Two major causes to be aware of in April: Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness

Some Secrets Should be Told – child sexual abuse … tell someone you trust.

To make copies of the above poster go to: http://www.somesecretsshouldbetold.com

Under the picture it explains how to make your own 8 1/2 X 11 copies.

Please post where adults and children can see it.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month!

 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month


Handbook for Parents of Sibling Sexual Abuse

Very nicely done Handbook for Parents of Sibling Sexual Abuse. Click on the above image or link below to see the handbook:

http://www.orgnixcreatives.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/online-publications/handbook-for-parents-of-sibling-sexual-abuse/index.html#/1/zoomed

This booklet is for parents of children who have been sexually abused by their brother/sister. Such form of sexual abuse is called “sibling sexual abuse.”

Sexual abuse can have harmful effects on both your child who has abused and your child who has been victimised. Indeed sibling sexual abuse affects the entire family.

When sibling sexual abuse happens in the family, you, as a parent, may blame yourself and wonder what you have done wrong. You may experience many feelings such as anger, sadness, grief, guilt and confusion.

The truth is that parents often want the best for their children and even though parents try their best to keep an eye on their children at home or monitor their children’s activities outside the home, sibling sexual abuse can happen. Sibling sexual  abuse is one of the most common forms of sexual abuse.

It is important for parents to have a strong understanding of sibling sexual abuse so that they can deal with the situation, and support their children towards recovery.

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Clearly there were major “red flags” my parents should have seen in my childhood indicating I was raped and being sexually abused yet these signs were completely ignored.  It should not be surprising to anyone that after my bloody rape (aka – the evil swing that I talk about in my Paula Brave story) at the age of 7 that my mother started suffering severe depression and was admitted in-patient a few times to a psychiatric unit.  Even though my mother thought my bloody rape by my brother was nothing more than a tragic playground accident on a swing; somehow this must have triggered her own past childhood sexual abuse by her father and a brutal rape by an older teenage boy when she was 15.  When my mother became pregnant from the rape her father brutally physically assaulted her in the abdomen in an effort to cause her to miscarriage the baby.  When this did not work then he forced my mother to get an illegal abortion (this was back in the 50s).  The only people my mother ever told this story to were me and my father.  Since my mother died this past August … it is time her story is known. 

I now realize the reason why my parents never followed up with my own pediatrician after my rape “aka swing incident” and they did not take me to see the doctor until 7 months later was because my mother was is in a complete mental breakdown.  However, while her complete mental breakdown was going on, my brother was continuing to rape me.  The rapes did not stop after the first.  And this was all made possible because I was left in my brother’s care while my Dad left each evening to visit my Mom in the Psychiatric unit.  Then when my mom came back home, my parents would go out almost every evening to bars, dancing, bingo, drinking with friends because my Mom needed to have a good time to raise her spirits up … the rapes continued … My parents drinking was almost daily for most of my childhood.

When my parents found my diary when I was 16 and read about my sadness because of the way my brothers treated me and overwhelming depression due to my brother raping me so many times … their response can only be described as a drunken out of control rage focused on me.  They did not believe me.  We sat at the kitchen table as they downed several cases of beers while mocking my diary and my poor attempts to answers outrageous questions such as, “HOW MANY TIMES DID HE DO THIS TO YOU?!!!”, “GIVE ME SPECIFIC TIMES AND PLACES WHERE THIS HAPPENED!!!” “DO YOU REALLY EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE THIS BULLSHIT!!!”  “OH, POOR YOU!  YOU HAD IT SO ROUGH!!!”  “STOP CRYING!!!!”  “WHY ARE YOU CRYING?!!!” “ANSWER ME DAMN IT!!!”  “HOW CAN YOU MAKE THIS UP ABOUT YOU BROTHER!!!”  “YOU ARE PURPOSELY DOING THIS TO RUIN THE FAMILY!!!”

