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.

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 Dictionary.com, 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 Dictionary.com 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.

A REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE IS MADE EVERY TEN SECONDS IN THE U.S.

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?

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!

The #1 Reason Children Recant Abuse Allegations

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