September Issue

by Alexis Acker-Halbur

Sacred circles are not new. Creating a sacred circle was performed in ancient times when my ancestors wanted to honor their deity and to be protected from wild animals and fierce tribes. Evidence reveals that these circles appeared as early as 300,000 years ago. The sacred circle has grown more acceptable in many cultures. When I am in a sacred circle, I am open to all my emotions and beliefs. I can take an honest look at my own fears and blocks, seek protection and healing, and focus on being safe and centered. Every night when I create a sacred circle around myself, I ask the Divine Spirit and the four directions to help me create a circle so strong that I feel safe from past threats and daily world bombardments.

In my childhood I did not have the benefit of a sacred circle to tell the truth, even though the first lesson I learned as a child was to always tell the truth. For children, like me, who were physically and sexually, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically abused and traumatized, this lesson becomes a dire challenge. Frequently threatened and told to lie, I found myself ebbing further and further away from the truth. The result was a life filled with trauma and untruths.

Within a sacred circle I do not forget my memories, I feel safe to express my feelings including anger and fear. I can tell the truth without repercussions. In my past, I consulted medical resources on trauma that caused stress and pain in my body. I wanted a prescription to take this stress and pain away, so I would not have to suffer, but I was not given a pill to take away the horrible flashbacks and terror that would haunt me both day and night. A sacred circle is not a pill, but an opportunity to touch and heal those memories and flashbacks in a safe environment.

I mindfully create my sacred circle for the healing of my mind, body, and spirit; and for the freedom and safety I am given to live in a world with so much uncertainty. I wish I knew about the power of a sacred circle when I was growing up because I believe this powerful tool would have kept me from being so traumatized. As an adult, I am grateful that I can create a sacred circle where I can tell the truth and not be afraid of being harmed or threatened. I can live in this world, which is full of adversity and chaos, and still find a place where peace, love, and hope reside in my world.

Just like my ancestors, I consciously celebrate my life in a meaningful, joyous, creative, and empowering way. When I tell the truth in my sacred circle, I can touch the stars and hear the heartbeat of humanity. I treasure this beauty in my life and in my sacred circle.

Let me know what you think about this article by adding your comment.

Never give up!!!

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New Program Coming Soon!

One of the first lessons we learn as children is to tell the truth. For children who are physically, emotionally, and psychologically abused and traumatized, this lesson becomes a dire challenge. Frequently threatened and told to lie these children — now adults — grow further and further from the truth.

That is until now. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing with you a new program to help resolve trauma issues to achieve a healthy mind, body, and spirit. If trauma is making you sick, check out the T.R.U.T.H Program and find out how you can live a life of possibilities and promise.

T.R.U.T.H Program =
The Road to Unresolved Trauma Healing

Coming soon . . .


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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child abuse has been going on for centuries and the statistics aren’t getting any better. The fact is, as long as men believe their wives and children are their property, domestic and child abuse will never be eliminated. This belief breaks my heart and it goes against all religious and civil principles know to humans.

Abused children are too young to understand why they’re being hurt. Many children, in fact, take on the responsibility for being hurt. We need to put the responsibility where it belongs — on the men and women who abuse and neglect their children.

Here are some chilling stats:

Scope of the Child Abuse Issue

Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. It’s a widespread war against our children that we have the power to stop, and understanding the issue is the first step. Just how bad is the issue of child abuse in the United States?

Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children (a referral can include multiple children).

A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.

Yearly, referrals to state child protective services involve 6.6 million children, and around 3.2 million of those children are subject to an investigated report.


What really angers me is this:

The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.

How can this be happening in our so-called civilized culture? It happens because it’s a devastating secret that needs to be exposed. AND, let’s not condemn the children who do break the family secret, which is another form of child abuse.

If you are or have been sexually, physically, and emotional abused you need to know two lifesaving things: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSE! GET HELP IMMEDIATELY!

Let’s eliminate this widespread war against our children. They can’t help themselves so we must. If you know of a child who’s being abused, immediately contact your local police.

Five children die from abuse or neglect every day in the United States.

Help me stop child abuse. April is Child Abuse prevention month. What can you do to help our children?

Never give up!



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Why I Lied

angel-1807726_1280As a child I made snow angels below my bedroom window to keep me protected. I needed to do this because Dad would sometimes come into my bedroom and do bad things to me. When morning came I was always comforted to see my snow angel right where I made her.

But one winter morning, I looked out the window and my snow angel was gone.

