I read a book today. An entire book in one sitting. A young adult novel about a girl who is date raped and hides inside herself afraid to speak, afraid to face the truth, afraid she will be blamed. Her friends drop her. Her parents are frustrated with her. Her teachers all but give up on her.
I work with students everyday. How many of them have internal tragedies no one bothers to notice? How many of them have no one to ask, "How are you....really?" I reach out to students. I notice the silent ones. I speak to the lonely ones.
I have a bright personality. I'm friendly. No one would guess that I have secrets inside too. I have hurts I faced and secrets I was too afraid to tell.
How empowering when the secrets are finally out. How healing. Having a voice is a salve on open wounds. A catalyst for others to speak.
In the end of book the girl finds her voice. Other voices join her. She was not alone after all. But it took courage to speak.
Who will listen to the hurting children? Who will believe their pain? Who will tell them, "I understand!" Who will hear their voice when they speak silently or aloud?