Aleesha Barlow is on a mission to stop child molestation, empower parents and to let the world know about it. BlackDoctor.org recently sat down with Aleesha to hear how and why this important cause came about.
How Did “Tell Somebody” Come About?
As a Child, my mother used to drop me off at her parents house to be babysat. My grandfather started molesting me as early as I can remember. At age 7 I told my mother and her 2 sisters what he was doing to me, and they told me to keep it a secret from the police and my father. They promised they would confront him and it would stop, but I was still brought around him and the molestation continued. Twenty years later, I’ve had enough. I was tired of feeling the pain of what happened, so I told my dad. From there, we started the Tell Somebody Movement. Basically I’m bringing awareness to parents that molestation does happen, so they need to educate their children. I’m giving strength to other survivors. It’s time to tell so you can heal!
The statistics are astounding: Of the 702,000 cases of substantiated child abuse in 2009, the latest year for which federal data are available, 44 percent involved white children and 22.3 percent involved black children. Blacks make up 12.4 percent of the country’s population; whites, 74.8 percent. Latinos — who, researchers noted, are disproportionately poor — are 15.8 percent of the nation’s population, but they made up 20.7 percent of the total population of abused children. The rate of abuse among Latinos children was proportionately higher than that of whites but lower than that of blacks.
Why Do You Think So Many People Do Not Say Anything?
95% of child molestation is done by a family member or close friend. No one wants to feel responsible for sending ‘Grandpa” to jail. No one wants to feel they broke up or exposed their family! And to children, that is the END of the world. Some adults scare children by threats, not to tell.