Dad had come into the bedroom the night before and hurt me. I so needed the comfort of my snow angel but there was no sign of her. “I’m a bad girl,” I remembered saying to myself. I must have failed my snow angel because she left.

Children sexually and physically abused by a parent think they are responsible for what they believe is punishment for “being bad.” Their minds are too young to call it “sex” — or, more correctly, “rape.” The only reason I could think of when my Dad abused me was that I was bad. I told lies because he threatened to hurt my Mom if I revealed “our secret.” As I grew, I told a lot of lies to cover up the truth. The simple truth was that I didn’t want my Dad to hurt my Mom. I loved her so much and the thought of her being hurt — deeply and horribly haunted me.

I told lies to protect myself never imagining I was harming myself more by lying. It was a cruel cycle and it continued for decades. At one point I realized that nobody believed my lies BUT, they didn’t want to believe the truth either. 

I had to learn to forgive myself for the lies and this in no way was easy. I now know that telling the truth is healthier than telling lies. I continue to tell the truth in all my relationships.

My snow angel didn’t fail me. The wind whisked her off to protect other children in my town.

Snow angels never give up!

If you have a comment about this blog, please do so in the space provided. Healing from child abuse is one of the best ways to strengthen your immune system. Don’t let secrets make you sick!!!

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Terror Starts in the Home (Part 2)


person-110305_640He was regularly beaten by his father and his mother told him a million times how worthless he was. At 10 years old he knew what hunger was and fear. His life was filled with disappointments and arguments while he slept on an old mattress in a broken down house. He had one wish – a death wish.

His anger grew with every insult and his hatred soared out of control. He was going to get revenge for his suffering and he knew just how he’d do it. He worked on his plan for years and he named his victims. Other people would get in the way but he didn’t care. The truth was nobody cared for him. He’d show them what they did to him.

He had one wish – a death wish.

He shot his parents in the heart while they drank their beers in front of the pt. They never heard him come in, but even if they had, they wouldn’t have noticed the assault rifle he held in his hands. He headed for the door to further work his plan but was stopped by a squad car out on the street. Rifles were pointed at him. He didn’t care as he aimed his rifle at the officers. He yelled at Allah but was dead before he completed his plea.

He was called a terrorist because of his assault rifle and his heritage.

Nobody protected him from his father’s abuse nor his mother’s neglect. Nobody cared to ask him how he was feeling or listened to his painful story. Nobody called him a victim – a victim of child abuse and neglect.

Terror starts in the home for many children. A father hits his son, a mother doesn’t feed her daughter, and an uncle rapes his nephew. Child abuse starts in families, sometimes innocently but most of the time with an edge. Sometimes the bruises show but most of the time they don’t. A broken leg is blamed on a fall rather than a push down a stairway. An ugly cut on the arm may seem like self-abuse. Don’t buy these excuses. Look for the true cause and help children who suffer from chronic and prolonged abuse.

Do it today.

Please share Part 1 and 2 blogs with your friends and family. It’s time to expose the secret of child abuse. The abuse of kids is killing our future. If you believe in children, then believe that you have the right and the commitment to correct this wrong. Do it today! In the five minutes you’ve been reading this blog 30 reports of child abuse have been made. Isn’t this terrorism?

Thank you. Never give up!

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Terror Starts in the Home (Part 1)


eighty-706881_640If you look up the words “terrorist” and “abuser” in the dictionary you may find the descriptions horrifyingly similar. According to, the definition of a terrorist is: 1. a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism. 2. a person who terrorizes or frightens others. The definition of an abuser is: 1. A person, [usually a member of a family,] who wrongly or improperly misuses one’s authority. 2. a person who treats others in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way. 3. a person who speaks insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign. 4. a person who commits sexual assault.

Interesting still, the term “terrorize” is described as: 1. to fill with terror, terrify. 2. to coerce, make submit by filling with terror, as by the use or threat of violence.

How can the United States place so much time, energy, and money on overseas terrorism when terrorism is happening every night and day in millions of homes across America? The National Child Abuse Hotline (NCAH) estimates that every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children (a referral can include multiple children). The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.


NCAH also states that around 80% of child maltreatment fatalities involve at least one parent as perpetrator.

Isn’t this terrorism? Terrorism in our homes? What are we going to do about all the perpetrators in our country who are terrorizing children every day? And the cost! NCAH says for new cases in 2008 alone, lifetime estimates of lost worker productivity, health care costs, special education costs, child welfare expenditures and criminal justice expenditures added up to $124 billion dollars. Just imagine — we could send 1.7 million children to college for $124 billion dollars. What a downright shame!

Child abuse is a plague in our communities with so many people refusing to acknowledge and do something about this outrageous issue. Young children are being hurt by the very people who should love and protect them. And because child abuse is so hideous, the issue continues to grow in secret. Child abuse affects families of all economic levels and color. Yes, white kids are abused, too! In fact, the American Humane Association cites that in 2005, 49.7 percent of children who were maltreated were white, 23.1 percent were African American, and 17.4 percent were Hispanic. Yet, these percentages mean nothing to the children being harmed.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University estimates in a 2005 report that substance abuse is a factor in 70 percent of all reported cases of child maltreatment. One of the major reasons children enter foster care is abuse and neglect associated with parental alcohol and drug abuse (USDHHS, 1999). Drugs and alcohol play a huge role and yet, child abuse remains a secret.

My own father was an alcoholic. His parents owned a bar and he started drinking at an early age. He learned that if he was drunk his bad behavior was easily excused. “Oh the whiskey made me do it.” “I drank too much and can’t remember what I did.” By putting the blame on alcohol and drugs, many perpetrators feel their actions can be blamed on something other than themselves. We never hear perpetrators say, “I threw my son down the steps,” or “I kicked my daughter and she hit the wall with her head.” Rather than admitting they were angry or pissed off, perpetrators look for an excuse.

Throwing, kicking, slapping, pushing, hanging, raping, kidnapping, bruising, hurling, cutting, ignoring, neglecting, and hitting are all clear signs of abuse whether it happens once or many times. Thankfully, more and more doctors, nurses, and emergency personnel are becoming more alert to possible signs of child abuse.

Violence affects children and they grow into adults that live in fear. Is this what we want for our children – fear? No, we want to give them love and support while they journey through the maze of life. Aren’t we the guide posts they lean on? Aren’t we the guard rails keeping them from slipping off a cliff? Aren’t we the peacemakers who show them acceptance above ignorance? Aren’t we their mentors and motivators? Aren’t we their heroes? If not, we should be.

We need to hear children’s voices and the voices of adult children. And when these voices are filled with terror, we need to address their pain and find ways to alleviate the terror. Our world is affected by how these children and adult children view our world. If they view our world as an evil place they will run and hide. We need these children and adult children to raise their voices to stop child abuse once and for all.

Safe Places and Experiences for Abused Kids (S.P.E.A.K.-O.U.T.)™ offers these guiding principles in recovering from child abuse and neglect must be stopped and your voice is so vital in making this end for all children.

  1. Put responsibility for healing on YOU. It’s up to you and only you to seek help in coping with your nightmares. If your parents abused you they are not the ones to help you heal.
  2. Expose and take action. You’re NOT responsible for being abused. Your perpetrator(s) is/are responsible.
  3. Ask for help. Your life is worth saving even though you were told you are worthless. Don’t believe these false statements from your parents or siblings.
  4. Keep yourself safe. Child abuse is a family nightmare. The child who yells out against ill treatment is often scorned by other siblings. Go against the flow and get help for yourself.
  5. Open yourself up to reality. Many times you may think that you’re making up the abuse, but that’s how our minds try and reduce the severity of our abuse. Be brave and trust your instincts.
  6. Understand that you are not alone. Coping with and recovering from abuse is a long journey but you’re not alone. Seek others who have successfully survived what you have. They’re out there.
  7. Trust yourself. You couldn’t trust your parents but you can trust yourself. You have good judgment about your story. You are not a liar!

Seek out professional help if your life is in danger. Therapists are trained to help you find your true self and help heal your wounds. No, you don’t have to suffer a lifetime for what your perpetrator did to you. You have every right to heal. You must heal. Your life is important and you bring unique skills to your survival. Remember this: no one can heal like you can.

Please share Part 1 and 2 blogs with your friends and family. It’s time to expose the secret of child abuse. The abuse of kids is killing our future. If you believe in children, then believe that you have the right and the commitment to correct this wrong. Do it today! In the five minutes you’ve been reading this blog 30 reports of child abuse have been made. Isn’t this terrorism?

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Disclosure: 8 Reasons Children Don’t Disclose Abuse (Part 1)

By Ginger Kadlec

[“This is a very informative article on the reasons why children don’t disclose abuse. If you’re an abuse survivor I recommend that you keep up with Ginger’s articles. They are well-written and contain information to help you heal.” Alex Acker-Halbur, Never Give Up Institute]

sad_child_portrait_202454For many adults, it’s difficult to understand why a child would ever be silent about the fact they are being abused and not actively seek help. Countless courtroom juries charged with determining the fate of alleged perpetrators have questioned that same behavior, often leading to doubts of the validity of abuse charges or claims. After all, who in their right mind would ever put up with horrible treatment without trying to find refuse or stop it?

