In late June, I published an editor's note announcing a Philadelphia Weekly project on sexual-abuse awareness.
Sexual abuse comes in many forms, and can happen in the situations you'd least expect. Which is why we need to write and talk about it. In the note, I called for first-person essays from abuse survivors, their loved ones and counselors in order to show that healing from sexual abuse does not occur in a vacuum. It requires the support of spouses, family members, friends and counselors.
We've received dozens of essays so far. In some cases, entire families have submitted essays, all writing from their perspective about how the abuse of one person in their family affected everyone. Contributors are all ages, genders, sexual orientations, races and economic backgrounds. Some are even writing from outside Pennsylvania.
But we want to hear from more of you. There's still plenty of time to submit a first-person account of the challenges associated with healing. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 28. Selected essays will be published in the Nov. 14 issue of Philadelphia Weekly and in a subsequent book.
If you are interested in submitting an essay, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We need to hear from you—the survivor, the loved one, the advocate. We need you to tell your story, in your own words. To do so would help bring to light the one thing that’s missing from the national conversation: the reality of what it’s like to heal from the devastating effects of sexual abuse.