no longer silenced movement

Empowering Child Abuse Survivors and Promoting Awareness

Month: June, 2014

Judgement Free Zone

I read a news article today. It was about a girl, who was 17, who went missing Thursday. The reporter wrote about how she’d been found at her friends house. She was in an argument with her mother. She left her phone and all of her belongings that she had on her at the dance studio she went to, where she was last seen.

Whenever I read something like this, I think in a compassionate way, what led the child to run away? What was the argument about? Did her mother behave aggressively when in an argument? Was her side not being heard? Was she extremely disrespected and verbally abused in arguments with her mother? Was she having a hard time at home? I always try and think free of assumptions, because all I know is what the reporter told me, but as with everything, there’s a lot of background information to how things come to be.

I scrolled through the comments. I need to stop doing that. I know I can’t change everyone. I know I can’t make everyone care…but I can’t read what was written about her be left without a response, because maybe my voice was what needed to be hear to change someone’s opinion.

The comments were along the lines of “She should have to pay for the police use”, “She should be ashamed of herself the selfish spoiled brat”, “She better be grounded for a year”, “She should be spanked”, “She better get a beating for that”…and comments attacking the daughter. I was 17 once. It was when my anxiety really started to develop. I did exceptional in school…but when I turned 18 things were different, I had a lot of growing up to do. Why is this girl to blame? What did she do? And what did the people that said such cruel things actually know?

My point is, don’t judge a situation by a detail or two that you may know. Some of the most abusive or hurtful households, can be the ones we suspect the least. Be free of judgement and conscientious of the fact that we don’t have all the answers without thorough questioning, compassion, and research. Be Kind.

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The Father’s Day Problem

For many, Father’s Day is dedicated to appreciate the dad that’s helped them grow, that’s supported them in every way, and has taught them how they should be treated, for them we hope tomorrow is a day to appreciate what they have, and congratulate them. There are a good amount however, whom are not so lucky. They live in fear of their father. They’ve escaped their father. They’ve never known their father, or they wish that they hadn’t.

 

While tomorrow may bring pain, it can bring quiet reminders of strength and resilience as well. You endured it, but you’re still here. Things aren’t perfect, but you’re trying. While you may not have a loving father, there are those that love you. If today makes you sad, let it happen, you have a right to all of your emotions…but at the end of the day remember how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished, and to do that without a loving and supportive father is nothing short of awe inspiring.

 

You’re not alone, you’ll never be alone, there’s always somebody you’ll be able to find and talk to and while they might not entirely understand, they’ll practice compassion and you’ll be able to feel at ease once more.

 

You are loved, you are important, and you do mean a lot to someone.

Don’t Give Up On Giving

Volunteering can be difficult. Nobody has time, we’re all on a budget, and struggling to get by as is, but volunteering brings us a greater sense of accomplishment and hopefulness that we cannot receive from a job. Doing good to do good, will make us proud like nothing else can. Helping those less fortunate than us is an incredible deed, and takes less work than you might think.

Whether you only have an hour to spare volunteering, find a local charity and do it. We want want to end child abuse. Find a local child abuse event, it’s only one day, make the time for it, and those that you help will be forever grateful. Find a problem you’re passionate about, and do positive work to solve it. It will make a difference. To a child that’s ready to give up on themselves, us not giving up on philanthropy and charity will make the difference.

One person can tip the scale of improving child abuse laws, one dollar is the difference between family counseling, one meal is the difference between every child being fed, one phone call can save a child from abuse…Why does all of this matter? Because it only takes ONE to change a child’s life, and not let their future be defined by their abusers.

Don’t give up on Community Service. It might be difficult, but a spare hour once a year can be a time for philanthropy. Even sharing posts or events for promotion can and does make a powerful impact. Keep trying.

Emotional Abuse

Lately, more and more headlines have hit the news about bullies and the impact that words have on a persons mental health. While every child gets insulted a few times, there’s a difference between a one-time insult and taunting mannerisms. We see bullies as the evil, and we only see peers as bullies. With every facet of mental health, we must remember that there are actions that cause hatred, and the bullies might themselves be victims. We don’t think about the bullies as victims, or wonder why they are the way they are, and we also don’t look past a child’s peers for bullies, when they, like their bully, could have an abuse at home.

When people think of bullying, or harmful words being spoken, they fail to differentiate between a random insult vs. harassing constant remarks belittling someones self-worth. While both our bad, this isn’t a perfect world and we have to move forward and accept this to eliminate emotional abuse.

Telling your child “No wonder why you don’t have any friends”, “You need to start losing weight”, “You don’t know anything” and other comments alike carry heavy weight. Even the most confident of victims can either become depressed and want to give up on themselves all together, or can build up their aggression and take it out on others. Either way the situation is sad, and those that hold it in the best still have certain symptoms that you can observe over a period of time and put them together to find that something might be wrong.

Whether a kid shows aggression towards teachers, or students…or keeps to themselves and lacks emotion…and even an outgoing happy person if they keep their distance from their home, or the opposite (wants only friends to come to their home), all are signs that they’re suffering from a confidence issue, most likely instilled by someone they’re surrounded with.

It can be a child, yes, but if you notice odd behavior from a parent, continue to keep an eye out for it. Sadly, when you suspect it and see off-putting behavior, it can be a reality, and you may be presented with the opportunity to help. Even if you go to the school guidance counselor, they can lead you in the right direction. Remember, focus on helping, not what might happen in a negative way if you speak up…it’s always right to speak up…and chances are they’ll be sent to family counseling, giving them the opportunity to improve as parents and a family combined.