Sadly, silence is also used as an instrument of abuse and punishment. It is misused as a means of oppression. In conflicted families silence embodies a withholding of love and affection; it is used to isolate, reject and punish. Those who have experienced this misuse of silence carry its memory through their life and, as a result, tend to interpret all silence as dangerous and threatening.
Countless people in our world are made invisible and powerless through the silence enforced upon them. The elderly, homosexuals, women, children, and dissidents are cast into the shadows of life through the gagging of their voice. In a military prison lives a man sentenced to solitary confinement for murdering a prison guard. Enforced upon him is the order for "no human contact." For years he hasn't heard the voice of another human being, he hasn't spoken, hasn't been touched. In truth he is a walking dead man. Silence, misused, is a weapon of isolation and a form of torture. The abandoned heart is disenfranchised from life and love.— Christina Feldman, Silence