When a book comes along which is not only timely, but the kind of painstakingly detailed volume that can make a reader want to get involved, it’s cause for celebration, even in these unsettled times. Vanessa Osage’s CAN’T STOP THE SUNRISE: Adventures in Healing, Confronting Corruption & the Journey to Institutional Reform is just such a book.
Ever wonder why the issue of child sexual abuse has gone on for centuries without seeming much closer to being solved? The answer is: collusion. By all kinds of folks and forces beyond the original pedophile. One previously abused 14-year-old has grown up to be the kind of person who has been founding nonprofit organizations and rallying as many concerned citizens as possible towards healing — and ending — this societal scourge. When barely pubescent, the author, along with a 16-year-old friend, confronted the school maintenance worker that had molested each of them. To his credit, this man agreed that what he’d been doing was wrong, which momentarily left the two girls feeling empowered, believing that now that the matter had been handled head on the problem would stop. However, the overall landscape of abuse at their school and in the larger community was much vaster than initially realized. Additional children were being molested by this same groundskeeper, along with other individuals, and had been for years. And here’s the most important part: school officials were aware of this, yet made — and continue to make today — every effort to cover it up from 1993, when Vanessa Fadjo Osage entered Lawrence Academy as a Freshmen, throughout the years in which she has since sought to eradicate the continued risk to students, while also requesting amends in the form of restitution and an apology. As someone long suffering typical abuse-survivor symptoms/health issues, after the abuse Osage was removed from the school filled with cherished friends via non-renewal of financial aid, while the abuser was allowed to stay on at his job until eventually retiring with permanent, long-term disability payments, after he’d enjoyed a further seven years worth of opportunity to continue molesting students on school grounds. Where Osage received her education is sadly far from the only organization behaving this way. Students and parents everywhere should be enraged.
Those entrusted with protecting youth from those who would take the worst kind of advantage are mind-bogglingly sometimes the very same individuals who tell victims of child sexual abuse that what they’ve gone through is insignificant and not worth potentially ruining an adult or institution’s reputation over.
In her thoroughly gripping book, CAN’T STOP THE SUNRISE: Adventures in Healing, Confronting Corruption & the Journey to Institutional Reform, Vanessa Osage dives into the courageous and magnificent tale of her ongoing efforts to hold pedophiles and other sexual offenders fully accountable for their crimes–along with complicit, abuse-enabling school officials, elite institutions, etc.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader