Child Abuse: An Unfathomable Travesty

 

 

Mary Jo with THE BEAR                                                      

Hello Wellness Seekers:

Did you know that my life’s mission is to bring awareness and healing to adult survivors of child abuse? I’m doing everything in my power to bring resolution and justice to those of us who were abused as children. This is difficult work, especially since the United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nation – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.

Source: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics/

Since the release of my book, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between, I’ve been experiencing daily inspirational moments. Many of the people who read THE BEAR have been sharing their reviews and comments on child abuse with me. I’d like to share one with you to showcase why this book is so vital in the healing of this travesty.

From Mary Jo Wiseman, CMP | Author | The Meeting Planning Process: A Guide for Planning Successful Meetings

The Bear in the Middle of Between by Alexis Acker-Halbur is the compelling story of a young woman named Claudia.

Physically and sexually abused by her father from the time she was a small child, and with no support from her family, Claudia sees no way out other than to end her life. In the course of attempting to do so, she encounters a mystical presence in the form of a bear who leads her on a path of discovery and recovery.

Abuse of any kind is unacceptable, but when the initiator is the father who also happens to be a well-respected minister, the situation is an unfathomable travesty. Through her connection with a mystical bear and real-life counseling, Claudia is able to come to grips with her situation, confront her abuser, make amends with her siblings, and find joy in living.

I encourage anyone who is or has been a victim of abuse or knows of someone who is being abused as we speak, to read and share this book. Abusive behavior is a pattern, the chain of which needs to be and can be broken, one person, one family, one generation at a time.

Available at Minnesota-based Kirk House Publishers, publishing books for a cause. https://www.kirkhousepublishers.com/product-page/the-bear-in-the-midlle-of-between-by-alexis-acker-halbur

I hope you enjoy THE BEAR. Never give up!

While COVID-19 Cases Increase — So Do Cases of Abuse

It seems our world is being devoured by pandemics. One pandemic that you don’t often hear about is childhood and domestic abuse. Here’s a recent update from nomore.org I thought you’d be interested in.

As more cities go on lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, NO MORE and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) have teamed up on a new public awareness and action campaign to respond to a challenging byproduct of isolating at home: victims of domestic violence are increasingly trapped with their abusers.

National and local domestic violence hotlines in the U.S. expect huge increases in calls as states take more drastic measures to quarantine. The Hotline is hearing from survivors that COVID-19 is already being used by abusive partners to further control and abuse.

Like COVID-19, the signs of domestic abuse are not always visible. However, now that people are spending almost 24/7 at home, they might hear more coming from their neighbors’ homes than usual. That’s why NO MORE & The Hotline created #Listeningfromhome — a campaign that aims to heighten people’s awareness of the problem, learn to recognize the signs, and encourage them to safely get help if they do hear or observe incidents of domestic abuse.

“We want people to take COVID-19 seriously and be vigilant in staying home and trying to stay healthy, but while they’re home, we hope to enlist them as allies in the effort to stop the epidemic of domestic violence—now, and beyond this immediate crisis,” said Pamela Zaballa, Global Executive Director of the NO MORE Foundation. “It is an effort to do the most good possible during an especially scary, uncertain time.”

The campaign also calls on those who can to donate to The Hotline. The Hotline’s entire team, more than 150 people, began working remotely last week so that they can continue to provide critical, life-saving services for hundreds of thousands of survivors — no matter what happens.

Copyright © 2020 The NO MORE Foundation. All rights reserved.

Thank you NO MORE for this enlightening article. Keep up the great work that you do for abuse survivors.

Trauma and Health in a World of COVID-19

I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in 2007. I truly believed that the cancer was caused by childhood trauma I had experienced. I began writing my book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, and made the bold statement that: Unresolved Childhood Trauma Causes Health Conditions in Adults. Several medical people said my statement had no statistics to support my belief. Still, I continued to work on my book to explain how I survived cancer. In 2014, when my book was published, I continued to get feedback from people saying there was no evidence to support my belief.

I never wavered in my belief that adults can resolve childhood trauma, and survive it without becoming ill.

In a May 2020 article in TIME Magazine, I found this amazing information: According to a 1998 landmark study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the CDC, childhood trauma is strongly correlated with a person’s health as an adult. The study explored Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, surveying more than 9,500 adults insured by Kaiser Permanente about ACEs they may have faced as children. These included ‘psychological, physical or sexual abuse,’ ‘violence against mother,’ and ‘living with household members who were substance abusers, mentally ill or suicidal, or ever imprisoned.’

These study findings were from 1998 – that’s nine years before my diagnosis with cancer. I wish I had known about this study earlier. Nonetheless, my belief that childhood trauma affects adult’s health IS very accurate. (Note: Even one ACE in childhood increases adult health risks.)

Luckily, a company like Kaiser Permanente is investing in efforts aimed at reducing the number of ACEs in our communities.

It’s Time for TRUTH!

I would like to invite the people at Kaiser Permanente to consider my T.R.U.T.H. Program. (The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing.) The T.R.U.T.H. mission provides trauma survivors with the opportunity to resolve issues to achieve a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

All over the world, we’re trying to eradicate the coronavirus. Why not end adverse childhood trauma, too, since over 60 percent of adults in the U.S. experienced at least one ACE in childhood, while 1 in 6 experienced four or more.

