Why “Faen heller!”(”Damned-it-all!”)
Faen Heller! focuses on the hidden sexual abuse that occurs in many homes. We want to raise a communication with children and adolescents, thus empowering them so that it will be possible for them to expose instances of sexual abuse. The taboo must be broken. A change of attitude must occur. It is not the perpetrator’s version of reality that counts; it’s the child’s. It is not normal for adults to try to have sex with children. It is not shameful to the child that this happens, it is shameful to the adult. “Faen Heller” is an initiative from adults with a common vision: Damned it all! It’s not going to happen!
The 7th of August this year May Lise was interviewed by “Norgesglasset” a documentary forum on the national broadcasting station, NRK. She talks about her background and her project, “8th of October- a day against incest.” The project has received a lot of attention and support from all over the country. If you missed the interview, you can read a transcript or hear it by clicking here.
The knowledge nobody wants.
In families where sexual abuse occur there is a great “resistance” towards disclosing this. The victim will often want to hide and forget, escape into another reality. Mom and dad cannot believe this to be true. The grandparents and the rest of the family might have had an inkling, but wil not follow up on it. Nobody wants to believe that this can take place in their family. Teachers, health authorities, the family doctor – everybody knows “something’s going on”, but what can you do?
It’s hard to know what to do. And it’s easy to miscalculate. We do not believe that a seminar can change all this. But by dispensing knowledge about sexual abuse we believe that we, as fellow human beings, can better avail ourseles and support eachother. It will be easier for children and adolescents to initiate contact with teachers, health authorities, doctors, and people outside the family. Because the shame in the family is so great, it’s important that others outside the family know how they can assist.
8th of October, a day against incest
The netsite www.faenheller.no is designed and launched by May Lise Hoel. The project aims to illuminate incest and sexual abuse of minors. The projects main strategy is to introduce the subject and put it on the agenda, break the silence, expose it rather than ignore it. All activity within “8th of October” is directed at increasing knowledge about a subject most people detest talking about.
Children and minors are daily subjected to sexual abuse. Many will be ruined for life. This is a fact we neither can nor want to live with, and those who are subjected to this cannot carry these burdens alone. Statistics and other documentations show that subjected children and minors are inflicted in ways that last through their lifetimes. Their selfesteems are dramatically reduced and they experience shame and guilt. Many seek refuge in drugs and/or alcohol. For others, physical ailments will present later in life.
5-10 % of all boys, 10-20% of all girls are sexually abused.
These numbers are provided by National Center for Sexually Abused Children. Who has been subjected to sexual abuse? Well, among others, there are those who call
themselves “users” of Senter Mot Insecest (The Center against Incest) and are otherwise inconspicuous. A “faceless” crowd. How can we break this taboo when we don’t dare expose ourselves? It must be possible to talk about these things without being required to give out personal details such as “Who was the perpetrator?” and
“What are the details of what happened?”
“Faen Heller!’s scope is twofold:
Expose the fact that sexual abuse/incest occurs in our society, and to rehabilitate and activate those who have suffered from such. To achieve a general change in attitude towards this, we need to start with ourselves. We need to become visible.
Our target group is those who are in contact with children and minors who are potential victims of abuse or are acitvely being abused, adults who were abused while growing up, all who work in the fields of education, health and welfare, police and court. Anyone who comes in contact with victims of abuse. Last but not least; children and adolescents. The issue shall not be ignored, we want to empower the upgrowing generation by talking about these things before they happen. We will make it a public issue.
Scope of the project:
All and any activity that contributes to increase attention towards the issue, both in private and public, such as the launching of the website www.faenheller.no and Day Against Incest. Anyone who harbors enthusiasm for this are welcome to contribute.
Day Against Incest
The seminar that took place at Nova Cinema 8th of October was an informational and cultural event aimed to improve knowledge about sexual abuse, “knowledge that nobody wants!” The main object of the seminar was to disseminate such knowledge, so that it will be easier for those who are subjected to sexual abuse to break the silence, provide safety for them and illuminate the symptoms. Assume reponsibillity for the children and place guilt where it belongs.
In support of the event there was a concert at Blæst the same evening. Though Blæst cannot accommodate every abuse victim (confer statistics), it sent the message that there is an initiative to face abuse and prevent it from happening. We hope it will make a difference! It is not the perspective of the perpetrator that counts, but the perspective of the children.
Communication and availability
The website www.faenheller.no describes all facets and facts regarding the project. Here you can get information, share stories and express support. The site is visited daily by many, both from Norway and abroad. Support T-shirts with logo are for sale from the netsite and other locations in Trondheim. This is an important part of the project as it visually promotes it, and for some will have a slight therapeutic effect to wear. Posters are distributed to the target group and sent to schools, health clinics, around town etc for promotional purposes. Users of SMI (Senter Mot Incest) and others who are involved with www.faenheller.no lectures at schools etc.
What happens after 8th of October?
The project is only just begun, and 8th of October is the first public event. The long term goal is to continue working with the project and host an annual event that explores abuse related issues against children.
Contact person: May Lise Hoel
(+47) 99 01 01 30