no longer silenced movement

Empowering Child Abuse Survivors and Promoting Awareness

Tag: child welfare

Caring About Foster Kids

Right now, I’m trying to compile resources together and I’d love to get your help! Nicolette has been great providing resources and I just wanted to reach out to see if anyone might have first hand, or know of somebody who’ve had first hand experience in aging out of foster care.

I’d love to meet people, and talk to them, who’ve experienced what i was like to not be officially adopted prior to turning 18. Thank you for your help and support of the No Longer Silenced Movement. If you check out our facebook, you can see the great posts that Nicolette has been putting up while she’s been working hard in Graduate school.

Also, if you have any interest in writing for the No Longer Silenced Movement, please reach out via wordpress, twitter, email, or facebook. We’re looking for some writing interns to help us reach out and help as many child abuse survivors as possible.

Thank you all for your incredible support.

High School Drop Out To College Graduate

This story is by a guest writer, that we would like to keep anonymous.

My story may be familiar to some of you who are reading it or completely foreign to others, I am a high school drop out. There is a certain stigma associated with being a high school drop out. Some people will say we are stupid, worthless, and that we are going nowhere in life. While the decision I made to drop out of high school seemed like the only option at the time, it is one I have truly regretted for a very long time. However, I no longer have regrets or self-pity. The choice was mine to make, but it was not a choice that defined me as a person. This is my story.
Growing up, I came from a poor family. Most people in my family dropped out of high school. From my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, most of them never finished high school. As a result of this, my parents held low-income jobs. There were times that our power got shut off, there wasn’t much food in the fridge, and there was never much at Christmas. While my childhood was mostly ok by emotional standards, the financial standards were less than favorable.
While attending school, I was very active in different sports and clubs. I was a cheerleader and on the student council. I was a very upbeat and social person that enjoyed spending time with my friends. However, this is when the unraveling began. My parents got divorced when I was 16-years old. My Mother had been setting up plans to divorce my Father for several years prior to the actual day she left. When I was in middle school she took me to see some apartments with her. For several years previous to this, she also set up plans for us to see a male friend of hers out of town periodically, all while reminding me not to tell my Father. After these awkward encounters, I harbored a huge amount of guilt and feelings of remorse that I had no control over.
After my Mother left when I was 16, it was just my Father and I in an empty house, and my depression began to set it. My Father was in a depressive state because his wife had left him and I felt as if I contributed to his feelings of sadness because I did not speak up and say anything to him about the man my Mother was taking me to see. Looking at my Father, I felt that I betrayed him and caused him a huge amount of sadness. My depression worsened and I was prescribed medication.
As I wrestled with these feelings of what I felt that I had done, my depression worsened to the point where I tried to commit suicide. I was hospitalized and treated at a youth facility where I completed a program for depression. When I was released, I found out people in my high school were spreading horrible rumors about me and I began to become more depressed and developed intense anxiety. Finally, after all the rumors, the giggles, and the staring, I decided that I could not handle the walls of my high school and I decided to drop out at 18 years old, with only one semester left of my high school career. Even though my family tried to convince me otherwise, there was no way that I was going back to school.
After dropping out of high school, I started partying intensely and hanging out with people that I should not have been. Fortunately, my sister offered to let me come live with her in another city so I could start fresh. The stipulations that she had were that I get my GED and find a job. Finally, after getting a good retail job and obtaining my GED, I felt like my life was finally getting back on track. I was happy because I had a wonderful support system with my sister and her family and I felt like I was talking care of myself. My sister then pushed me to pursue college because she knew I could make something of myself.
When I moved away for college, I found new opportunities and great friends. Unfortunately the freedom and the extra student loan money got the best of me and I was now a college dropout. At 18, I simply was not mature enough to attend classes because I was too busy being social and having fun. I did however, learn the hard way that life is not easy on your own. After having a part-time retail job, I found myself working full-time in a call center second shift.
The depression began to sink in because I felt like I wasn’t doing anything with my life and I felt very disconnected from the world and my family. At the age of 19, I found myself back into psychiatric treatments staying in-patient and in group therapy. This is where I really learned valuable coping skills and decided that I did not want to live a depressed life anymore. I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage, but I wanted to change and become a more positive, less depressed person.
My life completely changed when I met my now-husband. He comes from a very tight-knit family. His parents were very good to me and let me move in with them and they started to feel like family. With the support of my husband, he pushed me to go back to school. The night before I started m first math class, I bawled my eyes out because I thought I was going to fail. The funny thing is, I aced that class, along with every other subsequent math class that I have taken.
My life did a complete 180. I went from being someone who got poor grades in high school to becoming a woman who made the Dean’s list every semester in college. With every class, there were many challenges but the rewards were huge. Through this college experience, I have gained so much confidence and happiness within myself that I never thought was possible. Overcoming the obstacles of remedial math and science classes and being another poverty student statistic, were extremely hard obstacles for me to overcome. The self-doubt I also carried within myself was also another huge hurdle for me to cross over.
But, I made it. Now I can finally say, at the age of 25, I proved the statistics wrong. Mostly, I am finally happy with myself. Sure, I still battle depression but I have learned that there are ways to manage these feelings. The biggest thing I have learned is that we really can do whatever we put our minds to. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to attend college and have a chance to change my life around. What is important in life is how we go forward after we make a mistake. I truly regretted dropping out of high school and college but I found the motivation within myself to go back and face my fears. Now, I am happier than ever and will never have to face poverty again.

