Tuesday, April 27, 2010


the nightmares keep coming back.

right in the middle of a pleasant dream, there he is. i see his face. sometimes he doesn't speak. sometimes he doesn't look at me. but he is there....and suddenly i am filled with fear, with anger, with...darkness. there is no word to describe the feeling. i wake up panicky, feeling as if i haven't slept at all, and my neck and shoulders so tense they are throbbing. i awake to darkness surrounding me awake as i have within me in unconsciousness.

i roll over to see hubby sleeping, breathing evenly and deeply. i touch his arm, curl up against his shoulder and try to sleep again. within me there is a fight--a fight for sleep i desperately need as a mother of two very small and energetic children, and a fight for consciousness, to escape the man who haunts my dreams.

how do i escape? there is no where to run. i cannot hide from what is inside my head. in my waking hours it is much easier to avoid the darkness and fear, although not always successful. at night, in my dreams....there is no way. there is no escape. my mind is a prison that i am bound to, and i don't know where to go looking for the key.

i am grateful to have a family who loves and supports me, who bolsters me through the daylight. a husband who keeps me connected to reality. children who need me. without them, i might just be lost in the depths of insanity, surrendering to the darkness inside, losing myself piece by piece into the mists of fear and helplessness.

helplessness. yes, that's the word i couldn't place before.

a small girl, six years of age, sitting in a corner. curled up in a tight little ball...face pressed into knees, arms wrapped around her body, shaking and shivering, alone, confused and hurt...tears running down her face. no where to run, no where to hide, no one to talk to.

when i close my eyes, that is what i see.

i see me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"The sun is nature's Prozac." (Astrid Alauda)

it's been a little while since i've posted. but in all, this is a good thing. this means that i am busy...and i am also a lot happier.

my meds really seem to be working and i am doing well at not forgetting to take them. i am also exercising more and eating better overall, which i think is helping. the weather is getting nice, which makes getting out of the house and into the sun easier, which also helps. (check out my weight-loss blog, burnin' baby fat, to see how my progress is coming.)

i have decided i am going to find a new therapist. the one i am seeing now doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot, and i have been getting rather irritated with the direction my therapy is going. i am also going to be seeing a doctor who practices NAET (you can read about it here) to see if it will help out with my depression and PTSD. my first appointment is on friday, so i'll let you know how it all goes. karina over at the daily delights suggested it to me, she said it's worked wonders for her.

also, hubby freaking rocks. and not just because he bought me this:
that's right, i am the proud owner of an iphone, and i LOVE it.

well i'm going to get up off my butt and do some workin' out, then on to clean my nasty house before my piano students arrive this afternoon. (did i mention i have ten students now? woot woot!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

burnin' baby fat

i have a new blog.

it is my weight-loss blog...where i will keep track of my exercise, my eating, my journey to getting rid of this baby fat!

check it out, come follow me, join me in losing weight, cheer me on.

burnin' baby fat

7 steps to protecting our children: recap

in case you missed the 7 steps (taken from darkness2light.org), here is a quick recap for you.

see the complete booklet here

Step 1. Learn the facts. Understand the risks.
Realities – not trust – should influence your decisions regarding children.

Step 2. Minimize opportunity.

If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, you’ll dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for children.

Step 3. Talk about it.
Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it.

Step 4. Stay alert.
Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused.

Step 5. Make a plan.
Learn where to go, whom to call and how to react.

Step 6. Act on suspicions.

The future well-being of a child is at stake.

Step 7. Get involved.

Volunteer and financially support organizations that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

Monday, April 12, 2010

7 steps to protecting our children: step 7

Step 7
Get involved.

Volunteer and financially support organization that fight the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

“What can I do to help children in my community?”

Get involved by donating your time and resources to support organizations such as these:
◆ Prevention programs
◆ Children’s advocacy centers
◆ Crisis information and referral services
◆ Rape crisis centers

Use your voice and your vote to make your community a safer place for children.
◆ Ask that schools and organizations in your community have child sexual abuse prevention policies, and help with their creation. Ask other adults to do the same.
◆ Bring Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children prevention program to your community.
◆ Support legislation that protects children. Visit www.darkness2light.org for legislative information.
◆ Demand that the government put more resources into protecting children from sexual abuse and into responding to reports of sexual abuse.
◆ Call and write your members of Congress.
◆ Write letters to your newspaper.


There are 39 million survivors of child sexual abuse in America today.
Let the healing and the prevention begin today.

