no longer silenced movement

Empowering Child Abuse Survivors and Promoting Awareness

For The Summers Stuck At Home

A lot of use can’t wait for the summer to come. Warmer weather, vacations, the beach; the season is made for relaxing and enjoying yourself…but for the kids, the teens, and the young adults out of school for the summer, they’re anything but relaxed. If you have a loving home and beautiful family to experience your freed up time with, it can be amazing, but for a family that’sw abusive, physically and emotionally…you’re not only miserable but you’re trapped.

You try doing everything you can to get out of the house, hang out with as many friends as you possibly can, despite how broke you are, and fill up your time any way that you can….but at the end of the night, you have to eventually go home. You’re uncomfortable and not happy, worst of all you’re scared, and you start to see pictures of the people you care about with their loving families and the pain feels twice as bad.

You can’t change your family, not really anyway, but you have the chance to change your experiences. Remember, in those dark times, when you’re feeling lost and worthless, when you’ve seen the last happy family picture you can possibly stand…always sit back and remember, you’re not alone. We’re here for you, we have been, and we always will be. No matter what time of day, even if we’re asleep and you can solely read blogs and Nicolette’s book “One”, we’re here, and we’ll do everything we can for you, as soon as we can.

You’re not alone. Your family might not be the ones to comfort you when you’re lost and down, but somebody will always understand you, be compassionate, and will relate to you like you never thought you could relate to somebody before. You have your own “family” no matter what you think.

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If You Ever Need Someone To Talk To

Since it’s a Friday night, I’m going to keep this short and sweet. If you ever need somebody to talk to, never feel bad about reaching out. We’re here to support you. We’re here to help you. No matter who you are. No matter what you’re going through, don’t ever think you’re alone.

No tragedy is the same, no bad childhood can be compared, and nobody can really say they understand your depression and anxiety exactly as is…while all that is true, we still can support each other. We can lend a listening ear, when it feels like you’re world is falling apart. When you feel so unloved, getting out of bed is too difficult to bear, read some posts and remind yourself, that there are people out there…people you’ve never met, who want you to know how special you are, and how much you are not alone, even though it may feel that way.

You get this life, and you’re handed a deck of cards, and sometimes, no matter how great of a person you are, you’re deck can and will royally suck…and what’s worse is the people who put themselves above all will get the most incredible and unfair deck, and it will make you feel worse, it’ll make you want to give up…but that’s when you need to try harder. No matter what you’re experiencing, I promise, there’s somebody out there that understands how you feel. Don’t give up on yourself. never ever give up on yourself.

Regardless of how you feel in this moment, remember all of this, and make your life the most beautiful comeback story anyone has ever seen.

The Popular Opinion On The Foster Care System

A lot of people judge the foster care system, and say how much it needs to be fixed. It is a broken system, there’s no question about it, but for good reason…. THERE’S SO MANY KIDS IN IT. It’s such an overcrowded system, that many children stay in abusive or unfit homes, because there’s no place for them to go. The foster system might need to be fixed, but what really needs fixing is the people having the children that end up dealing with this pain.

It’s easy to blame a sector of the government for our problems, it seems to be the go-to blame game target, but how much can they really do with that overflow? It would help to have more foster parents, that’s a beautiful thing, and for further education about adopting children that aren’t babies, or “fresh from the mom”. If there’s more outreach about saving a child, at an older age, maybe it will help these kids get adopted, and into permanent loving homes.

Though some people like to ignore this fact, there are so many children without loving homes, and that go through life, never having a loving home. I hope in the next decade the world sees this. That they understand how many kids are born, and then after some time, have no place to go, and nobody tries to adopt. No child should age out of the foster care system. That’s a horrible scenario. Nobody should go on without a family, and go through life never having the luxury of seeing families on the holidays or having parents at that wedding. Don’t forget about the kids that so many continue to forget, they deserve far more love than they’ve gotten.

The Rare but Potentially Fatal Abuse Nobody Cares About

I don’t know if you heard the story, but last year Boston Children’s Hospital suffered a lot of backlash after flagging a case as medical child abuse, which would result in the state taking the child away. Last year, I read a post that Boston Children’s wrote addressing the issue, and the comments were flooded with harsh negativity. People said they were awful, cruel, and despicable doctors trying to rip a child away from their parents.

Is that what people think? Do people automatically assume the parents have done no harm, and that the person taking their child away from their abusive custody is cruel? The case was difficult because medical child abuse is probably the easiest to cover up, and it is the least looked for abuse in children.

