What happens when the Fiscal Cliff hits already overwhelmed services? A time to DO SOMETHING……

As a final last ditch effort, our capital officials are discussing the pending Fiscal Cliff. There is no doubt that we will all see huge cuts across the board and it will hit each of us personally. You may have seen the news this morning about the call to discuss these issues by President Obama. Not only do we face the personal tax increase, but the other half of these discussions will cut spending allowances for Family and Youth Services; agencies, centers, shelters, these will all be impacted by what happens next.

It has been a pattern in our government cuts to hit those services who provide help, shelter, support and life rebuilding skills for those escaping abuse, violence, trafficking. As if these services aren’t already in dire need of revamping and accountability?

Our growing population, the need for housing, the economic break down we are already facing; all of this causes stress and rage within our family unit.

Most common you find two factors that will trigger violence and abuse within our homes.

1) Need for power over another

2) Finances

Advocates, agencies, social services who deal with victims of abuse and violence hear the stories every day.

A) He’s just angry because there’s no work and no money

B) The drinking has increased because of no money and the rage increases as a result.

C) It’s hard to deal with work and the kids always wanting or needing something.

D) I was overwhelmed and had an emotional break down, which led to my burst of violence.

As our government funded resources are cut and our own pockets feel the impact, there will be a greater need to help and provide support for our family members and friends who are dealing with an already difficult situation. Please open your eyes, listen with your gut and be strong enough to offer a source of hope and help to an abused, controlled, terrified victim.

Last year I became acquainted with two women who were making great strides in forcing centers/shelters to provide accountability for their services rendered and the decisions that impact these victims. Maria DiBari, head of Tri county Crisis Center and Alexis Moore, Founder & President of Survivors in Action; are on a strong mission to bring the use of government funds to these organizations in review. It was more than one service/center/shelter, who’s leadership was receiving a Six Figure Salary while victims were being turned away and sent searching for help.

Check out the amazing articles written, posted, shared by DVReform.org

As an advocate I’ve come across more than one or two who I’ve spent countless hours of internet searching, phone calls to agencies, and reaching across the net to other acquaintances/advocates to locate helpful resources for a victim. When the situation involved a child I was told they needed proof before they could act. When it was a woman, there was more than one who had to relocate, some two hours away and others into another state before we could find help. When men have come to me most often they are stared down, made to feel like animals, continuously turned away and denied assistance at all. There have been many victims who I’ve had to personally chat with, talk with, be the supporter and the guide as we work through escape, help, recovery, and rebuilding.

It is terrifying when I think of the explosion to come!!!

We must all make a decision to step up and help each other through. We must make a call to help rescue ANY CHILD in danger. We must offer a supportive shoulder or a helping hand to our family members and friends. Each of us knows a least one family in our circle who are presently living in an abusive or violent situation. We may not want to consider it our business, or even acknowledge that it is happening, but do you want to be the one to wake one morning and find out the someone you thought might be in danger has been beaten, raped, threatened with death, or MURDERED!!??

How abusive or violent does our society have to become before responsible adults start responding and helping as we protect those around us?

When the cuts come down the line, our society needs to react by helping each other. We must insist on services being provided to protect ALL CHILDREN AND VICTIMS. It is a time when the leaders, officials, law makers, and protectors should all be held accountable for their decisions and the salaries they receive vs. the help they provide.

As an advocate, I implore everyone who reads this to consider how this will effect our communities and the services already overwhelmed with victims. How can we, as a human society, ensure that we pass on a better world to our children? We must first give a crap about what is happening in the homes around us today and who is living in the midst of a nightmare.

Working together for the protection of all mankind is the only way we can change the path of our society. It is the only way we can teach our children how to respect another rather than bully over them or use weapons of deadly violence against them. Do you see what I see when you look around in your own community and what’s happening on our streets, within our schools, and unfortunately what starts out in our homes?

There is no way to help them all and protect everyone from another’s violence or disgusting actions; this is indeed a horrible truth. What do you think will happen in our society as funds are continually cut and leader salaries outweigh services; this is the question that scares me the most.

All the efforts from advocates I’ve encountered in these past two years have started a new wave across our globe. Now we are faced with another horrifying blow as our family economic unit is sure to be hit even harder.

