For Joy! My spiritually adopted daughter, Charly, who I’ve known since birth and watched blossom from a little girl into a powerful young woman, was given Time Magazine’s prestigious “Person of The Year” award this morning.
Several months ago, in an act of inspired courage, Charly stood up, broke free of the pain, humiliation, betrayal, and anger she has felt as a victim of sexual abuse, and told her story to the world. I cringed and cried reading her account of her being assaulted. And yet, I was overcome with a deep sense of pride at how she has risen up out of the pain of those wounds to embrace, value, cleanse and renew herself.
Charly joins the countless hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions, of The Silence Breakers who have summoned the courage and faith to tell their stories. And demand accountability. I honor her courage for putting herself on the line — and for having faith in all of us to listen and join her in doing something about it.
The historic referendum in this country on sexual abuse is up for grabs. It could go either way. Will we stand tall with Charly and make the world a safer place for our daughters and sons? Or find a thousand slippery ways to deny these things ever happen by turning away from her? It’s on us to do the right thing, hold abusers accountable, help victims heal and restore a model of true integrity and decency to our nation and world. Let us leave a proud legacy of courage and honor, rather than shame and cowardice, for our children, grandchildren, and future generations to stand upon.