The references for this booklet can be found in the 7 Steps portion of the Darkness to Light website, www.darkness2light.org/7steps/7steps_bibliography.asp.

step 1
step 2
step 3
step 4
step 5
step 6

taken from darkness2light.org

Sunday, April 11, 2010

7 steps to protecting our children: step 6

Step 6
Act on suspicions.

The future well being of a child is at stake.

By acting on suspicions of child sexual abuse, you will save not only one child, but perhaps countless others. Many of those who sexually abuse children have multiple victims.

You may be faced with a situation where you suspect abuse but don’t have any proof. Suspicions are scary, but trust your instincts. Have the courage to report the suspected abuse.

What if I’m not sure?
Where do I go?
◆ Child Abuse Helplines have staff specifically trained to deal with questions about suspected child sexual abuse. Call Darkness to Light’s helpline, 1-866-FOR-LIGHT to be routed to resources in your community, or call the Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD.
◆ Children’s Advocacy Centers coordinate all the professionals (legal, social services, medical) involved in a case. If you’re unsure about whether to make an official report or just need support, contact a children’s advocacy center. The staff will help you evaluate your suspicions and your next steps. To find a center near you, contact The National Children’s Alliance at www.nca-online.org or 1-800-239-9950.
◆ Local Community Agencies, such as local hotlines, United Way offices, or rape crisis centers can often help.
◆ Talk to the child’s parents (as long as they are not the abusers) and provide educational materials, such as this booklet. If the parents seem indifferent or unlikely to take action, call one of the recommended sources.

Know the agencies that handle reports of abuse.
Two agencies handle most reports of child abuse.
Child Protective Services (in some states this agency has a different name)
Law Enforcement: Some states designate Child Protective Services as the agency that accepts reports of suspected child abuse. Others designate law enforcement. Some do not designate or designate both. Many states have tollfree lines that accept reports of abuse from the entire state. To find out where to make a report in your state, identify the Child Abuse Reporting Numbers at The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect website, http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/topics/reporting/guidelines.cfm.
If the legal system does not provide adequate protection for a child, visit the National Center for Victims of Crime at www.ncvc.org or call 1-800-FYI-CALL for referral information.

These resources can help you if you are unsure of whether abuse has occurred, but they do not substitute for making an official report. Remember that you may be a mandated reporter in your state and you may be the only source of protection for that child.

step 1
step 2
step 3
step 4
step 5

taken from darkness2light.org

Saturday, April 10, 2010

7 steps to protecting our children: step 5

Step 5
Make a plan.

Learn where to go, whom to call, and how to react.

“My 11-year-old daughter said her step-father sneaks into her room at night. Then she said she made it up. Now she won’t say anything. I don’t know what to do.”

Don’t overreact.

If a child breaks an arm or runs a high fever, you know to stay calm and where to seek help because you’ve mentally prepared yourself. Reacting to child sexual abuse is the same. Your reactions have a powerful influence on vulnerable children.

When you react to disclosure with anger or disbelief, the response is often:
◆ The child shuts down.
◆ The child changes his or her story in the face of your anger and disbelief, when, in fact, abuse is actually occurring.
◆ The child changes the account around your questions so future tellings appear to be “coached.” This can be very harmful if the case goes to court.
◆ The child feels even guiltier.

Very few reported incidents are false.

Offer support.
Think through your response before you suspect abuse. You’ll be able to respond in a more supportive manner.
◆ Believe the child and make sure the child knows it.
◆ Thank the child for telling you and praise the child’s courage.
◆ Encourage the child to talk but don’t ask leading questions about details. Asking about details can alter the child’s memory of events. If you must ask questions to keep the child talking, ask open-ended ones like “what happened next?”
◆ Seek the help of a professional who is trained to interview the child about sexual abuse. Professional guidance could be critical to the child’s healing and to any criminal prosecution.
◆ Assure the child that it’s your responsibility to protect him or her and that you’ll do all you can.
◆ Report or take action in all cases of suspected abuse, both inside and outside the immediate family.
◆ Don’t panic. Sexually abused children who receive support and psychological help can and do heal.

Child sexual abuse is a crime.

Know the legal requirements for reporting:
◆ All 50 states require that professionals who work with children report reasonable suspicions of child abuse. Some states require that anyone with suspicions report it. Information about each state’s requirements is available at the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect.
◆ If you are a professional who works with children, (e.g., a teacher, a nurse) there are special procedures and reporting requirements you must follow. Your employer should provide mandated reporting training.

step 1
step 2
step 3
step 4

taken from darkness2light.org

Friday, April 9, 2010

7 steps to protecting our children: step 4

Step 4
Stay alert.

Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused. Signs are often there but you’ve got to spot them.

“Is my son’s withdrawal due to preteen angst or is he being sexually abused?”

Learn the signs.
◆ Physical signs of sexual abuse are not common, although redness, rashes or swelling in the genital area, urinary tract infections, or other such symptoms should be carefully investigated. Also, physical problems associated with anxiety, such as chronic stomach pain or headaches, may occur.
◆ Emotional or behavioral signals are more common. These can run from “too perfect” behavior, to withdrawal and depression, to unexplained anger and rebellion.
◆ Sexual behavior and language that are not age-appropriate can be a red flag.
◆ Be aware that in some children there are no signs whatsoever.

If you find physical signs that you suspect are sexual abuse, have the child physically examined immediately by a professional who specializes in child sexual abuse.

A children’s advocacy center can guide you. To find a center near you, contact the National Children’s Alliance or call 1-800-239-9950.

The opportunity to convict a child molester may depend on evidence from an examination.

step one
step two
step three

taken from darkness2light.org

Thursday, April 8, 2010

7 steps to protecting our children: step 3

Step 3
Talk about it.

Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about it.

Understand why children are afraid to “tell.”

◆ The abuser shames the child, points out that the child let it happen, or tells the child that his or her parents will be angry.
◆ The abuser is often manipulative and may try to confuse the child about what is right and wrong.
◆ The abuser sometimes threatens the child or a family member.
◆ Some children who do not initially disclose abuse are ashamed to tell when it happens again.
◆ Children are afraid of disappointing their parents and disrupting the family.
◆ Some children are too young to understand.
◆ Many abusers tell children the abuse is “okay” or a “game.”

“My daughter tells me everything. I know she would tell me if someone molested her.”

Know how children communicate.

◆ Children who disclose sexual abuse often tell a trusted adult other than a parent. For this reason, training for people who work with children is especially important.
◆ Children may tell “parts” of what happened or pretend it happened to someone else to gauge adult reaction.
◆ Children will often “shut down” and refuse to tell more if you respond emotionally or negatively.

Talk openly with children.

Good communication may decrease a child’s vulnerability to sexual abuse and increase the likelihood that the child will tell you if abuse has occurred.

◆ Teach your children about their bodies, about what abuse is, and, when age-appropriate, about sex. Teach them words that help them discuss sex comfortably with you.
◆ Model caring for your own body, and teach children how to care for theirs.
◆ Teach children that it is “against the rules” for adults to act in a sexual way with them and use examples. Teach them what parts of their bodies others should not touch.
◆ Be sure to mention that the abuser might be an adult friend, family member, or older youth.
◆ Teach children not to give out their email addresses, home addresses, or phone numbers while using the Internet.
◆ Start early and talk often. Use everyday opportunities to talk about sexual abuse.
◆ Be proactive. If a child seems uncomfortable, or resistant to being with a particular adult, ask why.
◆ Teach children that it is your responsibility to protect them from sexual abuse.
◆ Teach children you can only protect them if they tell you when something is wrong.
◆ Listen quietly. Children have a hard time telling parents about troubling events.

Talk to other adults about child sexual abuse.
◆ Support and mutual learning occur when you share with another adult.
◆ You raise the consciousness of your community and influence their choices about child safety.
◆ You may be offering support and information to an adult whose child is experiencing abuse, and may not know what to do.
◆ You put potential abusers on notice that you are paying attention.

step one
step two

taken from darkness2light.org

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

march for dimes walk

I'm very excited to be a part of March for Babies this year. Please help me reach my goal by making a donation to my walk. It's easy and secure!

Your gift will fund March of Dimes research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. And it will be used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care.

Please support this important work. You can make a donation with your credit card, or if you prefer, cash or a check is fine, too.

Thank you for helping me give all babies a healthy start!

If you'd like to make a donation, contact me via comment on this post or by email.

The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Thank you!

hate or indifference?

i read this post over at child abuse survivor yesterday, and boy did it really hit me.

go read it. it's a good one.

7 steps to protecting our children: step 2

Step 2
Minimize opportunity.

If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, you’ll dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for children.

More than 80% of sexual abuse cases occur in one-adult/one-child situations.

Reduce the risk. Protect children.