I truly believe that only by stepping forward and caring about one another, especially our children, will we ever be able to change our path of human destruction. Let’s go back to when a stranger was offered help instead of being ignored as they starved. Let’s remember what it was like when one human being cared about the safety and well being of another. These are the basics we have lost.

In close, I hope this at least sparks some thought about those around you or maybe even your own situation. I hope in some way it reaches into your soul and begs you to rise into action. I pray that instead of continuing in the materialistic, self-centered actions, that have been a growing pattern in our society; that we can all find some way to see what we have lost and work together and bring back hope and inspiration of building better within our homes.

Every soul deserves a chance to live. Every human being deserves a safe place to lay down their head. Every child should be protected from the dark actions of another. Every breath we are given should be a chance to build our dreams without destroying the life of another.

Hope for building a safer world to guide our next generation!!! It is vital for us to see what happens behind the doors of our homes and within the centers meant to provide us help!!!

Another great site: Sanctuary for the Abused – talk about a hard look at what’s already been happening with our government funds and now to think of how bad it will get in the days to come.

You can also find some great empowering views from The Majority United, Founder & Director, Ms. Betty Jean Kling.

©Patricia A. McKnight

Dec. 28, 2012

Advocate/Author/Speaker/Talk Radio Host & Prod/Survivor

Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

‘My Justice’ – Authorhouse/Amazon/Barne’s&Noble/Lulu

Paperback/Ebook/Kindle & Nook

Published by @Trecia_Ann

Recently, Facebook locked and removed my decade long creation of work and public profile, which focused my work as an advocate, speaker, mentor, and creator of more than a few programs used throughout Illinois, but also shared nationally and some have reached international platforms. So.... let's start fresh and see where it goes! Please see the writings on this blog dating back into 2011, created after the publication of 'My Justice'. There are two specifically, which have been tagged and shared by many....."Judging Eyes" and "Triggers; what they are and how to handle them" I am a survivor of over thirty years trapped inside the silence and brutality of Family Facilitated Violence, Torture, and Child Sex Trafficking. In Feb. 2011, I chose to publish the secrets and the horrors endured; the many levels of destruction and decay which the community around me witnessed, ignored, condemned and blamed regardless of the injuries and tortures endured. It all became the learned patterns of self-hatred and tolerance which was a huge factor in my adult life. Have you endured childhood harm, or endured terroristic types of abuses? Did you feel unworthy of life, breathing, love or respect? Did you feel as if no one ever really saw you, heard you, or seemed to care about the silent cruelties of your existence? It wasn't until I honestly began a strong focus on healing myself, which took years of researching credible data and published research surrounding the lasting effects of abuse, violence, sexual harm, and human trafficking that I began to understand who I was and why there were many traits and tragedies that influenced my adult choices, relationships, the chaos deep in my soul and the behaviors used to survive. It seemed to control everything inside me and it was filled with pain, and tragedy. The research became my rebuilding journey and my road to advocacy, creating legislative changes, sitting as an active member and providing testimony in the creation of area task force operations, victim/survivor services, trauma informed awareness for law enforcement, educators, social services, healthcare and community providers. I began that research of understanding myself in 2008, wrote the memoir "My Justice' in 2010, began working to change statutes in my home state in 2013, became a Certified DV Advocate and Panel Member of DV Offender Education Program in 2015, which then initiated a decade long career as a trusted, confidential advocate, and a highly skilled and knowledgeable speaker/educator on the topic of Assessment, Family/Survivor Rebuilding, Trauma Informed Care & Response, with the primary focus on family/relationship acts of terroristic abuses and/or human trafficking. Beginning in January 2010 there have been developed programs and connected resources for men, women, children, and families who endured these same types of tragedies. Unfortunately, our human society still has barriers to seek help or speak openly about these types of tragedies, especially if it happened in our homes and families. The laws to protect from such harms were enacted for children in 1963, as an amendment to the Social Security Act. Domestic Violence was not a topic until 1995, when then Senator Joe Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act, which has since been adapted to provide shelters, counseling, protection orders, and rebuilding services for ALL persons regardless of gender or identity. Although slavery was brought to an end by the historical act of President Abraham Lincoln, we unfortunately have millions of human beings still being