Saved From Silence by Amanda Richardson
Non-Fiction. Published 2009.
Read: November 2011, 136 pages
Amanda and her family seemed to be the perfect family. But the secrets they hid beneath the surface were destroying Amanda’s life. Though friends and relatives knew that her father-an upstanding citizen, a contributing member of society, and a religious family leader-was strict, they had no knowledge of the physical, mental, and emotional torture he inflicted upon Amanda and her brother, David. After four years of sexual abuse, Amanda felt like an empty shell of a human being, incapable of any productive future. In Saved from Silence, author Amanda Richardson explores the doubts, fears, and perplexities of the abuse that took place in her childhood. She especially yearned for validation from her mother, who steadfastly refused to acknowledge that the abuse had even occurred. Each confrontation with her mother was met with rejection, blame, and failure. After years of therapy, love, support, and prayer, Amanda has broken her silence, confronted her abuser, and made herself whole. An honest and courageous memoir, Saved from Silence not only shares Amanda’s personal, heart-wrenching story of abuse, but serves to impart a greater awareness and understanding of child abuse and its depth, severity, and long-term effects, for which early intervention is a key element to healing and recovery.
I received this book while working in agency that deals with child abuse. Amanda’s memoir is a candid look at child abuse and the reactions of others. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before turning 18– it’s a serious epidemic that deserves discussion and action. If you wish, I’d strongly recommend giving your support to Children’s Advocacy Centers, where the unimaginable is being addressed everyday across the country. Also, here are some signs of child abuse. Speak out– save yourself and others from silence.
I love the title of this book, Amanda couldn’t have captured a better idea about how telling others saved her. Amanda details her experiences growing up with an abusive father and painful past. As a child, she tells her mother of the molestation, but her mother does not come to her rescue and the abuse continues. Despite all the horrific acts, Amanda saved herself through school and her relationship with Daniel.
When she is finally able to speak about the abuse, some reject her and some embrace her. Amanda receives therapy and support while working through her confusion. She gains self acceptance and confidence throughout her journey. This book is Amanda’s voice reaching out to other witnesses and victims to say: I made it.. you can make it too.
She cried for me, hurt for me, felt anger for me, but most important, she loved me unconditionally. -p78