Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in JUST the United States alone. 7.6% of these are sexual abuse claims (approx. 228,000 children.) Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.
Harsh statistics right? Horrifying actually.
A few weeks ago I received a review request from an awe inspiring woman named Abigail Lawrence. She wanted me to read her book “Invisible Tears.” I hesitantly agreed knowing that the journey I was about to embark on would be heart wrenching and hard to read, but at the same time, completely and undeniably necessary.
At the age of 6 Abbie’s mother died, and with no one there to pick up the pieces she was shipped off to whomever would take her. Unfortunately, the loving and caring home she needed was not what she got, instead she was forced to live with a woman that physically and mentally abused her, and then eventually… in seek of fame… handed her over to local pedophiles in the “entertainment” business. After her father (who had been relatively absent up until this point) finally accepted what was happening to his children he whisked them away for a better life, but sometimes people can be to late, sometime the damage has already been done. Keeping, and constantly reliving the secrets of what really happened to her, forced Abbie to grow into a damaged and rebellious teenager, looking for comfort and drugs where ever she could get them. This is the story of Abbie’s struggle to survive, her struggle to understand that not everything was her fault, and the struggle to finally find love and acceptance. This is a story of a small girl, who had to learn to dig her own way out of the trenches… just to be able to breathe.
The novel was written in Abbie’s dialogue so it is imperative you be prepared for several things.
1. You are going to experience the worse side of life through the eyes of a child for the first several chapters. They are excruciatingly difficult to read (especially if you have small children) and will, at times, make you feel physically ill.
2. The story will eventually move past blatant gruesomeness, however the story as a whole continues, and can be as equally emotional as the first few pages. (so grab some Kleenex.)
3. If you start reading, do not stop. This is not a book you can put down half way through and wish you had never picked it up to begin with. The epilogue is a very VERY important part of the story and if you don’t read it you will never get the intended point of the book. (Pace yourself if you have to but don’t give up on it.)
This novel is in no way intended for a young audience, or the faint of heart. It is rough, it is damaging, and it is horrifyingly descriptive. The fact that it is based off of someone’s’ “real life” experiences makes it only that much more difficult to handle, so read at your own risk.
Until tomorrow my fellow Kindle-ites I bid you ado and leave you with something to think about:
Children who have been sexually abused are 2.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol
Children who have been sexually abused are 3.8 times more likely to develop drug addictions
90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members
Maybe one day we will open our eyes.
For a complete book description click image
Statistics found at www.childhelp.org
If you know or suspect a child is being abused please help by calling the National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD