What a profoundly disturbing statement to victims and survivors of abuse. It is a sad revelation to understand that the damage done to us rendered us silent and that same silence became the death of us. We began to die the moment the abuse started. We died some more with the threats against telling. We died some more as we grew into adults keeping silent out of guilt, shame and fear. We’re dying still in silence.

Let’s #EndTheSilence. Not simply with a hashtag. Let us each find the courage to name our abusers. Let us each find the strength to take a stand against the silence. Take a stand against abuse. A stand against fear. A stand against those who would be comforted by our silence. Those who are protected by our silence.

Name the abuser. Call them out. Let our voices, together, condemn them to the hell they made of our lives. Let us stand and say NO MORE!

The death of the life that was taken from us will be the ashes from which we rise. Not as a phoenix, for we are not mythical. But as living, breathing beings who have survived living hell. We are reclaiming that which was stolen.

His name is Rev. Louis “Randy” Manon. He stole my life and held me fearfully in silence for almost 50 years. And now I’m taking my life back. The power he had in my silence no longer exists. He will never have that kind of power over me ever again. I refuse to be silent. He has become the ashes.