In most cases, the sad fact is children will NOT immediately tell someone they’re being abused. As we peel the layers of the child abuse disclosure onion and try to understand what may seem to be odd behavior to many, please keep these key child abuse facts in mind:

      • Over 90% of abused children know, love or trust their abuser. So, in the majority of cases, the person harming the child is NOT a stranger and, in fact, may be a caretaker or someone providing the child’s basic needs (i.e., food, shelter, clothing, etc.).
      • Nearly 65% of all child abuse happens at the hands of a parent, step-parent, relative OR boyfriend/girlfriend of the parent.
      • Around 40% of child sexual abuse is committed by a family member. The younger the victim, the more likely the perpetrator is a family member: 1) under 6 years of age, 50% of perpetrators were family members; 2) ages 12-17, 23% were family members. (Snyder 2000)

Disclosure is a process, not a one-time event.

It’s extremely common for children to keep abuse to themselves or slowly disclose abuse over a period of time. In fact, 73% of child victims do not tell anyone they have been abused for at least a year. 45% of victims do not tell anyone for at least 5 years, while still others never disclose their abuse (Smith et al., 2000; Broman-Fulks et al., 2007).

There are 8 primary reasons children remain silent about being abused:

1) “Keep this a secret.” In my humble opinion, this is the #1 reason children do not disclose. Abusers will direct children to keep the molestation or abuse a secret, sometimes making the child feel guilty or responsible that something bad will happen either to the abuser, the child or the child’s loved ones if the child “tells”. Children, especially younger ones, want to “behave” and “follow rules”, so if they are told to keep a secret, they often do their best to oblige.

2) Threats:  The strength and courage of children never ceases to amaze me. Predators often threaten to harm a child or even someone a child loves like mom, dad or a sibling. Thinking they are protecting their families, they remain silent and go along with the abuse. Threats can also be made against a child’s pets. In fact, in the course of abuse investigations, children are often asked about how family members or friends treat their pets, as animals are often used as leverage or even tools to manipulate children in the course of abuse.

3) Fear: Sometimes kids are just flat-out scared or intimidated by the person abusing them. They may fear further retribution or more severe “punishment” from their abuser if someone finds out.

4) Love: Given that such a large percentage of children know their abusers, children often love the person harming them, be it a parent, sibling, another relative, boyfriend or girlfriend. They may know what’s happening is wrong, but will try to protect their abuser and keep quiet because they love them. Another example of love is when a child tries to protect the feelings of someone else. There are countless cases where a mother’s boyfriend sexually abuses a child and the child remains silent, so mom won’t be sad.

5) “No one will believe you” is an all-too-common seed planted into a child’s head by an abuser. Children are led to believe that even if they tried to talk about the abuse, people around them will think they are lying for one reason or another.

6) “It’s all YOUR fault” is another common blame-game perpetrators will play with children. They will lead kids to believe the abuse happened because of something the children did or didn’t do. In turn, kids often remain silent because they feel they caused the abuse. They may also fear getting in trouble if they believe they are at fault, so will keep abuse to themselves.

7) Grooming: sexual predators often “groom” children for abuse. They will test the waters and progressively become more sexual in their interactions with targeted children. Depending on the age or development of a child, the child may not know the predator’s actions are wrong. In fact, if grooming begins at a young age, this behavior may be all the child knows, so she views it as “normal”.

8) Dissociation: in order to deal with the stress or anxiety resulting from traumatic experiences, children will sometimes “dissociate”, defined as :”The splitting off of a group of mental processes from the main body of consciousness, as in amnesia.” Essentially, they forget (or suppress) the trauma. I’m not a doctor or psychologist, but it’s my understanding that dissociation can actually be helpful to someone *during* traumatic episodes or events, but it is not a healthy way of dealing with that trauma over the long haul.

PLUS one more…

9) Shame: sadly, victims of sexual abuse often feel an overwhelming sense of shame. Predators often shift blame for the abuse to victims, making them believe the abuse was their fault. Read more about “Shame Through A Survivor’s Eyes“.

In my next blog, we will address key points every child should know about keeping their bodies safe from sexual predators. These points will also help them feel comfortable coming forward and disclosing should they ever find themselves victims of abuse.