The case all started when Justina Pelletier, a 14 year old girl, was brought in by her parents to Boston for the treatment of mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial disease, is not very common, it’s symptoms are not very unique, and it is potentially fatal if left untreated. The problem wasn’t only that it’s difficult to diagnose, but no formal test was done, called the “hallmark of mitochondrial disorders” by the diagnosing Doctor from Tufts Mark Korson. Besides the sketchy lack of tests and research done into her symptoms, mitochondrial disease is known as the go-to disease to medical child abusers.

For not having a clear and confirmed diagnosis, it’s important to note that prior to this, she already faced extreme surgeries. The 14 year old, never tested for a disease, already had a permanent port surgically implanted into her stomach to flush out her digestive system, a common problem of those suffering child medical abuse. Many were upset about the stance Boston Children’s took on the childs case, including the original diagnostician, saying they’re extremely intrusive.

They pulled the child away from her parents, the accused abusers, and prevented contact from them. What may seem extreme to the outside, how would you feel if it were a confirmed medical abuse case? You’d be praising the doctors for stepping in and insuring the safety of that child, while still working to get her well.

All abuse is important, and any suspicions should always be reported. Nothing is more painful than a child stuck in an abusive home.

Emotions Behind Abuse

When asked how she felt right before she left her abuser on http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2013/03/quotes-on-abuse-from-survivors/ ….”Guilt, relief, and pity. I told myself there was nothing else I could do for him, because he would either kill me or I’d kill myself before I even graduated high school.” ~Alexandra

People who look at abuse on the outside, can’t understand how people endure it for so long. They can’t understand why victims feel guilt, about the world gaining knowledge that someone they loved and looked up to, is an abuser. The world is not black and white, and abuse is not so simple. Outsiders might see it as weakness, but I assure you, it’s not.

The reason a victim feels the way they do comes from a number of things, but they have a much better understanding on what goes on in the human mind than you think. They understand concepts you have to experience to even consider. They see their abuser, and they realize, there’s something wrong with them, and they need help. More times than not, an abuser has been abused themselves, and the vicious cycle grows and continue to mark an ugly family tradition.

It’s not to make an excuse for their abuser, or any abuser…in life we all have experiences that lead us to decisions, and no matter what it is that happened to us, we make that decision, and will be the ones to face the consequences of that decision. To be clear, I’m not writing this in the hopes that an outsider will understand, though I wish they would…I’m instead, writing this for any and all victims of abuse. If you’ve ever felt pathetic or weak based on society’s opinion, I’m here to tell you, you’re not. Never for a second, forget that you’re anything but strong and courageous, and people around the World do understand you. You’re never alone in this.

Child Abuse Prevention Month

Many of you know, simply because you follow organizations working to end child abuse, and because you’re advocates yourself, that April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. April kind of snuck up on me, so I’m a little behind advocating as much as I should for this incredible month. What dawned on me while watching T.V. is that while social media and television advocates many important organizations, I have yet to see one advertisement bringing people together to end abuse. On social media I do, more often than not, but that’s because like you, the organizations I follow are designated toward ending abuse.

While working together to make a difference is important, imagine all of the voices we could reach is the cause was trending for this month? Coming together we can find solutions for simple acts that will be easy to repeat. Wearing blue is so simple, yet only current advocates do it, and why is that? Because the World outside of advocates and philanthropists for child abuse awareness don’t have the knowledge of fun ideas or easy actions they can take to promote awareness.

This month is nationally claimed as child abuse awareness month so lets use the better half of this month to educate anyone willing to try to do their part in ending abuse. Encourage them to wear blue, make a simple blue ribbon pin, blog or post on instagram, twitter, or facebook using the hashtag #ChildAbusePreventionMonth and #WearBlueForChildAbuse . With these simple methods, we can realize the true beauty of social media, and all of the positive outlets it has to offer to bring the world together for a cause.

Create a social media event of your own, and include us. Be creative and do what you can to prevent abuse. For more information and tips please visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth

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Top Seven Reasons To Help Out NOLO

Volunteering and Fundraising is a beautiful thing. Those who are helped are forever grateful, no matter what form of help is received, it improves their overall well being…and for the volunteer, the positive impact knows no bounds.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” -Gandhi

1) While you may feel down, it is important to feel self-worth, which is achieved through volunteering. Benefiting those in need is a remarkable experience, and will impact every aspect of your life. There is a full circle affect in life, while one person is helped for one reason, it benefits every area of a community, each individual at a time.

