The Dark Lord…

I must confess. I’ve never read the Harry Potter books. (I watched the movies, though! Surely, that must count for something?)

With my greatest apologies to J.K. Rowling, I have to admit that I never understood the reluctance of the characters in the Potter movie franchise to say the name of Lord Voldemort.

What’s the big deal? Why won’t anyone say his name?

For the Death Eaters, maybe it’s a form of reverence, like how my Jewish friends won’t say or write “God” in full.

But for everyone else? What gives?

As Professor Minerva McGonagall points out in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, “…his name is Voldemort, so you might as well use it. He’s going to try to kill you, either way.”

It’s unreasonable that a name would have so much power.

Except… It’s not. It’s not really unreasonable that a single name can hold the power of destruction.

My abuser has “code names,” too, and I didn’t really think about it until tonight.

My abuser, for starters.

The man who hurt me.

HIM. (As in, “I had a nightmare about HIM last night.”)

That #*^!?*% ?%^~*#! (Mr. Wright’s name for him.)

Not saying his name doesn’t change what he did.

Keeping silent about who he is (although many have contacted me to say they know exactly who he is, based upon details — some are fellow victims, some are community members who “knew, even back then,” and some are people who associate with him now) doesn’t change my struggles and fears.

Protecting his name, when it seems “everyone” already knows, and there are public documents affirming that he sexually abused children… What purpose does it serve?

We live in a world gone wild for sensationalism. Why not just have it out? Why not plaster his name across social media, and the interwebs?

On Tuesday, I will say it.

I will say it out loud, and I will say it to a group of people who need to hear it. I will say it to people who can — if so inclined, literally walk across the street, pull out a file, and verify the truth.

“His name is _____ _______, so you might as well use it. He’s going to haunt you, either way.”