◆ Understand that abusers often become friendly with potential victims and their families, enjoying family activities, earning trust, and gaining time alone with children.
◆ Think carefully about the safety of any one-adult/one-child situations. Choose group situations when possible.
◆ Think carefully about the safety of situations in which older youth have access to younger children. Make sure that multiple adults are present who can supervise.
◆ Set an example by personally avoiding one-adult/one-child situations with children other than your own.
◆ Monitor children’s Internet use. Offenders use the Internet to lure children into physical contact.

“An organization in my community has programs for children, but puts no limits on one-adult/one-child situations. Should I be concerned?”
Reduce the risk. Insist on policy.

◆ Create and lobby for policies reducing or eliminating one-adult/one-child situations in all youth-serving organizations, such as faith groups, sports teams, and school clubs. These policies should ensure that all activities can be interrupted and observed.
◆ Talk with program administrators about the supervision of older youth who have responsibility for the care of children.
◆ Insist on screenings that include criminal background checks, personal interviews, and professional recommendations for all adults who serve children. Avoid programs that do not use ALL of these methods.
◆ Insist that youth-serving organizations train their staff and volunteers to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
◆ Ensure that youth-serving organizations have policies for dealing with suspicious situations
and reports of abuse.

One-on-one time with a trusted adult is healthy and valuable for a child. It builds self-esteem and deepens relationships. There are things you can do to protect children when you want them to have time alone with another adult.

◆ Drop in unexpectedly when the child is alone with any adult, even trusted family members.
◆ Make sure outings are observable, if not by you, then by others.
◆ Ask the adult about the specifics of the planned activities before the child leaves your care. Notice the adult’s ability to be specific.
◆ Talk with the child when he or she returns. Notice the child’s mood and whether the child can tell you with confidence how the time was spent.
◆ Find a way to tell the adults who care for children that you and the child are educated about child sexual abuse. Be that direct.

step one

taken from darkness2light.org

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

give away for child abuse month

over at HOPE: healing our past experiences (previously known as SOLE: surviving life's experiences blog). it is a beautiful bracelet and i want it so badly. :)

dawn-marie has a beautiful blog, full of inspiring words and talks, music, and all sorts of tools for using the gospel to heal. i have been reading her blog for awhile and i really enjoy it.

check it out!

7 steps to protecting our children: step 1

Step 1
Learn the facts and understand the risks.
Realities – not trust – should influence your decisions regarding children.

It is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being abused.

◆ Experts estimate that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthdays. This means that in any classroom or neighborhood full of children, there are children who are silently bearing the burden of sexual abuse.
◆ 1 in 5 children are sexually solicited while on the Internet.
◆ Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.
◆ The median age for reported sexual abuse is 9 years old.
◆ Approximately 20% of the victims of sexual abuse are under age eight.
◆ 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are under age twelve.
◆ Most child victims never report the abuse.
◆ Sexually abused children who keep it a secret or who “tell” and are not believed are at greater risk than the general population for psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems, often lasting into adulthood.

It is also likely that you know an abuser.
The greatest risk to children doesn’t come from strangers but from friends and family.

◆ 30-40% of children are abused by family members.
◆ As many as 60% are abused by people the family trusts—abusers frequently try to
form a trusting relationship with parents.
◆ Nearly 40% are abused by older or larger children.
◆ People who abuse children look and act just like everyone else. In fact, they often go out of their way to appear trustworthy to gain access to children.
◆ Those who sexually abuse children are drawn to settings where they can gain easy access to children, such as sports leagues, faith centers, clubs, and schools. Consequences to children and to our society begin immediately. Child sexual abuse is a direct source of a number of problems facing us.
◆ 70-80% of sexual abuse survivors report excessive drug and alcohol use.
◆ One study showed that among male survivors, 50% have suicidal thoughts and more than 20% attempt suicide.
◆ Young girls who are sexually abused are more likely to develop eating disorders as adolescents.
◆ More than 60% of teen first pregnancies are preceded by experiences of molestation, rape or attempted rape. The average age of the offenders is 27 years old.
◆ Approximately 40% of sex offenders report sexual abuse as children.
◆ Both males and females who have been sexually abused are more likely to engage in prostitution.
◆ Approximately 70% of sexual offenders of children have between 1 and 9 victims; 20-25% have 10 to 40 victims.
◆ Serial child molesters may have as many as 400 victims in their lifetimes.

“We live in a beautiful, safe neighborhood. None of these children could be victims of sexual abuse, right?”

“It can’t happen in my family. I could tell if someone I know is an abuser.”

