This letter is addressed to anyone within the Truth, Workers and Friends who choose to continue to support perpetrators by remaining silent.
It has taken me some time to feel ready to get my name out publicly due to fears of how it would impact my relationships with those I love. I am ready now to be transparent.
My name is Jill (Hazelwood) Hooiveld, and I am a registered social worker in British Columbia. My family has been involved in the Truth for over 5 generations. My grandmother tells me her grandparents, James and Jane Fowley from Scotland, were the first individuals to profess in Canada (in Lionshead, Ontario).
We grew up in Northern Ontario and were very committed as a family in attending meetings. My parents did their very best to raise us to uphold the standards of God’s way. Please note that I am no longer a part of this fellowship, and frankly I have significant concerns about wrong doctrine being preached. I believe in Jesus being the way and have a deep connection with the heavenly Father. This has not changed for me.
Unfortunately, myself and another family member were victims to childhood sexual abuse both in the Truth and outside. The impacts of this were devastating. Someone shared with my parents that “people should move on,” as things happened so long ago. This statement hurt our family greatly.
What people don’t understand is that when you are abused as a child, it genetically rewires you; this is scientifically proven! (https://www.domesticshelters.org/articles/health/how-trauma-rewires-the-brain).
When someone minimizes or dismisses your trauma, they are minimizing who you are and the pain you have suffered. Writing is not my strength, and I struggle to be eloquent with my words, but I want to share how childhood sexual abuse can affect someone.
Firstly, survivors of childhood sexual abuse often experience long-lasting trauma that affects their mental, emotional and physical health. They may struggle with depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions. This can lead to difficulties in forming and maintaining healthy relationships with others.
Additionally, survivors of childhood sexual abuse may have difficulty with intimacy and trust. They may struggle with feelings of shame and guilt and may have a distorted sense of self-worth and self-esteem. This can lead to problems with substance abuse, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Furthermore, survivors of childhood sexual abuse may face challenges in their professional and personal lives. They may have difficulty with concentration, memory, and cognitive function, making it hard to maintain focus and productivity at work or school. They may also struggle with social interactions, finding it hard to form lasting friendships and relationships.
Childhood sexual abuse can have significant impacts on physical health. Survivors may experience chronic pain, sleep disturbance, and other physical health issues that can lead to long term health complications.
Lastly, I want to address the spiritual trauma that has also been intertwined with all of this. There has been so much concern expressed for the souls of the perpetrators and very little concern for the souls of the victims. The fact is, some of you can’t handle the truth. You choose to live in an ignorant bubble with a façade that you are living righteously. We have only scratched the surface with regards to how many perpetrators exist in the Truth. We have been informed that there are currently 400 perpetrators identified. If you think this is going away—you are mistaken! There are more to be identified, and they are lurking amongst your fellowship.
So, with that being said—tell me how do you really think we victims are really doing? Does this sound like a problem that can truly be forgotten about and moved on from? I am so angry, and I don’t want to be. I want to be able to have a forgiving heart, but the silence and disrespect coming from the individuals in the Truth who are choosing to “keep the peace” is like being revictimized all over again. We are not being validated and supported for speaking our truths and sharing our pain. If there was a course on “How to Revictimize a Person,” some of you would have definitely received an A+. I am no longer going to be quiet and being careful in sharing what I really feel.
The code of silence is the practice of silencing a victim from speaking out about what happened to them, and thus, contributes to feelings of shame and guilt and prevents them from beginning the process of healing.
So do better!
Jill (Hazelwood) Hooiveld
Please feel free to share this letter.
How Trauma Rewires the Brain
For individuals who experience traumatic events as an adult or child, they can feel overly stressed even when there’s nothing to stress about because of changes to their brain.