as a private or even taboo subject.
In the Chronicle office, more than a few of the employees have survived some form of abuse, but even during the creation of this edition, we haven’t discussed the specifics of our situations.
Abuse is not a private affair. It is not something that can be left to the past. Even when we move beyond it, even after the wounds heal, it still had a hand in shaping who we are. It is still there with us.
In many ways, it is difficult to say what is and isn’t abuse. It was earlier this year that the federal government recognized the possibility of male rape. Spousal rape wasn’t a crime in the U.S. until the late 1990’s and in 30 states it is still considered a lesser crime.
It was in 2010 that New Mexico included psychological and emotional abuse under the definition of child abuse. It must come down to what a person is or is not comfortable with, and everyone else must be willing to accept that a person feels abused regardless of the legal definitions.
Perhaps it is cliché to say that someone living through abuse should tell someone – anyone, perhaps it is cliché too to say that it is the responsibility of every member of the CNM community to be there for someone in need, but it is the truth nevertheless.
When everyone is silent about abuse, abusers win — even after the abuse has stopped.