Yet in more than 90% of sexual abuse cases the child and the child’s family know and trust the abuser.

taken from darkness2light.org

Monday, April 5, 2010

chid sexual abuse: it doesn't have to happen

i found this fantastic website. it is for the group darkness to light. on their website, they have a downloadable booklet: seven steps to protecting our children.

i will be publishing pieces of this booklet here on my blog--in honor of child abuse awareness month, and also as part of my personal mission to prevent child abuse.

as adults, we are responsible for the safety of our children. we CAN prevent abuse!

What is child sexual abuse?

-Any sexual act between an adult and a minor, or between to minors when one exerts power over the other.

-Forcing, coercing, or persuading a child to engage in any type of sexual act. This, of course, includes sexual contact. It also includes non-contact acts such as exhibitionism, exposure to pornography, voyeurism and communicating in a sexual manner by phone or Internet.

-An agonizing and traumatic experience for its victims.

-A crime punishable by law.

Child sexual abuse is a very complex problem, and this booklet touches on only a small part of it. The information we provide is not a substitute for the advice of professionals. It is only to give you simple, proactive steps to help protect children.

A child’s safety is an adult’s job. Children are often taught how to keep themselves safe from sexual abuse — and that’s important for them to learn — but it’s no substitute for adult responsibility. We make sure children wear seat belts. We walk them across busy streets. We store toxic household cleaners out of reach. Why, then, would we leave the job of preventing
child sexual abuse solely to children?

Imagine how difficult it is for a child to say “no” to a parent, a teacher, a coach, or clergy.

Even the adults we trust to protect children can’t always be trusted. Coaches, teachers, clergy, and parents are authority figures children feel they can trust. Yet, a large percentage of those who sexually abuse children are from this group. These are adults who have the opportunity to “groom” children with affection and attention, making it difficult for children to identify certain behaviors as abuse. And they know that children have been taught to “mind” them. This is why programs that focus on adult responsibility are essential.


Helpline: 1-866-367-5444

Darkness to Light
7 Radcliffe Street, Suite 200
Charleston, SC 29403

© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Darkness to Light

Sunday, April 4, 2010

statistics of child sexual abuse

STOP child abuse!

although there are many forms of child abuse, i will be concentrating on sexual abuse as it is what has affected me the most.

did you know...

Even within the walls of their own homes, children are at risk for sexual abuse
  • 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member. (2, 44, 76)
  • Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
  • Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know. (1, 44)
  • Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers.
Sexual abuse can occur at all ages, probably younger than you think
  • The median age for reported abuse is 9 years old. (64)
  • More than 20% of children are sexually abused before the age of 8. (76)
  • Nearly 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under 12. (74, 76)
Most children don't tell even if they have been asked
  • Evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious, and many children do not report that they have been abused.
  • Over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to ANYONE.
  • Young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse.
  • Almost 80% initially deny abuse or are tentative in disclosing. Of those who do disclose, approximately 75% disclose accidentally. Additionally, of those who do disclose, more than 20% eventually recant even though the abuse occurred.
  • Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 1% to 4% of all reported cases. Of these reports, 75% are falsely reported by adults and 25% are reported by children. Children only fabricate ½% of the time.
Consequences of child sexual abuse begin affecting children and families immediately. They also affect society in innumerable and negative ways. These effects can continue throughout the life of the survivor so the impact on society for just one survivor continues over multiple decades. Try to imagine the impact of 39 million survivors.

