Startling Statistics from NO MORE

Hello Wellness Seekers:

I received this email today from an organization called, NO MORE: Together We Can End Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault. If you’re not on their mailing list, I want to make sure you know the startling statistics of rising abuse in our pandemic world.

STOP CHILD AND DOMESTIC ABUSE NOW!

 

Friend,

Today at a special virtual convening, NO MORE proudly joined with the Commonwealth Secretariat to launch a timely new “Commonwealth Says NO MORE” initiative. The effort is aimed at helping the 54 Commonwealth of Nations member countries address and prevent violence against women and girls.

The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have dramatically increased incidents of abuse around the world, with calls to domestic violence helplines rising by up to 300% and abuse-related killings higher than normal. It is now estimated that COVID-19 is likely to cause a one-third reduction in progress towards ending gender-based violence by 2030.

The Commonwealth of Nations makes up nearly one-third of the world’s population. Together—with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the government ministers, high commissioners, business leaders, women’s advocates and celebrities who attended today’s convening and who are lending their voices to the Commonwealth Says NO MORE effort—we can help provide support needed now for victims of abuse and engage billions in efforts to stop domestic and sexual violence once and for all.

Therefore, the new Commonwealth Says NO MORE effort is critical, not only to respond to the immediate crisis but also to create longer-term solutions to prevent domestic and sexual violence. As a vital first step, today we unveiled the first-ever pan-Commonwealth digital portal, which offers countries and civil society organizations easy-to-use tools and resources to boost their efforts in helping victims and those at risk, and educating communities.

The portal also provides victims with access to critical information, including local helplines, shelters, safety guidance, and legal aid—a service particularly important in communities where the pandemic has disrupted such support.

Please, check out the new portal and take the pledge to join us. Thank you very much!

LEARN MORE

Pamela Zaballa
NO MORE Global Executive Director

_____________________________

Alexis Acker-Halbur is an award-winning author and medical miracle. Child abuse made her seriously ill and put her in harm’s way many times. She survived and shares her experiences and tools with women and men who have been traumatized. To order her book, Never Give Up: Break the Connection Between Stress and Illness, click here, or her newly published fictional novel, THE BEAR: In the Middle of Between click here.

Do Something!

Do Something!

I haven’t written a post for quite some time. I admit that this year has me on edge with all the mass shootings, political divide, immigration crisis, and unemployment. Did I miss anything?

Even though I’m an advocate for HOPE, I must say that 2019 has really been a trial for me. Every time news knocks me down, I try to get back up. With the multitude of chaos in our lives, getting up is slower and slower. Do you feel the same?

I refuse to give in to fear. Fear does nothing except cause more fear. Once it begins, it’s like a live fuse already burning toward the end. Can it be stopped?

Yes, but the answer is complex and so many of us want the simple way out. THERE IS NO SIMPLE WAY OUT! We have to go through the flames of fear.

Fear slithers around our bodies, captures our minds, and floods our spirits with darkness. Fear creates stress, stress causes illness, and illness leads to death. How do we stop this dangerous spiral?

We refuse to listen to fear! We find the truth and shed light on the lies. Fear cannot exist when the truth is always told and the light is always on. No one has the power to make us fear – not our bodies and, certainly, not our country!

Stress from Fear Is Like a Three-legged Stool

The healthy connection between the body, mind, and spirit is often pictured as a three-legged stool. If stress takes one leg, the entire stool collapses. The same works for the other legs. Remove one part and your health suffers. Total balance of your body, mind, and spirit results in true healing of fear and stress.

Keep your body, mind, and spirit strong against fear and stress. This way, you’ll understand that fear is fickle and your special connection can release the stress.

How do you handle fear and stress? I would greatly appreciate your answers to this question.

Remember: Never Give Up!

I’m in a Funk!

I’m in a Funk!

Hi Never Give Up Institute Blog Readers:

I so apologize for not updating my blog site for a while. I’ve been in a funk lately — yes, it happens to all of us. I’ve started a new novel and I’m thrilled to be back in the land of fiction. I’m resorting to fiction because, frankly, reality is too scary for me. Every morning I search the newspaper headlines for some hope that our world isn’t going down the drain. But, alas, the news is all about what we can’t do rather then what we can do.

I attended the Women’s March in January in St. Paul, MN. I was there to add my presence to the six million people (my alternate fact) who feel the funk like I do. It was an amazing day! We were surrounded by a peaceful recognition that our country is seriously in trouble. And, our MN legislators know it, too. I found several hours of solidarity with people who believe in hope and not fear. If we want something to change we often must fight for it. I’m a funk fighter.

My calendar today has the quote: “There is so much that [the Divine Spirit] wants to show you, but your fear gets in the way. Give it to [her], right here, right now.” And this is what I’m going to do right here, right now. I understand now that my funk is really fear and I need to find a sense of hope. I’m glad to have my calendar to help me understand my feelings. So here I go . . .

I LOVE my country! I LOVE my freedom! I LOVE my friends and family! I LOVE my life! I LOVE my wife and dog!!! And, I LOVE the Divine Spirit for protecting me from fear!

Okay, I feel so much better. I hope you do, too.

NEVER GIVE UP LOVE & HOPE!!!

Reviving My Soul

Reviving My Soul

Okay, I admit I lost my soul after last year’s election day. We didn’t reach the outcomes I wanted, and I didn’t see how I could possibly live in a country where misogyny and predator behavior is lauded. I even stopped praying. I gave up the hope that our world was being watched over and protected, and that right is always right. Dark clouds seemed to be everywhere and I knew I wasn’t alone in my feelings and fears.

Then I opened a 2017 calendar I got for Christmas. The quote for the day read, “Don’t be afraid. The Great Spirit loves you. And she has heard your prayer.” 

WOW! Was my prayer really heard? The quote prodded my soul and I began to feel love trickle into my being. I spent 40 days and 40 nights in terror and now I  was told to be unafraid. What am I afraid of? Of course, it’s always the things I have no control over, like hatred, abuse, and ignorance. I only have control over me! So, it’s time for me to stop being afraid and to start living again. I need to start today and take small steps in reviving my soul.

I hope you will take today and revive your soul, too. Fear can’t exist where love does. Choose to love yourself and others — even if they don’t have the same beliefs as you. Maybe they are trying to teach us something new. If we turn away we may never see the true miracle.

It’s a new year — zoom, zoom your soul!

And, never give up!

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!

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

Alex Acker-Halbur