no longer silenced movement

Empowering Child Abuse Survivors and Promoting Awareness

New Website

Nicolette, the founder of the No Longer Silenced Movement, has been hard at work putting together a new website for the organization. While still under construction, the work and effort put into the project is ever present when viewing the website. The founder worked with the owner of 815 media to produce the pilot site, and the attention to detail is un canning.

Our founder, in the midst of a move to Texas, to begin her journey into graduate school, somehow found the time to dedicate to the project and all of her hard work is worth it. The site who currently has individual team member bio’s as well as the mission statement can be found at http://www.nolongersilencedmovement.com. The site, which incorporates the blog, gives credit to the people and organizations that have done their part to make the No Longer Silenced Movement what it is today, and keep it on the road to further growth.

Check out our new website, and let us know what you think!

Back to School

Kids are back to school…and it might be what they’ve dreaded all summer, but for some, it’s an escape. Even if it’s better than home, it doesn’t mean they’ll comply or work hard, most likely they’ll do the opposite (statistically speaking). If you work in a school, and have started back, make sure you remember this when you’re settling in. What a kid does or says to you, isn’t always a reaction towards you, and reading into their behavior can be what saves them. Being a Teacher is one of the most influential jobs pertaining to a child’s life, and also one of the most unappreciated.

It’s not your job to make sure their home life is good, but when you see the signs by spending the majority of your day with them, you can change their life. It’s extra work, with the potential to make a serious difference. Despite how a child behaves towards you, keep it in the bank of your mind that there’s a reason behind each behavior.

It’s limitless what a teacher can do for a child’s life. The ones who’ve made a difference in mind, I keep with me everyday. Good luck this school year, and remember each day that every action a child does, there’s a motivation behind it. Don’t take it personal, don’t let it stress you or bring you down, it’s not you, but whatever it is, you’ll eventually be able to figure it out and move forward with what you know. Breathe and relax, and the answers will come.

World Suicide Prevention Day

To Write Love On Her Arms is hosting their annual National Suicide Prevention Day campaign, which across the nation is recognized as September 10th. TWLOHA (for short) “is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery” according to the vision statement that you can view on their site.

Like any resilient survivor, it is hard to overcome a life of tragedy without carrying scars with you everyday. While you might not feel them or reflect on them everyday, the days you do, it can prove unbearable. According to ChildHelp.org, 80% of survivors of abuse suffer from depression, anxiety, and emotional disorders. Without the proper help, survivors of abuse can turn to a life of crime, teen pregnancy, or become abusers themselves, while many others find it too difficult to make it through each day…and might harm or even end their own life.

While fighting to end abuse we need to help survivors. They need somebody to ease the pain of open wounds and help the healing process…and this campaign can be what helps.

For more information, to get involved, to help others, or maybe help yourself, go to TWLOHA.org.

Radiate Positivity

The only way to change the world, is to find positive solutions to move forward. We have to remember that each day. It’s easy to reflect upon and become angered by the fact that people choose to hurt their children in such damaging ways, it’s painful to see that the people children are supposed to depend upon the most, might be their biggest enemies…but being angered by this fact, doesn’t help victims.

Instead we have to keep fighting for people to speak up, for people to defend them, and to provide them with a safe and positive environment every child deserves to grow in. When we’re motivated by the victims, rather than the abusers, it is then that we create change.

It’s in all matters of community service that this is evident. We need to focus on empowerment and protection, whether it’s for abused children like us, or endangered wildlife, to promoting saving the Earth…we need to be driven by solutions, and then we will end the problem.

No Socioeconomic Boundaries

I recently wrote on my personal blog and will elaborate here, some things, like emotional disorders, have no socioeconomic boundaries…like Child Abuse, you cannot look at the stats of the quality of someone’s life and conclude whether they struggle and face either of these problems.

As shown in the statistics provided by Childhelp.org, we can conclude that the amount of child abuse survivors facing mental illness is exponentially high compared with most young adults of the same age. The major misconception with mental illness is that we feel someone who is struggling a particular day can tell you exactly what’s wrong, so you can try to fix it, some days your depression and/or anxiety get the best of you and you have no idea why. You hate that woke up, you don’t want to move from bed, you can’t imagine studying, or showing your face at work, you feel numb all over, and a type of cold loneliness, even with someone who loves you unconditionally…today you’ve convinced yourself they don’t…and the worst part of it all, is that you have no idea how to fix it or if you can. The pain can get so bad that is physically hurts to be awake, or sober in a sense, but even when the only thing in the world that you want to do is sleep, you lay there and cry, until you’ve emotionally and physically exhausted yourself to sleep for at least twenty minutes.

It’s not pretty, it’s certainly somebody dealing with the disorders would choose if they had a choice at all, but unfortunately, mental illness is not a choice. It has been romanticized and molded into this thing others assume people decide to pick up one day, like a hobby…but if you truly face these, you probably dream you could wish it away. Mental disorders are a constant battle, so I’m asking you this…if you love somebody who faces these diseases, don’t expect them to give you an outright answer, don’t expect them to go out of their way to talk to you, don’t assume a smile on their face represents a smile in their heart…but be there for them, ask them if they want to talk about it, if not, do what they’d like to do to help themselves. Always encourage therapy, nothing compares to professional help. Go for a walk with them, volunteer at a humane society with them once a week, have an arts and crafts night…anything that you believe will help their well-being, do it, and you’ll be forever grateful you made that decision.

