Passing the Torch of Freedom

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Tonight I have the very special honor to speak for the Candle Light Vigil during the event for Restoring the Balance of Justice; held & coordinated by Rescue & Restore of Southwestern Illinois & Hoyleton Ministries. This event made possible by a grant for National Crime Victims Rights Week 2014 and the amazing work of Miss Kristen Eng.

Dear Friends,

Most of my life I lived as a VICTIM, never once realizing I had any RIGHTS to change what was happening or seek safety through some form of resource or justice. Actually when I think back on all that encompassed my life and the many different types of crime I was trained to tolerate, it makes me wonder today the ‘WHAT IF’ there would have been just one day that I believed I could take back control and reach out for help?

I was a VICTIM at five years old when my stepfather first attacked me with vicious sexual abuse.

I was a VICTIM at nine years old when my mother began training me as the family slave in forced child labor.

I was a VICTIM at eleven years old when my stepfather began trading me out in child sex trafficking.

I was a VICTIM at twelve years old when my mother refused any form of basic human necessities and the child neglect of all medical care left me scarred from head to toe; inside and out.

I was a VICTIM at fifteen years old in a life that was filled with brutal physical abuse day in and day out, which was witnessed by family friends, neighbors, school mates, and siblings.

I was a VICTIM at 17 when I left home to live with a man who then began to beat me and I suffered severe injuries by his almost murderous attacks for two years.

I was a VICTIM at 20 years old when I married an emotionally abusive and constantly degrading man who then became father to my three children.

I was a VICTIM at 30 years old when my second husband beat me during his repeated alcoholic rages and left me permanently injured.

I lived as a VICTIM for over 30 years, trained to believe I had NO VOICE, NO FREEDOM, NO RIGHTS TO JUSTICE to change what had happened to me throughout all those years filled with pain, terror, sadness, isolation, and silence.

Tonight as I stand up here and we light our candles, I pray all of you who have been touched by some form of violent crime can feel the power of freedom with me. There is a huge swing in our pendulum of justice today. A new generation is taking charge and we are creating awareness, resources of help, support in our recovery, and the ability to claim our VICTIMS RIGHTS through our system of justice.

No longer can we live in the past and teach our children, our partners, our spouses, neighbors, families, and friends to be silent and to continue tolerating the attacks against our sense of personal safety. When a crime, any type of crime, invades your sense of safety you then are left to feel powerless, without a voice, shame in your vulnerability, and blame by those who abandon you. Tonight this is our time to reclaim our freedom, to take back our power, to allow that sense of power to embed itself deep down in your soul that you are able to raise your head up, release yourself from any sense of shame. When you are a VICTIM, this is NOT something you wanted, this is NOT something you did; this is an act that some other person CHOSE to commit AGAINST you.

In the state of Illinois, along with 30 other states in our society today, we are taking back our RIGHT to be aware of the resources available to help us. Taking back our RIGHT to seek justice and have our court system enforce our VICTIMS RIGHTS. We as a human society have a grand opportunity to begin teaching the next generation their true right to be safe, live safe, and respect the HUMAN RIGHTS given to all persons in our nation.

Tonight here among all of those in attendance, the US Attorneys Office, State’s Attorneys Office, FBI Services, Resources for your Victims Rights, Survivors & Victims –tonight with you we claim our freedom and in lighting your torch may it be a source that you take with you always and pass on to those in your family, your neighbors, churches, workplace, and in our daily lives. Tonight we light our torch in memory of those we’ve lost, but also in memory of the power you hold inside to change what generations before us have taught in tolerance and silence, we take back our voice and we pass forward the torch of freedom. Thank you for carrying your torch of a new beginning.

We claim our VICTIMS RIGHTS!!!

Here’s to teaching the pattern of love, life, happiness, and most of all SAFETY to the next generation!!!

©Patricia A McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’      MyJustice     

Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamstalkradio

Published by @ButterflyTrish

I am a survivor of over thirty years trapped inside the silence and brutality of Family Crimes, Child Sex Trafficking, and a life lived pattern of tolerance for over 30 years in almost murderous relationships. In Feb. 2011 I chose to publish the truth about what happened in our home, the community around me, and the learned patterns of self-hatred and tolerance which became such a huge factor in my life. My life today was built through publishing 'My Justice'. I never would felt worthy of life, breathing, love & respect with first healing myself. There were many things the traits and tragedies that influenced my life seemed to control everything inside me and it was nothing but sadness and fake emotions. Only by facing the horrors I went through, the choices I made as a woman & mother, then relating to the greatest guilt I have; how the trauma behavior has affected my children's lives. It's my hope to help others get through their battles, regardless of the type of trauma because when we hurt our lives are forever changed. This graphic, violent memoir is NOT SUGGESTED FOR ANYONE UNDER 14 years of age. It discusses the permanently wounding life and the cycle of destruction that held me in expecting/tolerating ridicule 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. Connect the dots of your rebuilding in understanding the pattern of adult choices in coping addictions, parenting, and partners; even affecting our careers and self-sustainable life. I'm so honored 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, finally truly loved, finally feeling the magic of what life is supposed to be like. 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 that serious extra step to educate myself through years of research, attending training opportunity, and collaborating with other advocate resources, abuse, sexual harm, and the experts digging deep to recreate help and healing. I've chosen to use my past as a way to inspire a greater good; 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 a survivor of traumatic experiences who can use 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, help my children understand how the violence I tolerated against me invaded their emotional 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 has 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; they created a slave and that slave submitted to horrific and brutal attacks but always felt it was her burden to bare. I lived with that hand holding me down to terrorize and steal away my voice, holding me captive in the dysfunction of the aftermath and casting 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. 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 bare. 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 could 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, provide resources and suggestions for help so that families suffering with addiction or past trauma themselves can find a recovery balance to rebuild their family in 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

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