traded, sold, controlled and trapped in a hellish evil, which often begins by a parent or intimate partner. Legislation didn't arise regarding the term 'Human Trafficking' until the turn of the new millennium. Protection for victims of human trafficking was signed into law as the 'Trafficking In Persons Act of 2000', which with modern day social media it quickly became a new hot-topic point, which then sparked the creation of Trauma Informed Care, Rebuilding & Trauma Therapy, and thus adult survivors began speaking out about the dark terrifying reality of Child Sex Trafficking. Today many use the term, Modern Day Slavery, and we have multi-faceted task force operations and rescue resources working around the globe to end this new form of human slavery. We also have a few hundred thousand or more who are adult survivors of histories involving Parental Child Sex Trafficking. In one recent study from 2018, they found 85% of these victims were trafficked by parents in trade for drugs, family needs, or basic human survival. As I look back on the career that grew from my own personal need to understand the chaos in my head, the constant failed relationships and almost murderous acts committed against me; as I deal with increasing health problems that includes multiples of head and spinal cord traumas; the most important goal for me from day one of this extremely personal experience; the healing and rebuilding of my own children and grandchildren who were all continued generational victims of the trauma influenced behaviors and choices that resulted from the destruction enforced by my mother and stepfather many decades ago. The little girl, 'Trecia Ann', she survived pure evil as an entire community witnessed, shamed, blamed, and dismissed the visible decay and rot, stench and filth covered, battered and intoxicated body of a young girl who was publicly exploited and shared in the bars of that small town, in her home with boys she attended school with and adult men from the local coalmine. It was as if they all got a thrill from watching her respond to the ring of that little brass bell. They laughed, molested, raped, and purchased for a few bucks or a few beers the sexual use of that young girl right in full public view! Her mother held the power to stop it all, but rather enjoyed having a 'slave' to cook, clean, care for the family as well as entertain the sadistic alcoholic man she chose to marry. Today, I'm so honored and proud to have that little girl's spirit with me. It is through the use of my lived experience, along with a decade of research, and at least five certifications in prevention, response, and trauma; I've assisted a few hundred survivors through the multilevel process of rebuilding and reclaiming their voice, their safety, their freedom! I've trained law enforcement, healthcare, childrens service investigators, our school educators, and co-presented in trainings with some outstanding experts in the field. For the many I've assisted or empowered, they continue becoming thriving survivors, advocates, authors, speakers, and most important of all; they are healing their children and grandchildren! It is a truly beautiful experience and I am so amazed to have been a spark, a resource, or a friend in their life reclaiming freedom. The adult children of generations past have broken through the glass ceiling and finally there is a hint of change in the world. "A lifetime filled with daily torture, tragedy, and pain creates someone completely different than we should have been. We feel that person inside, but our lives are altered by the emotional and physical suffering. We cover it up and hide it deep inside through substance abuse, which falsely helps us believe we are doing fine. The extreme physical and emotional injuries leave our mental and physical selves terribly impacted. Thankfully there is more information and resources of help available today for all types of adverse or traumatic experiences. We have specialized therapeutic help and healthcare professionals developing new ways to identify and assist persons harmed or at risk of harm. We have so much more to do, so please help by having casual open conversations with your friends, family, coworkers, leaders, and especially our kids. Teach them early how to avoid both online and in person harms. Encourage adults and kids both to use the BDA Buddy Skills 2.0, which you will find through my list of assessments and prevention strategies. "My Justice' was written through my own beginning of acknowledging and releasing the personal destruction of the girl once known as 'Trecia Ann'. It is not an easy read, but it has opened many eyes about the reality of evil that occurs inside our homes, against those too small to protect themselves or understand what's happening. It was published to release the thick layers of trauma, sex trafficking, and disfiguring neglect. It is the voice of the enslaved child who existed only to answer the ring of 'his' bell, and the enforced burden to keep my own private terrorist alive. 