Not Just Survivors

As a survivor, you can change the world. You can motivate people again and again, and encourage them to do good with their lives. Survivors can do phenomenal work, but that’s not enough for the World. It cannot just be survivors who care. It cannot just be loved ones of victims. We need all the help we can get, including people outside of the tragedy that is Child Abuse.

According to statistics provided by childhelp.org, 4-7 children die each day to child abuse. While all child deaths are tragic, we hear about children dying in hot cars, averaging a few dozen a year, when child abuse loses 1,460-2,555 a year, yet they never make national news. We need to care more, and we cannot do it alone

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.

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?

Thank You

This post will be short and sweet. We just wanted to thank everyone who took the time to respond to our previous post!

All of your insights were very helpful, and we truly appreciate all of the support you give us! If you were unable to see our last blog, we reached out to our audience in order to see what helps you or anyone deal with life after abuse. Everybody deals with things differently, so getting a variety of opinions was definitely insightful. If you’d still like to respond, we would love to hear from you!

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.

What Is Abuse?

When a group stands behind a cause, most of the information shared is what the organization does and statistics that support why it’s important. Being well-informed has a positive impact when trying to expand the support of your organization, but one thing missing, is there aren’t typically extravagant details about what is actually considered abuse.

 

This may seem obvious, which I admittedly thought at first, then when I looked into the laws covering abuse, physical abuse was only one part, and since there have been many cases on whether a parents actions fall under abuse, we could all use a little insight into how many actions we might pass as okay, but mean are illegal in actuality. 

 

Physical abuse:

Includes any form of physical harm, hitting, pushing slapping, burn, throwing objects, throwing the child, shaking, etc. Physical abuse can seem self explanatory, but it’s good to question everything, knowledge is power, and helpful coinciding with a sensitive, gruesome position endured by a youth.

 

Sexual abuse:

Any form of fondling or invasion of body privacy and exploitation of the child to perform sexual acts, as well as forcing them to watch any type of sexual act. This can also be done entirely online, from pictures to how a person speaks to the child.

 

Emotional Child Abuse:

This is categorized as putting the child down, making them feel bad about themselves, insulting them and their worth, extreme punishments, and any psychological maltreatment.

 

Neglect:

Ignoring a child, not giving attention to medical needs, not providing shelter or food, not showing or expressing the love and support to a child, failure to provide education, and lack of hygiene.

 

All of these can have long lasting affects on a child, from behavior issues to drug use and criminal acts. Children can develop psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety that never goes away. It’s important to know the types of abuse, because there’s so much pain caused by such actions.

*Information summed up from Healthyplace.com