The Art of Parenting

A person I know posted something I found interesting today.

 

She vented to twitter that “If you DO NOT have a child you have no right to tell a parent how to do their job”. While that’s true to some extent, it raises many concerns.

First of all, if you’re truly doing your best and somebody tries to tell you to do something different when your child is happy, healthy, and loved…then obviously they’re pushing their opinion where they shouldn’t…but in other cases I’m not so sure.

I’ve seen this problem come up many times over the past year…mainly from single parents who are probably over-worked and stressed and from people who choose to not have their children vaccinated.

 

While I understand many parents have different reasons for doing things, where do we draw the line? It’s almost as if children are being treated more and more like property (obviously a select few parents)…and this isn’t to attack anyone by any means but I feel everything should be done in best interest of the child…not by what you believe in…because isn’t that what creates a healthy happy life?

 

I responded to the girl who posted this about people who’ve studied adolescent development intensely, as well as those that work with and are passionate about children’s well being, might have some concerns. Where do we begin to say medical choices based on what you believe in rather than your child’s health is a form of abuse? I’m not sure about every child abuse law nationwide, but Massachusetts has a strict policy against medical neglect. The medical side is of course only once instance where the problem of not being invasive towards someones parenting comes up, but I think it’s one of the most common lately.

 

I feel that if you have a child, you should not be claiming them as your property but rather, be protective, do what they need to strive and grow, and help them find their way in the world.

5-year-old with Terminal Cancer Just Wants Some Mail. Let’s Overflow his P.O. box…

Kindness Blog

Danny Nickerson is 5 years old, but not for long. He’s very excited to become a big 6-year-old this Friday. As happy as this birthday will be, however, it will be hard, too.

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Danny has a virtually unbeatable cancer. Doctors have told his family that less than 10 percent of kids diagnosed with his type live longer than 18 months.

So the upcoming celebration will be an emotional day filled with far more highs and lows than a typical 6-year-old’s birthday. And what is he hoping to get for this extraordinary birthday?

Cards.

He loves getting mail.

His mom says,

“He can recognize his name now. When he saw his name on the package from magical fairies on Easter, he was so happy.”

Since Easter, though, packages have slowed down. But now, for his birthday, it’s time to make sure he gets all the cards he could possibly want to read.

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Good Things Take Time

Sorry for the wait, but I’m back to blogging again. I had a busy couple of weeks, and I realized it’s okay to take some time to get it together, and I wish more people saw it that way.

This past year, I worked at a Charter School, and if you’ve ever seen a faulty education system, this one would top that. Kids come from many different walks of life. Some with bad homes, a bad past, others simply find learning a real challenge. Working there, I witnessed every type of kid struggle, and the real culprit, were the adults that surrounded them.

Many kids yelled at me, swore under their breathe, aggressively hit desks…and they got away with it so nobody had to deal with them. They couldn’t figure out why 1/8 was smaller than 8/1, time and time again, but we moved on in class so nobody had to deal with them. A mother hated me, because I ensured her kid worked hard in order to get credit, and tried to get me fired, because it was easier to pass him so nobody had to take the time to educate them.

Children are the future, if we fail them now, they’ll give up on the beautiful experience that is learning.

If we continue to pass children, to get them by, they won’t learn, and they WILL give up on school, and they WILL give up on themselves. We have to start caring about these kids learning, no matter how difficult it may be.

Every child deserves a quality education and a future. If we teach them how to learn, then they’ll find a passion and make it happen for themselves. If we ignore the idea of encouraging their dreams…they’ll look for love in all the wrong places…drugs, teenage pregnancy, it’s not just an epidemic from nothing…it’s the kids nobody gave a chance to, nobody believed in, nobody encouraged….because if you’re that role model, that child will be resilient.

Take Time To Breathe

take time

We live in a busy world. Everything’s fast paced. We always are on-the-go. We always have a mile long to do list, and a million and one things to improve upon. With all of the chaos and rush, we forget the peacefulness and beauty of the here and now.

 

We’re survivors, activists, dedicated to ending child abuse, fighting the evils and pains in the World that we don’t take a step back to revel in the beauty. We’re here, and whether we realize it or not, we’re putting positivity into the world, we’re making a difference.

 

Don’t forget to appreciate all you do and take time to yourself, be kind to yourself, be proud to be you, be proud of your accomplishments. Sometimes when we focus on making a difference so much we forget the power of self expression and a relaxed mind. Whether it’s a bench outside to watch the sunrise, a day at the lake, writing in your journal, posting in your blog, sketching your favorite animal, a DIY project, yoga, and/or meditation…remember you’re doing good, and all the work you’ve done and continue to do is worth doing, give yourself a break every now and then.

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.