Few things irk Julie Marie Mansfield more than the people who know a child is being sexually abused and say or do nothing. Herself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), Julie now makes it her mission to help inspire the humanization of survivors; to help give a face to the harrowing CSA statistics that say 1 in 3 girls (and 1 in 6 boys) will be sexually violated before reaching adulthood; and to help foster a culture of prevention.
Starting at age eight, Julie was the victim of molestation, incest, rape, violence and abuse, primarily at the hands of her uncles. It’s an abuse that started in Jamaica and ended in the United States, almost a decade later.
Maybe God Was Busy is Julie’s unfiltered memoir of growing up behind the tourist veil of Jamaica, one of the most beloved islands in the world. It is a raw, unaltered look at an idyllic childhood interrupted by chronic generational and societal sexual abuse. From molestation by one uncle, to incest, to rape by the “church brother,” to rape by the voodoo practitioner charged with saving a dying brother, to a pregnancy and anesthetic-free abortion at age 15, to cousins falling victim to incest, everything is revealed.
Maybe God Was Busy questions the complicity of those who know, but accept the abuse as ‘family business,’ refusing to take steps necessary to protect the victims, instead going above and beyond to protect the ‘family name.’
I talk with Julie about the prevalence of child sexual abuse, the myth that child sexual abuse, how silence equals complicity in sexual abuse and the danger of reassigning the shame/blame/guilt to the rightful owners: the perpetrators.
Listen to the interview below: