PLEASE TELL ME WHEN
Please tell me when you will acknowledge my abuse.
Please tell me when you will say sorry you allowed it to happen.
Please tell me when you will teach me to be safe.
Please tell me when you will show me how to be safe.
Please tell me when you will protect me from the perpetrators that sit beside us in our pews.
Please tell me when you will help those souls too.
For I will tell you when every second, every minute, every hour that you wait. Another soul will be lost, walked away, suicided, now it's too late!
How many days, years must we wait,
Before the church wakes up and recognises why there is so much hate?
"Not true" they cry "not in our church, not in our school." Well, I'll tell you what, I have the scars on my soul.
And you who turn a blind eye to my pain,
Are just as guilty as the ones who should wear the blame.
For in your silence, in your ignorance lives are lost.
"Nothing wrong with our church" you claim, but at what cost?
Now is the time to dig deep and bear it.
Acknowledge the abuse, apologize and wear it.
Develop the materials and programs to prevent it.
For those accused, make a safe place for the accusers to vent it.
A place where there is love and acceptance, even with the foul words that may come with repentance.
And for those who abuse, they need support too. Hold them accountable for all that they do.
So will you tell me how long I must wait for this to happen?
Will it be this side of Heaven?
Or is it too much of a task to mention?
So to all of those who have experienced the pain and loss that I have mentioned
And to all of those who are willing to listen.
I dare you to stand up, speak up and make others listen.
For as our voices become stronger our words turn into action.
Just maybe on day a soul, a life will not be taken.
(c) Kerene Whelan, 26th August. 2001
I wrote the above poem as a older teen out of the pain and frustration I experienced growing up. God placed on my heart a life changing dream to stand up and make a difference for the children who came after me. Now thanks to Safe Place Services Victoria, this dream has become a reality and is making a difference to children around Australia, in New Zealand and America. May God bless those who use this tool, give the children the courage to speak up, and provide safe Adults who will stand up and take up the challenge to make our Churches, our Homes, our Community, a safer place.
Stories have been told from the beginning of time and stories will continue to be told till the end of time. Every life has a story and these stories inspire and encourage others on life's' journey. It is not how we start the journey that counts, but how we finish it.
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