Dear Mr. President…..I am a Child Sex Trafficking Survivor

Attn; Mr. President Obama                                            Sept 30, 2014

The White House                                                               Patricia A. McKnight

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW                                   

Washington, DC 20500 62230

 

Dear Mr. President,

Permit me a few moments of your precious time, first to give my support for the policies you have implemented throughout your terms in Presidency and your continued drive to be the President who provides a true change in our society. This being said Sir, I would like to personally thank you for your recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness & Prevention; also in assuring our justice systems hold these monsters accountable in strict punishments.

I am an Adult Child Sex Trafficking survivor, where the many years of endured suffering and vicious, disgusting attacks, were committed by those entrusted with my care; my mother & stepfather. You see sir, I grew up in the small Southwestern Illinois town of Freeburg during 1970’s. I was five when they first married and I instantly became his property. My mother had given me to him, much the same as giving him any sort of object. For the next 12 years I was his to do with as he pleased and it didn’t end until I left home at 17, but even then he continued to stalk his prey like a lion.

Freeburg was a small town of about 1500 citizens at the time I lived there, which was from 1972 until 1981. Our family always lived in the center of town and my older brother, younger sister, and myself all attended the Freeburg Public School System. Throughout my many years in expected family slavery, even to the point of answering the ring of their little brass bell; there were many witnesses and those who took part in his vile public exploitation and trafficking of the young girl I used to be. I have gone decades trying to heal, change, and erase the person my parents created, but these dark wounds leave a lasting impression and this passes on through dysfunctional parenting in our children’s lives.

The trafficking itself started at about age 11 and lasted for six long years. This included parties at our house with me given as the prize. These late night parties included many of the adult men he worked with; husbands married to my mother’s friends, but she simply walked into her bedroom and closed the door on her pleading child. There were also weekend parties with schoolmates, teen boys lured in with alcohol and marijuana, and of course the young girl as the party favor. Many of these boys knew me, they saw me in school everyday, but they were the sons who were never allowed to date me for fear of being condemned by the entire community. By the time I was 13, the village of Freeburg had given a tag name for me which I cannot repeat in this letter for you.

The most difficult for me to process in my years of recovery, was the complete abandonment by the entire system which should have said something to protect me at some point. The many neighbors & family friends who knew of the evil within my family home, yet despite the severe scarring neglect of filth and infection of sores which covered my body and the broken black fanged teeth covered with plaque from never being given a toothbrush or any form of medical or dental care; still there was not a single person who felt it necessary to make a call for help on my behalf. I still carry the physical and emotional scars today from all the evil that was my daily existence.

The life I lived in my childhood made a huge impact in what I deemed was my self worth and what I continued to tolerate in my adult life, the pattern of self destruction and tolerating almost deadly beatings from the boyfriends and husbands to follow for over the next 20 years; all because I didn’t believe that anyone would ever care or that any service would have helped me and my children rebuild our lives. My life was like no other; it was a life I begged God to end for decades. The greatest regret I carry today is that I didn’t get the help I needed to recover from all these traumas early enough to prevent the home filled with violence from invading my children’s lives. This is how the cycle continues as the emotional dysfunctions in harmed parents then passes on into their children’s lives; then their grandchildren. Sir, there are millions out there like me, today we are finally finding the courage to speak up  about the many painful abuses which are often tolerated within the family unit. Sadly when our society silences the survivors of these abuses, we continue to teach silence of these crimes to our children; leaving them to protect their family abuser and live without hope of support, healing, and recovery, thus impacting the lives of yet another generation of human beings in pain and dysfunction.

Your work Mr. President & the ongoing mission in providing resources, support, awareness and prevention strategies is the greatest reward possible for our next generation. These past ten years I’ve finally been safe, but in the aftermath of all those committed acts I am  left with permanent disabling injuries to my spine, constant migraines, dysfunction in my hands, feet, and entire chronic body pain. It saddens me to know I did all of the hard work to rebuild a life with my children and provide them an example of a safe loving home; a home with the four of us working together in learning to live a life without harm. I also held a sustainable career in the business field and graduated valedictorian which permitted me to support their needs and buy a home we could call ours. Tragic as it may be, these past five years I have been forced to give it all up and accept a life on Medicare as a direct result of all the endured trauma; however there is no one held responsible for the growing cost of my care or the expensive medications to ease the pain.

My greatest accomplishments in my healing and continued efforts to help others include many training sessions in Sexual Assault, Interpersonal/Family Violence, testing to be a Human Trafficking Awareness Trainer, achieved my 40hr Domestic Violence Advocate Training, and did two years of a featured web based talk radio program discussing these issues and providing self help tools to assist others. I’ve personally coached/mentored more than 100 persons who endured many of the same vicious types of abuses, some trafficking survivors like myself. I’ve published a brief look into my life in the title, ‘My Justice’ which has been used as a teaching guide at La Sierra University in California and have received many outstanding reviews from amazing readers around the world and human services advocates. I have also been invited to be part of the FBI Southwestern Illinois Partnership Providers Against Human Trafficking and a base member in re-establishing the Illinois Victims Assistance Network; also to include many speaking engagements in awareness & prevention of the crimes which are often tolerated inside the family unit.

Please keep up your efforts Mr. President and know how important they are. I cannot tell you enough just how many lives will be saved as a result. I pray we are able to provide Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education in every small school system & law enforcement agency across the country and make sure to penalize any person who takes part in or watches/hears these attacks against any other person and refuses to make that call for help. It is the duty of every responsible adult to report these types of crimes and only these strong measures will empower every person to believe there is help, they can live safe, and that no one is ever abandoned in such evil existence again.

In closing Mr. President, thank you for your drive & mission to help create the beginning change in our society. I will support these efforts no matter which office you may hold when this term is completed. In the deepest respect,  I will keep you and your amazing example of an incredible family in my prayers. One day I truly have to believe that we can provide a unit of resources for every family who has a person suffering in some form of bullying, abuse, violence and the most evil of all; the sex trafficking of our children by those entrusted with their care. Not one single being should ever know this pain or carry the horrific & terrifying memories of these acts.

In Respect & Support,

Sincerely,

Patricia A McKnight

Breese, Clinton County, Illinois

Author: ‘My Justice’

Advocate/Human Trafficking Awareness Trainer

Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

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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