These responses and other horrible things they said about me should have made me want to run away from home but instead I drew even more into myself and wanted to die.  I just sat there crying hysterically until they sent me to my room.  I fell completely under my mother’s control and accepted any cruel thing that she said to me without comment.  A part of me died that day and night they interrogated me.  What little self-esteem and self-worth I had was deed.  My mother did not like my friends so I had to give up ones she did not approve of and she constantly complained about any contact I had with anyone outside the family.  I learned to keep my mouth shut and “suck it up” and “deal with it”.  She told me about what happen to her and that she “forgave” her father (even though she mentally broke down every time we went about him).  She told me I had to do the same thing as she did and sacrifice myself for the good of the family.  I had to shut up about all this for the sake of the “family” and keep the “family” together at all cost.

I did not start regaining parts of myself until I moved out of that home when I was 21.  My parents finally believed me only after I was able to give them what they considered as solid evidence and when they finally believed me then they completely broke down.  The solid evidence I provided was a reminder about the “swing incidence” (rape) and I provided the true clarity of that event and I reminded my father of another time he punished me for refusing my brother’s “ice cream gift” (a reward for forced oral sex).  A light bulb came on and they questioned me no more (this was when I was about 30 years old).  However, after this awaken for my parents, my mothers physical health went completely down hill with colon cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure and numerous other health conditions and my father’s gambling problem went completely out of control and my parents had to file for bankruptcy and my father  also made two suicide attempts.

If there are any parents reading any of this and have a child that has been sexually abused a sibling then I would encourage you read this pamphlet …. Don’t make the same mistakes my parents made.  If you have been sexual abused by someone else in your childhood then get help … Don’t keep it a secret like my Mom did by taking it to her grave while all the time she suffered on the inside.  If you have a drug or alcohol problem or even question if you do … Don’t wait to get help, seek help now!  You  will not be able to help you children as long as you remain STUCK in your own problems from the past and your current problems or additions that impact you today.

Handbook for Parents of Sibling Sexual Abuse


Reasons why people do nothing about child sexual abuse

  1. Sexual Predator: They are guilty of child sexual abuse.
  2. Predator Sympathizer: They sympathize with the predator or they are trying to protect the sexual predator.
  3. Victim’s fault:  They don’t believe the victim  or they believe the victim is to blame and victim should get over it
  4. Child = Little grown-up: They assume kids should know better and they should protect themselves from sexual abuse.
  5. It’s “Stanger Danger”: They believe the myth that predators are crazed male strangers who are not responsible for their harmful behavior.
  6. It’s “The Norm”: Those who believe it will always be a part of life, so there’s no point in trying to end it.
  7. It’s Not Harmful:  They believe the myth that child sexual abuse is not harmful.  It is not as bad as you think it is.
  8. Misogyny: They believe the myth that sexual abuse only happens to girls or that girls ask for it.
  9. Exclusive Women’s Issue: They believe working to end sexual violence or child sexual abuse is an attack on men. They think this is a woman’s/feminist issue being “blown out of proportion.”
  10. Secrecy: They have skeletons in their closet.
  11. Lack empathy: They lack empathy, they just don’t care… if it isn’t happening to them they don’t want to know. They assume child sexual abuse rarely occurs.
  12. Embarrassment/Shame:  It impedes on their comfort zone.  What will people think?! They don’t want to bring shame to the family.
  13. “Passing the Buck”: “I should not get involved.” “This is between the victim and the offender.” “This is a law enforcement problem.”  They believe Mothers or women are the only adults responsible for protecting children from child sexual abuse.  They believe this is not a men’s issue.
  14. Apathy: It didn’t (or hasn’t) happened to them or anyone they know so, “why should I care.” “This really does not happen in most “normal” families.”
  15. Overwhelmed/Hopeless: The problem is too big to solve so just give up.   Getting involved in anti-violence initiatives is too much work and feels hopeless.
  16. Insecurity/Lack Education: They don’t understand or know what constitutes abuse. They don’t understand what is trying to be achieved.
  17. More Pressing Issues: They don’t see it as pressing issue that impacts their community – too many other personal or world issues to concern themselves with.
  18. Denial…..plain and simple! There are just far too many people who would rather stick their heads in the sand and pretend it isn’t happening because they are too cowardly to hold the perpetrators accountable!

