It affects the ‘whole’ person

by Elena Aluskak

Growing up, we have been forewarned of many behaviors and actions that will have a negative and destructive effect on us… and to others around us. And we also have received guidance that leads to positivity, from our caregivers; each household has had its share of positive discussions and arguments on respect and forgiveness, on hate and grudges. We all have been through this.

ALL households whether we deem them to be ‘unhealthy’ have shown and are showing physical and verbal care to their members. And all of this sound instruction and care is still happening today. If it wasn’t… we would not be functioning the way we are today, even though we are assumed to be dysfunctional by ignorance and ‘statistics’. We are still a people that stands on values that have been in our culture since… we were created.

The importance of wisdom sharing; whether negative or positive, comes from experience. It doesn’t just appear from the blue and become an instruction or warning. And this topic of child sexual abuse is not new, nor is it something that should surprise an individual when it is addressed. It is essential to include it in our dialogue because once it occurs it can play a big role in the destruction to a ‘whole’ person. Its effects can be very disturbing and devastating. There is no positivity in this action.

An individual is immeasurably hurt; physically, mentally, spiritually… some of the effects are “uncalled for” and yet some effects are so hidden that what is visible is normal and outstanding but then there comes a time when it all goes down and out and we exclaim in surprise and many times in sorrow.

And then there are those who have been taught to speak out… who have been given the permission to cry out when something happens or ‘tries’ to happen to their bodies, whether or not the opposing person says otherwise. Yes – continue to teach this! Teach it and have it ingrained that it is not right and that it should not be a secret. Teach it as soon as it can be understood.

When a person is hurt… an individual? I dare say an individual… because I for one know that when a child is hurt, a whole family is hurt. Hurt becomes a small word in these circumstances. Destruction and devastation seem to become the appropriate term for this type of abuse. Every aspect of living is affected. All senses are affected; sight, smell, touch, hearing, feeling.

Therefore, for some people just the day-to-day functions become unbearable… this person’s persona affects everyone he/she interacts with. And we all know, interactions and contacts can be the whole village, and then there are other villages where other family members and relatives reside.

People communicate and involve and affect more people of their traumatic incident, not intentionally but with the need to talk or for support… or just by their actions. We all know ‘actions speak louder than words’, right? And some actions can further hurt an innocent person. A household… a community… a region, and a state is hurt by this negative action.

And as for the “opposing” individual’s position… what can I say? It seems that everyone becomes a “victim” with this very preventable act; because in the end, everyone is affected by the act of child sexual abuse. The whole person is affected.

Qalaruqurnarqaput mikelnguput, enelgutput, ilaput-llu mat’um assitellriim atunritlerkaanek, iquggliqellranek-llu taringevkarluki.

Elena Aluskak is the Outreach Coordinator at Irniamta Ikayurviat in Bethel, Alaska.

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