Reference: “Understanding and helping to prevent Child Sexual Abuse“, ©2008 Channing Bete Company, Inc.

About Ginger Kadlec

Chance and GK 2013-04-26Raising awareness of the world-wide epidemic of child abuse has become Ginger’s life mission. An impassioned child advocate, trainer, speaker and child forensic interviewer, Ginger regularly blogs about child protection issues and has produced printable references for parents and other caring adults including “12 Scary Apps”Click here for your free copy of this informative 13-page report. Along with her husband John and pets Lexi and Chase, Ginger enjoys traveling, skiing, hiking, brisk mornings, colorful sunsets and just hangin’ at home with “the Pack”.

YOU Can Be A Kid’s Hero!

Join the conversation and receive Ginger’s blogs and other updates about youth safety and protection. Count me in to Be A Kid’s Hero!

Thanks, Ginger, for your wisdom and care. Never give up!

Alex Acker-Halbur

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Spread the Word | Tell the World

child-594519_640[I receive emails like this one from the American Society for Positive Care of Children (American SPCC) on a regular basis. They have great articles and information to help protect children. If you’re interested, please sign-up on their site to receive these important notices. Speak up because children can’t!]


Using Social Media to Raise Awareness

Child abuse is everyone’s business. By coming together as a community, and collaboratively sharing through our social media channels, we can spread the word, break the silence, raise public awareness, and shine a light on the epidemic of child abuse and neglect in America.

Jointly, we can raise public awareness, to deliver a louder voice for the voiceless. Please join us in speaking up about child abuse, neglect, exploitation, maltreatment of children, bullying, cyber-bullying, parenting, and Shaken Baby Syndrome.


We’ve already created multiple images, videos, and messages for you to choose from and easily share.

Go to our webpage and get started today. Perhaps even set a calendar reminder to share daily or weekly.
You are the difference! Speak up for children, because they can’t.

Use the power of the social media to make a difference.
Join us. Start sharing today. Let’s go viral!

In Gratitude,
American SPCC Staff, Youth Ambassadors & Volunteers
501(c)3 Nonprofit Charity

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The Outcome of Telling the Truth

Never Give Up!
Never Give Up!

In last Sunday’s StarTribune newspaper, a front page article stated: Abuse reports swamp system. Children are stranded as Hennepin County foster homes and shelters fill up. The first paragraph read, A dramatic rise in reported child abuse in Hennepin County is overwhelming children protection workers, filling up foster homes and shelter beds and in extreme cases forcing children to stay with abusive parents, according to county officials and records.

I’m not at all surprised by this article — I’m sad but not surprised. Why? Child abuse is no longer a secret. The Catholic Church brought child abuse to the front and center of society’s consciousness. We are now seeing the real stories and the real numbers of children who have suffered abuse. But despite the consciousness raising, there also comes the lack of resources for these children. Many of us knew abuse was rampant but until the actual numbers started climbing and the public become more aware, we’ve been left without enough resources to help these children heal. These children grow into adults who often are troubled by depression and anxiety, suicidal thoughts, illness, mental health disorders, low or no self-esteem, and hopelessness.

We need more government agencies and health care clinics to address abuse issues and offer programs that help these adult children heal. One program I’m very familiar with is the Renewing Life program offered by Pathways in Minneapolis, MN for people who have chronic or terminal illnesses. Renewing Life helped me survive my two diagnoses of Stage IV colon cancer by teaching me how to cope with unresolved trauma from my own abuse. I’ve written a lot of blogs about how unresolved trauma can make us ill and cited research studies that connect stress/trauma and illness. If we really want abused children to become healthy adults, I truly believe the Renewing Life program is a great answer.

I’m a certified Renewing Life facilitator and I’m willing and able to contour the program to meet the needs of adults abused as children. This program can heal them with ways to:

  • understand how dangerous stress affects the health of the mind-body-spirit balance
  • release unhealthy anger and fear
  • stop violence and trauma from affecting well-being
  • strengthen the immune system against illness, stress, and injury
  • cope with setbacks
  • live with new life changes
  • heal, survive, and thrive in today’s world

The cost is minimal when compared with all the health care issues associated with abuse. I saw my own medical costs decline after going through the Renewing Life program.

Don’t ignore adults who were abused as children. Renewing Life is a low-cost program we can offer and, I have a co-facilitator who would love to work with these special people. Let’s make it happen.

Contact me through this website to discuss possible opportunities for healing.

Never give up — ever!

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