(Reuters) – “Penn State will host a conference on child sexual abuse featuring abuse survivors Sugar Ray Leonard and Elizabeth Smart in the wake of the child molestation scandal that rocked the university and its esteemed football program.
The two-day event in October will bring together some of the top U.S. experts on child sexual abuse, prevention and treatment to help educate the public about the problem, according to a statement from the university.
Leonard, a famed American boxer, will give a keynote speech, and kidnap survivor Smart will be the final speaker at the conference. Both suffered sexual abuse as children.”
I find it very disappointing for Penn State to choose Elizabeth Smart to be a part of this. Or did her father persuade them to get her involved?
Either way, society does not need to hear the feelgood version of what happens to the child after they are no longer being sexually abused by an adult. I know that many of my readers disagree with me about my stance on Ms. Smart, and that’s okay. We do not all have to agree, but as you know, I always speak my mind and if something needs saying, I say it.
Elizabeth Smart and her family are the feelgood version of child rape and child torture because they are the picture-perfect family with perfect smiles. They go to church and behave sociably. They play musical instruments, are educated, and well dressed. Then Elizabeth is kidnapped at knife-point from her bed, raped hundreds of times, tied to a tree, forced to watch vulgar sex acts between her captors, and kept from her seemingly perfect family for nine months.
Elizabeth was told by her mother not to give her kidnappers and rapist one more day of her life, and told to ‘move on.’ That advice was what fit well with their outwardly perfect family, but it does not fit in with reality.
With her mother’s advice in tow, Elizabeth now gives public speeches to other survivors of rape and abuse, and she does so in her perfect outfit with her perfect smile while saying with a hint of smugness, “I never went through any PTSD symptoms.” 1
So Americans clap their hands and practically bend down to worship her because she has given them what they wanted –the feelgood solution to healing from severe rape and trauma.
Elizabeth tells her audiences that she “talked to her parents,” and sometimes uses “retail therapy.”
Most children, who are being sexually abused, are victims of someone known and trusted, usually a family member. It is more often than not, a parent who has sexually molested, raped and traumatized their own child.
Incest victims are rarely able to go to their parents for council, and take it from someone who got into serious credit card debt at one time….. “retail therapy” doesn’t do shit except bring on guilt and self-punishment down the line.
Elizabeth Smart seems to have the financial means to support this form of self-help, but most victims of child sexual abuse do not have the financial resources to go spend a bunch of money on meaningless “things.”
The male victims of Jerry Sandusky were victimized in a completely different way than Elizabeth Smart, and most victims of child sexual abuse are not kidnapped and raped by strangers.
The experiences of Elizabeth Smart are completely different than those of Jerry Sandusky and incest victims. Elizabeth Smart’s case is statistically rare, and if one is truthful, her experience is quite different from those who suffered the same kind of abuse –kidnapping, and repeated rapes by strangers. In every case I know of, those victims were not able to utilize the 72-hour recovery therapy that Elizabeth Smart seems to have embraced.
Most of the victims in those famous cases are still suffering in many ways to this day, and they might not admit it openly for social reasons, but I bet that Elizabeth Smart’s words of advice make them feel unworthy, or like, “what’s wrong with me?”
In addition, Ms. Smart was not repeatedly raped by a woman. Unless she is not being completely honest with the American public, she was only made to engage in sex with her male captor. Same-sex child sexual abuse is on an entirely different level. Those boys, who were groomed, and then orally raped and sodomized by Jerry Sandusky have experienced a form of abuse that is different on so many levels.
I just hope Elizabeth Smart doesn’t tell the audience at Penn State that victims of severe trauma and child rape (especially incest victims and victims of same-sex sexual abuse) that they can “let it go, move on with your life” because, if she does, she has the ability to make the men who were raped and betrayed, very angry inside. They will be angry with Elizabeth, and angry at themselves for not feeling adequate enough to heal themselves.
Only survivors of sexual abuse, who are honest with themselves, can help others. In my opinion, Elizabeth Smart is repressing her true emotionally traumatizing experience, she is denying the fact that she might have felt good in engaging in sex with her male captor (even rape victims can feel pleasure while being raped), or she is catering to her family’s need to have her in the spotlight, and to look perfect and to be perfect for the family image. Or she also does it for apple pie Americans to embrace the lie……the lie that severe child sexual abuse, death threats, and rape ‘don’t really harm the child.’
“It’s hard, and the PTSD, the nightmare and the flashbacks and everything, it was really a life sentence,” Alicia said. “He might have been sentenced to 19 years, but for me and for all other survivors, it’s a lifetime.” ~Alicia Kozakiewicz
Alicia was kidnapped, tortured and raped for 96 hours……96 hours.
Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped, tortured and raped for 6,480 hours.
Alicia is much more in tune with the realities of the effects of trauma, sexual abuse and rape.
“I am so grateful to find your blog today. E. Smart was in Baltimore a couple of days speaking to a packed audience. In an interview afterward, she was all over the place in her answers to the interviewer’s questions. At one point she said she thought it was okay if a victim chose to take a day here and there to cry but not to make it a way of life. She mentioned “retail therapy” as one of the possible ways to help victims ease the pain.I must admit that her her demeanor sent a chill through me. She came off as cold, insincere and self-serving.
Someone mentioned the gist of Smart’s “move on with life” message to me two days ago. As someone who has been in treatment for PTSD and DID for the past 7 years, hearing this felt like an assault. For me, one of the most trying aspects of living as a survivor of childhood abuse is the constant SELF-INFLICTED abuse for spending the time, energy and money on endless therapy. So when someone makes a dismissive remark like this, it just intensifies the already-constant sense of self-shame.
When I told my therapist about how ashamed I felt upon hearing, once again, that trauma survivors should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps, he basically told me much of what is written on this blog. But reading it from other survivors like Althea has made all the difference in the world to me. Thank you.” ~ A survivor
I think the choice of Penn State using Elizabeth Smart speaks volumes. Penn State would love nothing better than to have Americans “move on. Don’t allow what happened here to affect your view of our University”….”What happened to those boys really wasn’t that bad. They will be just fine.”
1. The Oprah Show
Article source: chicagotribune