2) While Child Abuse is an underrated crime as is, finding those to care for adult survivors is rare. Being there for the ones who feel they’ve been forgotten might be the motivation they need to keep trying.

3) Fundraising can be done anywhere. It can be incredibly frustrating reaching out for money, especially since times aren’t easy, but even a simple dollar from each of your facebook friends, or followers on other social media outlets, can and will add up quickly, reaching astronomical goals.

4) Volunteering is a humbling experience. We all have our problems, some worse than others, but even if our past is worse than the person we’re helping, we’ve made it through that rough patch already. Helping a stranger, acquaintance, or friend through this same turmoil will remind you to appreciate the journey you’ve made it through so far.

5) While these can be directed to any child abuse organization, volunteering at NOLO is a very personal experience. Nicolette is working on growing the organization everyday, and is open to hearing ideas that will work towards benefiting survivors of abuse.

6) Helping out can be as flexible as you want it to be! While I love working alongside Nicolette, and doing what I can to spread her message…we’ve never actually met. Everything she’s discussed with me, and that I worked on, has been done with her being in Illinois, now Texas, and me being in Massachusetts. With advances in technology, there’s really no telling the simple and convenient ways you can help.

7) Raising Awareness is Vital, and can also be done telecommuting. Not enough people take Child abuse seriously, raising awareness to the growing problem, and its consequences. It’s the simplest of all parts of volunteering, and dedicating your time to a cause, but it can truthfully make all the difference.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” -Winston ChurchillVolunteer-Page

The Silent Fight In America

Have you ever noticed how many arguments Americans involve themselves in Daily? There’s abortion, race, and the welfare system, oh and immigration, that I see people have everyday. The fight I rarely see? The one about child abuse, advocating for abused children, and foster kids (as a good amount of them come from abusive homes. I’m not saying the people I know advocating against child abuse aren’t doing a good job. Nicolette alone is inspiring people everyday, all while being in graduate school, and a pet owner(which might not seem like a huge commitment, but she treats her dog how I treat mine, and that requires constant attention); but child abuse is one of the few causes that, if you’re not a volunteer or your job doesn’t involve the subject, nobody has an opinion on it.

It’s weird to think how many people have an opinion about every topic, but not this one. It’s as if they don’t see it as a huge deal. If you looking at the statistics in the blogs bio (included by Nicolette via childhelp.org) you see how statistically speaking, those abused are more likely to have a child young, do drugs, and be imprisoned for one reason or another; ironic because those three fall back on everyone’s major problem with the welfare system. Of course there’s many survivors that become empowered by their tragedies, but it’s not easy. It’s hard to overcome abuse in a positive way without support system. When abused children are taken from their homes, they enter foster care…each year, an average of 20,000 kids, age out of foster care, never having a family, this traces back to another argument, about reproduction, but I don’t see anybody jumping forward to adopt the kids who need it most. Is it because they’re no longer babies? Giving a child coming out of a traumatic family home can help them to build this positive atmosphere for themselves, and to never give up, no matter what struggles they face.

Day 16-21 the End of the Challenge

Sorry for the delay everyone! When I spent time with my nephew last week, he ended up getting sick, and then I caught it! Due to the lateness, I’ll be including Day 16-21 of the challenge. I hope this challenge has really helped in you some way, and that you push yourself to grow each and every day, never letting the World knock you down!

Day 16- What’s one thing you’ve done, no matter how small, to help someone, that you’re particularly proud of?

Day 17- Write a letter to the person you love most, or that you look up to the most. How have they helped you?

Day 18- Write the scene of something relaxing. What do you think of when you need a break?

Day 19- Imagine you’re giving a lecture to a middle school. Not about a particular subject, but of life in general. What would you tell them?

Day 20- What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, so much so that it’s a life goal? What’s keeping you from doing it?

Day 21- Any younger generation in your family, or your own children…what do you want them to think of when they think of you and how do you intend on leaving that mark on them?

Day 13, 14, & 15 of the 21 Day Survivor Challenge

Day 13- What book has inspired you and made a positive impact on your life and why?

Day 14- Has there been a fictional survivor (from any experience, not necessarily a fictional child abuse story) that has helped you to heal, or that is a “fictional role model” to you?

Day 15- Write a letter, not one to send, to your abuser, what have you always wanted to say to them? What do you think you could say that will help you to get closure?

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