On September 30, Gloria Estefan revealed a piece of news on the Red Table Talk program that she had not made public until then. At age 9 she was sexually abused by her music teacher. The artist began the show talking about a figure that is really difficult to assimilate, “93% of abused children know and trust their abusers, I know this because I was one of them” at the end of saying these words Emily Estefan and Lili Estefan who were at his side, took his hand and offered their support.
The case of Gloria Estefan is really shocking because it gives a voice to the Latino community and opens the discussion for thousands of women to join this movement and break the silence. Currently the numbers are alarming, “One in five children can be a victim of abuse” according to figures from the CDC, this forces us to look more closely at the little ones around us to maintain a constant dialogue and open and trustworthy spaces, in this way the probability that they may suffer sexual abuse is reduced.
In the Red Table Talk program another Latina woman gave her testimony of abuse in the company of “Las Estefan”, Clare Crawley was the guest of the episode and initially said that she did not want to be seen as a victim, on the contrary, she recognized herself more with the term of survivor, since in this way she could feel that she had the control and the power of the decisions that she made after that painful episode. In her testimony, she says that she was studying at a priests’ college and it was one of them who left the imprint that was difficult to erase.
Clare avoided being alone with the priest at all costs, behaved well in class, and tried not to do anything to upset the teachers to avoid being sent to him. Until one day she decided to talk to her sister and she told her parents. Upon knowing this terrible situation the mother did not know how to react and marked a distance with her daughter, it was many years later that Clare asked her mother why she had acted in such a way after knowing what she had suffered, and then she realized that her mother had also been abused. 90% of adolescent women who report having had forced sexual relations affirm that the aggressor was someone they knew, according to UNICEF figures.
This reaction is more normal than it seems, Clare’s mother had no tools to handle the situation because she and her daughter had experienced a truly traumatic episode. It is possible that she was trying to erase the memories of her own past that had caused so much damage and when she realized that she could not prevent her daughter from suffering, her pain only allowed her to distance herself from her daughter because to that extent she was more anesthetized.
Gloria Estefan created a safe place to express what she lived and give voice to those who had been silent for a long time. In the same way, María Trusa proposes in the Talk Show #YoDigoNoMas, an emerging space that offers people a platform to tell their story and inspire the lives of many more. Making the problem of abuse visible allows it to cease to be a taboo subject that silences millions of survivors and forces them to silence their pain.
All survivors have the right to be the protagonists of their story and raise their voices.
Together we will make noise and we can end this silent pandemic, abusers will never again have the benefit of our silence. Gloria and Clare already said no more, what are you waiting for? Break the chain of abuse make yourself heard
If you are experiencing a similar situation in the United States, you can call 1-800-656-HOPE, or online through online.rainn.org and rainn.org/es