Jennifer Hillman: The Toxic Chemicals of Denial

By Jennifer Hillman

In my previous blog, I spoke about the need for each of you to make a file folder in your mind to store everything you learn about sexual abuse inside of it.  When you need to pull it out of your brain for information, and the alarming statistics indicate you will, you are more apt to act to help a child vs. getting so bogged down you freeze and watch time stand still.  After all, a child who is being groomed, or is, or has been sexually abused, deserves us to act swiftly to protect them.

If you haven’t done so, please write down the word ‘Denial’ on the front of your file folder, circle it, and then cross it out.  Denial in the realm of child sexual abuse is toxic.  The chemicals that are embedded in the word ‘Denial’ can and will fool your brain, paralyze you, and make you side with a darkness that has devastating consequences.

Not too long ago, I met a dear friend for lunch and we decided to sit outside to soak up some vitamin D and enjoy our non-toxic pudding and organic salads.  Our conversation started out light and fluffy, so that when we hit the ‘intense’ talk, we would be ready to dive right into the main course.  Because I grew up with ‘intense’ talk every night around the dinner table this is second nature to me, and I don’t even need something light and fluffy before devouring reality.  However, I have learned this can be difficult for a lot of people and I always have to remember to be patient. Slow. Patient. Gentle. I thought.  Her sweet soul needs the appetizer before the main course.

Holding off just long enough, she began the conversation about child-advocacy centers in our area.  “I did it,” I thought!  It has taken me a lot of practice, but I am getting better at allowing people to nibble before chewing the subject at a rapid pace.  She discussed that she was shocked that a child-advocacy center was in such an affluent area.  Then, she was able to call her own denial out immediately.  I quickly agreed and affirmed that sexual abuse crosses all socio-economic backgrounds, all races, and all professions of people.  NOBODY is exempt from this darkness…no, not even you.

I understand the comfort of tasting denial and the pure enjoyment of living in it. It is just easier for us to do, because it takes less energy and is less expensive if we deny the reality that sexual abuse might possibly exist within our family or within our daycare or within our schools or within our YMCA or YWCA, or even within our churches.  But, I’m calling you out!  I’m calling you out to choose a better society.  I’m calling you out to choose our children’s safety over your denial, for whatever reason that might be.  I’m calling you out to choose the organic, higher priced dose of reality. And while reality seems more expensive up front, I promise you will see the payoff and it will be less expensive in the long run when we all rid our minds of the toxic chemicals of denial.

Join us in this movement today by educating yourselves and your children to prevent sexual abuse.

About the contributor…

Jennifer Hillman is a licensed speech-language pathologist, producer of the AWARD-WINNING educational DVD, “The Five B’s,” mother of two and an active advocate and speaker for sexual abuse prevention education in the home, churches and in schools.
For more information on this topic and Jennifer’s AWARD-WINNING educational DVD on empowering children about body safety in order to prevent sexual abuse, go 

Image source: Jean Scheijen