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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Healing through breaking the silence after child abuse

Title: Hush: Moving from Silence to Healing after Childhood Sexual Abuse
Author: Nicole Braddock Bromley
Reviewer: Dennis D. Muhumuza 

When she was still a little girl, Nicole Braddock Bromley was sexually abused by her father. Sexual abuse is a global tragedy, with untold victims living in silence for fear of stigmatisation. But it came to a point where Nicole could brook no more. She wanted to help herself and give others the courage to speak out as well. Not only did she break the silence, she topped it with a book, Hush: Moving from Silence to Healing after Childhood Sexual Abuse, in which she stresses that breaking the silence is the first step to healing.

“Silence delays the healing process by perpetuating the hurt, shame and guilt of adult survivors. It imprisons us in a dark closet…it also protects sexual offenders by allowing them to continue to abuse their victims,” she writes. “Telling released me from my past so I could embrace the future.”

Published by WordAlive Publishers, the 181-page book is interspersed with uplifting stories of survivors of abuse who have broken out, forgiven those that hurt them and made a difference. Although counsellors do help, Nicole argues that true healing comes from God. She’s aware that many might not believe God cares by asking questions like, ‘If God loves me, why did this happen?’ She says she was there once and that such questions are normal.

“That said, I also believe that you’ll never find genuine healing outside of a relationship with God,” she notes. “I would be doing you an injustice to tell you that breaking the silence and accepting the truth about your abuse is the end of healing. I’ve heard many speakers say that you should never expect to overcome the pain of sexual abuse. They say that you’ll always feel empty inside because of it…I know from my own experience that knowing God was what quieted my questioning heart and allowed His healing waters to flow in and out of my life…what God has done for me, He is longing to do for you.”

Hush is not at all preachy and is written with a sincerity that emboldens those who are afraid of dealing with an ugly past thrust on them by fate. Hush is available in leading bookstores for Shs21,000.

--Sunday Monitor, April 18, 2010