Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery
Resolution for Change!!
After the Christmas holiday and now things are looking into the New Year, 2014 is quickly approaching. Have you given though to your New Year’s Resolution? You know, those list we make out every year and hope to achieve completing at least one of them.
This year I am asking you to think about a different type of resolution. A resolution that is not just a good way to help yourself, but also a great way to help your neighbors and empower your community teen involvement. In our environment, be it an apartment complex or a community neighborhood, we may not want to admit there is a problem with any type of abuse or violence within our homes and our family unit, but during the holiday gathering you just might have been triggered by something which made you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
Maybe you have a memory of something that happened to you? Perhaps you have seen rage or violence break out during family gatherings or you saw something against another person in your circle? Maybe you heard fights or even cries for help in a neighbors house?
There are many generations of families, which have been trained into the acceptance and tolerance of cruel actions from others within our family. Yes some of these actions are to be expected within this unit; however, when it comes to getting attacked in some physically violent way or being sexually assaulted or touched without giving your approval; these are things which we do not have to tolerate. We can change the teaching we have accepted throughout centuries and begin to teach our children to respect, not only their own rights to be safe & feel safe, but also for the rights of others. We can empower them to follow the moral decency and inspire kindness among their peers.
When we teach our children to look out for their friends at school and whom they socialize with, we are able to empower them with confidence and a sense of community pride. They begin to feel as if they are part of something, that something is the better safer world we want to give them tomorrow.
Please talk with your children, age appropriately but openly, about the actions of violence within the family unit and inappropriate sexual contact. Teach them to watch out for their senior neighbors who may need help or emergency assistance. Teach them to watch out for younger children out playing in their yards or in our community parks; at school events, sports activities. Teaching them to keep their eyes open and be ready to intervene in some way. It is by talking about these actions which most often happen in secret; behind the closed doors of our own homes and in the houses of our neighbors, being honest with our children today is the best way to teach them about defending their own rights as human beings and protecting themselves no matter who may be harming them or someone they know.
As a radio host & crisis/peer support advocate; I’ve talked with hundreds who have endured severe sexual violence and physical battery in their homes, by members of their family. We know by the reports reflected by our National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems collected from every account, that most often parents are the offenders of child maltreatment. We also know from reports that Domestic Violence is perpetrated by both male & female offenders. We know that the offenders of these types of crimes are only protected by the forced silence within our taught family unit to tolerate and see past these crimes. However, when the victim is old enough, ready to face the dark secrets of crimes committed against them, that might seriously have impacted their lives with the after effect of trauma; these victims will eventually speak out to some person. It may be a therapist or counselor, it may be law or another family member, but they will speak out. You can begin to tell the offenders in our community that only secrets protect them from being prosecuted, so when someone reports the crimes they will indeed have to pay the price for the harm they have caused.
I would not want to be the one who allowed a sexual predator around my children, or other children, to be later held accountable for never reporting the crime and for the harm caused to the child from forced and unacceptable sexual contact.
Think about your New Year’s Resolution and how we can begin to change the past and mend our family unit. It is love that binds a family together and that love should not be destroyed by the secrets of harm we have been taught to ignore. Be the beginning of change in your family and make a different kind of new year’s resolution this year.
Resolution for Change
Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery
Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight
Radio Prod & Host
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Butterfly Dreams Team
Michal Madison, Honorable Judge Mary Elizabeth Bullock, John L. Mealer, Kelly Townsend, Julia D’Alfonzo, Linda Walcher, Dr. Brenda Markert-Green