Inspiration of this list came from several sources surveyed and was initiated by Al Smith the creator of a child protection book “Koala and Bunny-Instilling Protective Behaviours in Children”( www.koalaandbunny.com ) along with the African version “Rhino and Elephant” ( www.sexualassaultclinic.org ).  The aim of these books are to help prevent the sexual abuse of children by making them aware that they have private body parts that no one else is allowed to touch or tickle.   Both books are FREE FOR ALL by visiting the websites: www.koalaandbunny.com and www.sexualassaultclinic.org .

Bunny and Koala


16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence 2013 – From 25 November to 10 December

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence 2013 – From 25 November, the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day

 

16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence is an international campaign that began in 1991. From 25 November, the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day, the campaign calls on individuals and groups around the world to act to end all forms of violence against women and girls.

  • Worldwide, up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16.
  • Globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
  • Up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
  • Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18.
  • Violence against women is a global scandal, a human rights violation, and happening everywhere!

More information is located at:

http://saynotoviolence.org/16days2013

http://www.un.org/en/women/endviolence/

http://www.stoprapenow.org/

http://www.state.gov/s/gwi/rls/rem/217945.htm?goback=%2Egde_65590_member_5809732947581878272#%21

http://bcove.me/ywgmayun


Sibling sexual abuse hurts a Jacksonville father

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/rss/article/312892/3/Sibling-sexual-abuse-hurts-a-Jacksonville-father?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+firstcoastnews%2Flocal+%28Firstcoastnews.com+Local+News%29

First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It is still one of society’s greatest taboo but because no wants to talk about it, doesn’t stop sibling sexual abuse. According to the Pandora Project studies have shown that between 2% and 4% of people have been sexually victimized by a sibling.  

“What is a father to do?” asked Reggie Thomas.

Thomas, 36, is a divorced father who is worried about his two children now living with their mother.

“I did all the right things I call JSO I took my child to the hospital,” he said. 

Earlier this year Thomas made an ugly discovery. Court records show his children’s older half-brother, a 15 year old, was charged with sexually abusing his younger siblings. Thomas’ two children are eight and nine years of age.

“My daughter said this was going on for three years straight,” he said. 

The State Attorney’s office prosecuted the teenager.

Thomas said he was placed in the Juvenile facility for 30 days.

The convicted offender is out and Thomas he’s supposed to be living with his grandparent but Thomas said the teenager has been in contact with his siblings, his victims.

“He should have no contact,” said Thomas, “none at all.”

Thomas sits in his Southside apartment, worried if is son and daughter are safe in their mother’s home.

“To hear these things come out of your daughters mouth is the worse thing you can hear,” he said.

Under state law child abuse must be reported to the Department of Children and Families. 

“We can look into the possibility of neglect regarding the person who has had custody of the children,” said John Harrell, “whether she’s keeping the teenager away from these children.”

However, there are limits as to what DCF can do if it involves sibling abuse.

“We are limited if he’s not a parent, a caregiver and he’s over the age of twelve,” said Harrell, “then it becomes a law enforcement issue.”

Thomas is asking the State’s Attorney for an injunction to keep the half brother away from his children. SAO spokeswoman Jackie Barnard declined comment because minors are involved.

“It is hard. They’re all my children,” said Ms. Campbell.

Campbell is the children mother.

“The 15 year old stays with his grandmother, he does not stay in my home,” she said.

Thomas said his children are now in therapy, but for him it doesn’t ease the pain.

First for you: How to prevent sibling abuse in your family?

-Talk with your children each day about what they’ve done or felt that day, both positive and negative.

-If there’s a babysitter talk about what they did with the babysitter.

-Also be willing to talk with them about their body and sexuality,of course at the appropriate age.


One-Minute Quiz: On People Who Sexually Abuse Children

What do you know about men and women who sexually abuse children?

Take these two quizes to find out how much you know about men and women who sexually abuse children.

http://www.dianascreen.com/dianafosterquiz.html

http://www.dianascreen.com/dianafaithquiz.html


Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept read by Debra Byrne

For me this is a heart breaking book reading because it reminds me of my own experiences.  My parent’s reaction when I told my secret was quite different from the mother’s reaction in this book.  Imagine Lord Henry being your own son.  I may write more about this later.  This book reading brings me to tears but has a valuable lesson for me at the end of the story.