To find more information on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) please click on this link: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy

Perpetrators In Our Midst

Perpetrators In Our Midst

For years, I could never understand how Adolf Hitler (who was inspired by Benito Mussolini), Joseph Stalin, and Vladimir Putin could rise to power and commit such acts of evil destruction. Looking at Donald Trump (who is inspired by Putin), and reading this article, I now fully understand how the American people voted for him.

I’m always struck by how, after some act of violence and crime, fraud/[manipulation], or abuse, everyone laments: Someone must have known! Why didn’t they say anything? And yet, time after time, it seems those who are in a position to see [the truth] are sidelined, discredited, or disbelieved.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shadow-boxing/201406/3-signs-inconspicuous-predator-in-your-midst

This quote makes me clearly see and understand how Donald Trump got elected as our U.S. President – because he’s a perpetrator.

Perpetrators of family and domestic violence [and political crimes] can vary in age and be from any socio-economic demographic, cultural background, ethnicity, or religion. They can occupy any profession or live in any geographic region. Perpetrators can be any gender, however, the vast majority are male (Bagshaw & Chung 2000).

To effectively respond to family and domestic violence, it is important to understand the tactics used by perpetrators including those adopted to hurt and/or frighten victims (coercion) and those designed to isolate and/or regulate them (control). Perpetrators of family and domestic violence are very much in control of these behaviors and are ultimately the only ones that have the capacity to change the situation (No to Violence 2005).

Perpetrators can be good at hiding the violence, publicly presenting as kind, loving, charming and likeable, but behave in cruel, violent, undermining and manipulative ways in private.

Perpetrators as fathers (and Republican Senators)

[Men] who perpetrate family and domestic violence [and political harm] are associated with particular characteristics. They are likely to use controlling behaviors and physical discipline, to display more anger with their [victims], to have unrealistic expectations and poor developmental understandings of appropriate behavior at different ages and stages. Many of these characteristics are underpinned by a sense of entitlement.

The role of fathers [and republican senators] can be central to men’s identity and is a significant motivator for [disruption]. Entitlement thinking prevails in their attitudes and they often see their child [American people] as their investment or possession, or as someone who should love them unconditionally.

It is uncommon for men who use violence [coercion, threats, manipulation, and secrets] to recognize that their violence toward [others]; this in turn prevents them from seeing or understanding the impact on their [victims].

Just as these men prioritize their own needs when relating to [others who seem weak], they can feel justified in neglecting basic care and using violence/[crime] against [who] fail to comply with their expectations.

When fathers who have perpetrated violence/[crime] often privilege their ‘right’ for contact over the traumatic harm that this might cause [others]. In this way, as in many others, these men put their own needs and wants ahead of those of [everyone else].

[Source: https://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/CrisisAndEmergency/FDV/Documents/2015/FactSheet3Perpetratorcharacteristics.pdf]

References:

  • Bagshaw D & Chung D 2000, Women, Men and Domestic Violence, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.
  • No to Violence 2005, Men’s Behavior Change group work: A Manual for quality practice, No to Violence, Melbourne.
  • Department for Child Protection 2013, Perpetrator accountability in Child Protection Practice – A resource for child protection workers about engaging and responding to men who perpetrate family and domestic violence, Government of Western Australia, Perth.

You may not agree with me about this article, however, it makes a clear case for why so many Republican Senators are terrified of Trump.

Never give up when looking for the TRUTH!

Verbal Abuse IS Domestic Abuse

Verbal Abuse IS Domestic Abuse
Dear Wellness Seeker, 

I received this email this morning from NO MORE Foundation and thought I would spread the word. The holidays are extremely stressful and angry words can ruin the season. If you or someone you know is being verbally abused, PLEASE help yourself or them with reading this article. Thank you NO MORE Foundation for your commitment to and work for abuse survivors.

Did you know that nearly half of all women and men in the U.S. have experienced verbal abuse from a partner? Today, we are proud to announce that NO MORE is teaming up with the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) to send a clear message: Verbal abuse IS domestic violence. 

Verbal abuse is an often-overlooked component of intimate partner violence. It is difficult to detect, assess, and substantiate, and many cases go unreported. Some victims of verbal and emotional abuse may not even consider themselves victims, because they associate domestic violence only with physical abuse. But the scars of verbal abuse —taunting, name-calling, criticism, and threats — can be just as insidious and damaging to those who experience it. 

That’s why NO MORE and NRCDV are launching the #NOMOREVerbalAbusecampaign and website. The website contains: Information and graphics about verbal abuse and information on how to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships. The #NOMOREVerbalAbuse Pledge. A toolkit containing shareable resources  Printable #NOMOREVerbalAbuse signage. Verbal abuse survivor stories  Supporters of the campaign are encouraged to take the pledge via the website to join this effort. Additionally, you can now use your Alexa-enabled device to join the campaign and spread the word that verbal abuse is not acceptable. Simply say, “Alexa, open NO MORE” and “Register Your Voice” against verbal abuse today.

We want all survivors of verbal abuse to know that we see them, we hear them, and they are not alone. Join us in spreading the message: Verbal abuse IS domestic violence. And we say NO MORE. Click here to tweet your support.   Learn More