Health and/or Behavioral Problems:
  • The way a victim's family responds to abuse plays an important role in how the incident affects the victim.
  • Sexually abused children who keep it a secret or who "tell" and are not believed are at greater risk than the general population for psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems often lasting into adulthood.
  • Children who have been victims of sexual abuse are more likely to experience physical health problems (e.g., headaches).
  • Victims of child sexual abuse report more symptoms of PTSD, more sadness, and more school problems than non-victims. (10, 16, 55, 72)
  • Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to experience major depressive disorder as adults. (55, 72)
  • Young girls who are sexually abused are more likely to develop eating disorders as adolescents. (16, 40, 89)
  • Adolescent victims of violent crime have difficulty in the transition to adulthood, are more likely to suffer financial failure and physical injury, and are at risk to fail in other areas due to problem behaviors and outcomes of the victimization.
Drug and/or Alcohol Problems:
  • Victims of child sexual abuse report more substance abuse problems. 70-80% of sexual abuse survivors report excessive drug and alcohol use. (10, 16, 89)
  • Young girls who are sexually abused are 3 times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders or alcohol and drug abuse in adulthood, than girls who are not sexually abused. (16, 40, 89)
  • Among male survivors, more than 70% seek psychological treatment for issues such as substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide. Males who have been sexually abused are more likely to violently victimize others. (90)
Teenage Pregnancy and Promiscuity:
  • Children who have been victims of sexual abuse exhibit long-term and more frequent behavioral problems, particularly inappropriate sexual behaviors.
  • Women who report childhood rape are 3 times more likely to become pregnant before age 18.
  • An estimated 60% of teen first pregnancies are preceded by experiences of molestation, rape, or attempted rape. The average age of their offenders is 27 years.
  • Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to be sexually promiscuous. (39, 59, 60, 70)
  • More than 75% of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused.
  • Adolescents who suffer violent victimization are at risk for being victims or perpetrators of felony assault, domestic violence, and property offense as adults.
  • Nearly 50% of women in prison state that they were abused as children.
  • Over 75% of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters.
Most perpetrators don't molest only one child if they are not reported and stopped.
  • Nearly 70% of child sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victims; at least 20% have 10 to 40 victims. (23)
  • An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.
(taken from darkness to light's website)

the consequences of being sexually abused are so far-reaching....they affect every aspect of your life, every relationship you have or will have, your thoughts, your feelings, your memories.

herbert ward said: "Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime."

are you wearing your blue ribbons?

let us prevent that shadow from affecting another child.

Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. (S.D. Gordon)

happy easter, everyone!

in lieu of posting a picture of the resurrection we have all seen a hundred times (not that they aren't beautiful or meaningful) i chose instead to post this painting--"doubting thomas" by caravaggio. i love this painting. (see John 20:24-29.) thomas was an apostle who refused to believe without direct, physical evidence that it was, in fact, Christ as a resurrected being.

"...blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

i have not seen--not with my physical eyes--and yet i believe. many would put me down for this. tell me that i am a fool. but in my heart i believe, i feel it, and i am so thankful for my testimony of Christ and His resurrection.

"There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou - Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed."
~Emily Bronte

my Savior gave His life for me. for me, and for you. for my children. for my family. for people on the other side of the world that i will never know--past and present, and future. easter is so much more than a celebration of Christ's resurrection--but one of our own resurrection, as well. philip brooks puts it beautifully: "Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, 'Christ is risen,' but 'I shall rise.' "

let's all remember as we are stuffing ourselves with reese's eggs, chocolate bunnies, and jelly beans, that the beauty of easter is sacrifice and joy, a new beginning, the sprouting flowers amidst the frozen snow.

"The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances." ~Robert Flatt

and with the joy of easter---comes the joy of chocolate.

i hope you all have a fantastic day, hopefully spent with your friends and family.

Friday, April 2, 2010

child abuse awareness month 2010

i am raising my voice....won't you raise yours?

wear blue ribbons this month. when someone asks why, spread a little knowledge.

About Child Abuse in the U.S.

There are nearly 3 million child abuse cases REPORTED each year. Experts say the actual number is closer to 9 million, since most go unreported. This puts child abuse at epidemic proportions in this country. Each day nearly 4 children die from child abuse. Child abuse costs the U.S. economy $250 Million dollars a DAY. It's time we do something.

You occasionally catch a heartbreaking story on the news but there are so many abused children who suffer silently with no hope. It is time that we stop waiting for these cases to go to the extreme before these kids get help. That quiet child in class or the troubled teen you write off as a problem child might actually be victims. Imagine feeling unprotected, unloved and unsafe.

Not sure you can make a difference? You can. There are so many causes out there that are worthy of our time, money and attention. Don’t our children deserve to be one of them? You can help us fight for these kids.

Feel proud that you are helping to keep America's children safe. Every day we see kids neglected, abandoned, and abused. Too often we do nothing! Take pride in yourself and put aside your fear, outrage and discomfort . BE A VOICE FOR THE CHILDREN.

There are five types of Child Abuse. Physical abuse, sexual abuse or exploitation, emotional abuse, neglect, and child endangerment.

  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
  • Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.
  • It is estimated that between 60-85% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • 31% percent of women in prison in the United States were abused as children.
  • Over 60% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
  • About 80% of 21 year old that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2007 is $104 billion.
  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
  • Abused teens are 3 times less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs.
Did you know?
  • 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.
  • Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.
  • An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.

april is child abuse awareness month.

child abuse CAN be prevented.

use your knowledge to save a life...to save someone a lifetime of hurt.