'My Justice' is NOT SUGGESTED FOR ANYONE UNDER 16 years of age. It discusses the permanently wounding life and the cycle of destruction that held me in tolerating ridicule, control, and violence in my adult relationships. This truth was published to inspire others to take an in-depth look at their life and behaviors as a result of their past, in hopes they too will better understand their suffering today, the continued relationships with the parents and family who inflicted those harms, and finally breaking free from that pain so they can reclaim their voice and their true sense of freedom! We always have the opportunity to learn that we are worthy, capable, incredibly strong, compassionate, and filled with endless possibilities. It is a choice. It is a conscious decision to dig into our trauma, take ownership of our own failures, the harm our choices have caused, and the work we need to do to change it and succeed for ourselves and our families. It is such an honor to have 'My Justice' used at the collegiate level for psychology classes, upcoming therapists, and educators. Today my life is very blessed. I'm finally safe, feel truly loved, finally feeling the magic of life! Always choose to see your star and how it shines on others in your journey. My greatest power only began to show when I first made the choice to end the violent relationships and behaviors around my children; to give them something better, something SAFE!! In choosing to share my own story, I've also gone the serious extra step to educate myself through years of research, attending training opportunities, and collaborating with other advocate resources focused in human resilience and healing from abuse, sexual harm, and sex trafficking. Today there are experts digging deep to recreate help and healing. I've chosen to use my past as a way to inspire a greater good and; hopefully, somehow change the cycle of tragedy in our homes so that we empower our kids to live a more positive path. The best education we can give is healing our survivors of traumatic experiences so we understand what they felt then and what they wish they would have had available; those who could have and should have said something. We can change things for our life today, but best of all in healing our wounds, we give communities a supportive working strategy in assisting the people in our lives. One step at a time, one caring soul at a time, we can give them a path to changing our human society as a whole. This is a tell-all, which was written in the midst of my third nervous breakdown as I struggled to put all my distorted pieces back together, and help my children understand how the violence I tolerated against me invaded their well-being. My children have always been my world, but my behaviors, lack of healthy parenting and life skills, and an inability to remain stable have caused another generation of suffering for my grandchildren. This is a very difficult thing to watch and the continued tragedies that seem to keep affecting the choices in my family. Writing this book was only the beginning of trying to release all that has haunted me for so many years. I have finally removed his thick, cruel, coal-stained hand which trapped me in fear for decades. Those hands and his evil, her housemaid and caregiver; created a slave, and that slave submitted to horrific and brutal attacks but always felt it was her burden to bear. I lived with that hand holding me down, continually terrorizing and silencing, stealing my voice to protect their pure evil. Throughout decades the dysfunction caused by the chaos inside my head would affect every relationship, my children, and cast a shadow of darkness on everything good in my life. Living in the true spirit of freedom, I have now become a strong advocate against the life cycle of human destruction. If we want to control our life and achievements today, then we cannot live stuck in the tragedy of hardships and pain. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed, to see what you can do and what you can achieve, to find out what is important to you. We all become adults. We all have a burden to bear. Stand up and keep moving, keep living, keep dreaming. You have two choices in recreating and rebuilding yourself. Do you stay stuck in the dark shadows of your past? Do you dig deep and find that spirit that kept you alive so that you can become the proud, strong, capable, resilient, kind human being? Which do you choose and how will that choice affect your children and theirs? We can be supportive, and provide resources and suggest help so that families suffering from addiction or past trauma can find a recovery balance to rebuild their family into a more positive life pattern. We will recover, we will rebuild, we will conquer the pains of yesterday to live in the true sense of life, freedom, and safety today. Patricia 'Trish' McKnight Author: 'My Justice' Fndr/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP Mentor/Advocate/Speaker/Survivor

3 thoughts on “What happens when the Fiscal Cliff hits already overwhelmed services? A time to DO SOMETHING……

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  2. Modern attention to domestic violence began in the women’s movement of the 1970s, particularly within the contexts of feminism and women’s rights , as concern about wives being beaten by their husbands gained attention. The first known use of the expression “domestic violence” in a modern context, meaning “spouse abuse, violence in the home” was in an address to the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1973. A few months later the world’s first domestic violence services federation ( Women’s Aid ) was set up in 1974, providing practical and emotional support as part of a range of services to women and children experiencing violence in England.

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