Welcome to Speak4Change. That is what I do. I speak about my childhood, being a survivor of child sexual abuse from the age of 4 years old. My name is Svava Brooks and I am born and raised in Iceland. I now live in California with my husband and 3 kids. It is a long story how I got to this place and I will tie the story into my posts over the next few weeks and months.
Change is what happens when people realize that they can talk about the issue of child sexual abuse and still feel like they can do something about it. My goal here is to be an example of how and when to talk about the issue of child sexual abuse and how we can prevent it. My main message is always prevention.
Child sexual abuse prevention starts by accepting responsibility for what you can do in your family and community to prevent this from happening. Each one of us has tremendous power that can influence the lives and well being of so many people!
I chose to stop the cycle of violence in my family by speaking up. It changed my life! Once I started talking about my abuse, I started to heal. If I can do it, so can you. I believe in you! It is a long hard process to heal from child sexual abuse but it can be done. On this site you will find information about child sexual abuse prevention, what you can do to become educated about this issue, some of the facts about child sexual abuse and how you can talk about child sexual abuse and where you can go for help.
Why do we resist talking about it?
Probably because we are talking about sex and then abuse. Again and again I hear from people saying that they don’t know how to talk about it. It makes them feel uncomfortable, scared and even angry. I have a great deal of compassion for people when it comes to this topic. I have watched family, friends and strangers stand in confusion, and discomfort when I start speaking openly about my childhood. I do understand! They are having a normal human reaction to something that is uncomfortable, scary and sad.
What we humans do when we are put in a place of not knowing what to do, we get upset. We get angry, frustrated, scared and threatened or defensive. The first thing to do is to simply understand what is happening; you are having a normal human reaction. Then to realize it is OK, to feel this way. The third thing is to look up the facts and get educated anyway. We can not fix a problem if we do not understand how it happens or why it happens?
The good news is that there is so much we can do to prevent child sexual abuse. And much of it is really just common sense. It is just new to us, that is all! It takes a commitment, like anything new we take on or want to change, we have to commit to a new way of being or seeing things, ask the right questions, get out of our comfort zone and choose to be brave for the sake of all children.
Please share with me if you know about a book or a web site that has helped you. Working together we can all make a difference. Thank you for visiting this site!
I enthusiastically recommend Svava Brooks as a speaker on the topic of child sexual abuse. Her professionalism, compassion, sensitivity, and expertise make her one of the most dynamic and compelling speakers I have ever worked with. I am confident that Svava will be an asset to any training venue as an expert, and as a survivor, on this important topic.
Training Coordinator, Center for Community Solutions San Diego, CA 2007