In his book, Silent No More, Aaron Fisher is a young man whose sexual-abuse claims triggered the investigation of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. From the text Aaron tries to give us an insight on the challenges and the emotions that faces a victim in a situation of sexual abuse. It gives us a purpose of awareness based on the personal experiences he encountered. He cites confusion, anger and a feeling of abandonment. He is confused and helpless and is not sure who and how to tell. Tormented by what was happening he was not even able to confide in his mother because at the time the victim shows us that he was in complete denial and her mother did not notice anything being wrong. What did you learn from the text?It is clear from the book that it is right to speak up and report any uncomfortable situation. Aaron dismissed the feeling that something was not right about it. “I felt awkward but decided not to think about it” (Fisher et al., 2012, p. 19). It’s good to speak to someone you can trust about abuse instead of suffering alone. Aaron kept his feelings of guilt, shame, disgust, and embarrassment all bottled up inside of him, until it eventually was too much for him to handle and he had to tell someone. He was 15 at the time he spoke up and when he spoke, help started coming and justice was served. We also learn that in a situation like this no matter the status of a person, once someone has been reported of abusive behavior, proper channels are to be followed to address the issue. In the case of Aaron, when he finally opened up to the school principal and his mother, they did not believe the victim which was not their job and even quoted that Jerry, the abuser, “had a heart of gold”. Simply because Jerry had positioned himself in the society by helping underprivileged boys through a charity scheme that he started out of the kindness of his heart, everyone perceived that he could do no wrong. But those good deeds should not count once someone is accused of wrong doing as bad as sexual abuse. “The sexual abuse of a child is emotional homicide. Child abuse murders the soul” (Fisher et al., 2012, p. 27). This describes the impact sexual abuse has on a child. The victims should never feel ashamed about what happened to them Fisher lived in a denial from the start of the abuse until the point where Jerry was convicted of sexual abuse.What did you agree and/or disagree with?I agree with the writer that being Silent no more is the ultimate answer to solve this enigma and believing in a victim is also critical in helping them recover from the abuse. It is also true that investigators were very complicit in this case contrary to their oath of office which requires them to investigate all allegations immediately and conclusively. In the book, Michael Gallium, the psychologist, believed in Aaron which allowed him to open up about the abuse. This demonstrates that adults and especially professionals must be ready to stand up for and support victims of abuse by doing all that is within their means to resolves issues and bring perpetrators to justice. Its however not right to hold Aaron’s mother responsible that it was her negligence that allowed this to happen. She couldn’t have known that probably something was amiss with Sandusky. The monster had disguised himself in a way that no one would think he could do any wrong. Charity support out of the kindness of his heart would blindfold anyone of the situation. Dawn (Aaron’s mother) was in the same predicament. Aaron did not know how to break the silence about the abuse he had been subjected to, so I disagree that the mother was negligent in her role.Is there anything the book could have or should have done differently?The book should have covered more lessons that young children can learn from in order to avoid cases like this and a guide on avoiding compromising situations such as Aaron’s. It should have included advice to parents on how they can have honest conversations with their children, teach children to defend themselves and encourage them to report any abuses or unusual advances by adults. It could have also briefly explained signs that could indicate that a child is or has been abused. Who could benefit from this text?This book has played a significant role in creating awareness about child abuse and the responsibility of parents and society at large in tackling such vices. Aaron Fisher and Jaycee Dugan are two incredibly strong individuals that stood up and said they were no longer willing to be their tormentor’s victims. The audience in the same situation of denial as Aaron could benefit from the personal experiences highlighted in here. Finally, the book is also a wake-up call for school administrators, law enforcers and general public to be vigilante and proactive in the community to protect our little angels from evil people.
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