Silence Is Betrayal

Silence Is Betrayal

Silence Is Betrayal.

Martin Luther King, Jr once said: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” And I totally agree with him. You see, sometimes it’s okay to be silent and let things slide but it becomes betrayal when evil thrives and everyone decides to remain quiet and pretend like they are unaware. It is betrayal to those who are silent themselves; it is betrayal to those who are helpless and oppressed.

Many times, we look the other way and say to ourselves, “It is not happening to me therefore, I shall not speak.” We are just as guilty as the perpetrators of evil. We need to understand and know when to mind our business and when to speak for the oppressed.

Minding one’s business simply means respecting one’s privacy. For example, it is no one’s business to meddle into the affairs of others if they pose no danger. However, it is should be everyone’s business if the actions of someone can result in some catastrophe. Examples include:

Domestic abuse: No one should remain silent about this evil. People tend to look the other way when such occurs especially between couples. Domestic abuse is the reason for the sorrow of many but silence plays a major role in their deaths —silence from the ones who are suffering and/or silence from the people who choose to look the other way.

Rape: This is another evil that cannot be ignored. No one should have to experience this — not young, not old — absolutely no one. However, nothing speaks volumes of betrayal than when the victim becomes victimized by those who should protect them. There are several cases where children are being “shushed” or disbelieved by their mothers or guardians when they blurt out their ordeals. How can one conceal such evil? Why should anyone be silent about this?

Blackmail: I read about a young lady whose nudes were leaked in a WhatsApp church group by her so-called “Pastor” boyfriend. It was stated that he did so because they had a misunderstanding. The lady in return called him out on Facebook and tried to take her life. Luckily, she was rescued by loved ones. Sadly, these are tales we hear about all around us. It’s a good thing she chose to speak out.

A Set-up: Imagine being in a place where someone is accused of something they didn’t do and you are aware that the person in question is innocent. Would you speak up or would you walk away like it is none of your business? Proving the innocence of that person would be the right thing to do.

These are just a few of many situations where we need to speak up. A lot of people cannot or do not have the strength to speak for themselves either because of fear, because they are used to suffering or because they are helpless. We cannot let these ones die in silence. We need to speak up for them. Even God expects that from us.

Proverbs 31:8-9 says: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice”

Indeed, silence is betrayal when you refuse to speak up for the weak, for the oppressed, for the helpless and the poor. Silence is betrayal when you refuse to speak up for the truth.

Have you ever remained silent when you should have spoken up? In what other situations are we required speak up? Share your thoughts.

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Viano Dee

Non-niche blogger. Poet. Songwriter. A hardcore romantic. Her write-ups could take any form: poetry, articles, and even songs in ways that'll inspire you, resonate with you, or tell a story while keeping you both informed and entertained.

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Komal Patel

This is a tough one for me. Especially with the rape example. It’s so personal. It really should be for that person to speak up and not an outside person. The lines are so gray!


I totally agree, silence is also violent when you really think about it. Obviously you don’t want to share someone else’s story but if you can help in anyway you should.


Thank you for this. A very thoughtful post about a confronting topic.

Luci Westphal

“Silence is betrayal” is such a strong statement – yet in my experience it rings true. I have made a documentary film about kids of missionaries who were abused by their parents’ missionary colleagues called “All God’s Children”. The trauma that is caused by the silence of people within the religious organizations after the abuse has been reported to them is devastating.


I enjoyed reading your post and your thoughts on this topic. I agree that people are silent a lot when they shouldnt ignore the evil around them.

Yomi Spontaneous

You are so right about silence I guess that is where the title silence of the lambs comes from too since lambs are kind mild mannered and meek, and follow a shepard blindly.

Cherrie Bautista

Bullying is another form of evil where we need to speak up, whether it’s happening to us or to someone else. Remaining silent just encourages the bullies to continue doing it.

Lhyn de Dios

This is an interesting topic. I agree that in some situations we should not remain silent and we need to speak up.

Ewuzie Kingsley

This is thought provoking, the truth is that everyone is guilty of this but am going to talk about my self, yes i have but not as something as grievous as rape, domestic violence or set up but bullying which is something really bad that we tend to overlook and see it as nothing. Now, i understand the world more thank i use to and even when it doesn’t seem to be in my place to speak up, i still do.

Yomi Spontaneous

This is an honest truth, Silence is Betrayal. Keeping quiet in the face of injustice to another human being of evev an animal is worst. I do see it as not being so different from the perpetrators.

We should be our brother’s keeper.

Melanie williams

What an excellent well written arricle. Very true and gets you thinking x


Yes I agree silence is betrayal. I loved reading your post.


I totally agree with you. There are certain situations that it is never okay to be silent about. Rape and domestic abuse are definitely on top of the list. 

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