Are you a single parent wounded by your past?

 

Help enforce the RIGHT TO BE SAFE for every child, every young vulnerable person, that they should never be threatened, tormented, beaten, or even manipulated into protecting their abuser or the one who abuses their children………https://www.change.org/p/mr-president-please-enforce-the-right-to-be-safe-for-all-persons-especially-our-children-enforce-family-terrorist-act-trecia-s-law

Perhaps you may never feel safe enough to speak up and you may never be able to find justice for all the crimes against you. However, if you are one of these persons and you’ve not yet found the courage to face the darkest of your demons, let me ask;

How are things in your relationships today? Does your spouse or partner have a good relationship with your child? Do they use forceful punishment, then tell you the child deserved it? Have they ever left a bruise on your child, used a belt, or even punched your child?

Do you feel powerless against them or believe them because they show such remorse, possibly even shed a tear over the harm they caused against your child? Do they over power you, cut you down, then turn around and praise how beautiful you are and show sincere emotion when you forgive them?

There was a particular case which was kind of tossed into my lap yesterday. I cannot explain how close to home this case is, nor cannot discuss much in detail, as the case itself is still pending.

A young woman I know, whom I love and trusted as a person, had her young child taken into protective custody a few days ago. The 5 year old had been beaten with a belt and when I saw the pictures my stomach turned. I knew the case was much more than this young woman had shared with me, in fact she and her significant other had me convinced that CPS had taken the child away for a fall which left a bruise. However since it wasn’t the first time they had been investigated I knew that something must be wrong. In fact, the case was so personal for me that I actually feared how much could have happened and exactly how it had all been allowed to get to this extreme.

The young mother had been beaten and left in her crib to cry without comfort by a stepmother when she was a child. She had seen her mother be beaten and had lived the first 10 years of her life in chaos. Although her mother had tried in a number of ways to heal the past pain, this case showed me just how serious providing conviction of offenders, giving support services for all victims involved, and ensuring that family support is accessible to everyone; rather than something a family should be ashamed of needing.

This young woman had fallen for the wrong man twice already by the time she was just twenty years old. None of her romantic involvements ever made her feel good about herself, most commonly that had berated her and never taken care of her, not even the father of her child. The two relationships ended badly and when the baby was just 1 year old the mother ran to someone who said, ‘Stay here with me and I will help you.’

She fell for this man hard. Many times I’d go visit with concerns about little warning signs I’d seen in the little child’s development and how this child connected with the new man in mother’s life. I had personally tried many times to help mom get them safe, rebuild life skills to always take care of her child, even discussed my concerns about his manipulating & controlling this young mom and how I truly felt he was a danger to them both. Sadly, nothing I’d ever said or did worked, even addressing the issue would cause this young mom to shut me out for months at a time. Mom stayed with this man, who I later found out the other night, has quite some history of his own.

The past four years Children’s Services had been to their home, twice I’d reported them myself out of extreme concern for the child’s wellbeing. Sadly, no case worker ever found cause to remove the young child. I could see the fear in her face however, saw mother’s inability to actually interact with her child and knew it would take something severe before anything would ever happen.

Together, as I was asked to come and help support this young mom now facing a protective custody hearing for her child; the man in her life who I had witnessed his direct control over her many times, sat and told me about his history. I was shocked this young mom could be pulled in to such a web of insanity. He had a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. He had been sent to maximum security as a juvenile sex offender; he was 14 the young girl then was 10. He had been arrested for Crystal Meth, and now he was intent on packing a bag to run away with this young mom. He didn’t even want to stay for the hearing. He kept telling me how it would be turned against him, be exaggerated into something much more than a fall; he was afraid of returning to prison for the third time, especially for beating a young defenseless child.

I spent the night at their house, only for the mother and to help speak for how much she loved her baby so much and the positive changes I had seen in her, especially these last few months. As I lay on their couch that night I couldn’t believe that I’d been drawn into a mess like this, a mom whom I would never suspect but a man I most certainly knew from the very beginning had a dark past and now had this young wounded mother twisted around his finger like a little puppet. He could make her believe anything because she had been so broken before. He told her how beautiful she was. He told her and me how he loved this little child of hers like his own and would never ever do anything to harm a fragile person who could not defend themselves.

When we arrived at the hearing, I was asked if I wanted to see the pictures of this so called bruise, which this mom and her man had spent four hours the night before convincing me was from a fall off the couch she had been jumping on…..children will be children and they do fall. Anyway, this was no ordinary bruise from a fall, that is unless she fell off of a house. It was deep purple, yellow, black, and had red lashes which at first I thought were from a large handprint. It was sickening and I knew this young mom loved her special needs child so very much. I knew she was vulnerable, in fact had been vulnerable all her life simply because of the chaotic history that she’d lived in those first ten years herself.

Needless to say the young child was kept in protective services, pending further investigation and another hearing. As I drove this young mother back to her house she informed me that her man had used his belt on this little child. The bruise covered her entire side, so my thoughts were horrified at how it could be possible. Mom said, ‘if she wouldn’t have moved’. Couldn’t believe what I was hearing, couldn’t believe that I thought this young mom, although vulnerable to fall in with the wrong man, would certainly protect HER young child.

This young child had just started school this year. She was in special learning because her mother didn’t know how to interact or the heavy responsibility of having a child in the first place. Mother told me her child was misbehaving, jumping around and screaming, she wouldn’t listen. Mother told me her man was so remorseful, he had been crying for days over this and it would never happen again. No it won’t if I have anything to do with it at all, this young mother whom I trusted, believed, and thought for sure; although a bit broken would do the right thing when it came to her child, had sat silent listening to her child scream for mercy and cry because of this huge 300 lb man beating her with a leather belt. Now this mom is defending this man, saying she will take the blame so that he doesn’t have to go back to prison. We never really know what type of abuse or harm is being inflicted on a young child. They cannot speak out, they may not be able to speak clearly at all. They cannot fight back. They cannot run away and they cannot do anything their parent/parents do not allow.

I’m grateful the system finally stepped in and is now in charge of what happens to this child, yet I feel such guilt over just how much I thought I believed in this young mom, however only to find that I never really knew anything at all. It had all been lies to cover up the cruel actions against this precious child. Do we really know the truth about anyone, even those closest to us? Do we know what really happens inside their house, inside the realm of their family circle? It is up to us to change how cases are investigated, to change the system and make sure above all else the right to be safe is always upheld, especially when it is the right of a child to sleep and live in a SAFE & LOVING home.

Today I’m begging everyone to be on alert for the sake of the children around you. Do not wait until its too late to do something and protect these children, all children. Help us amend our public policy and our prosecutorial processes to make sure and hold even those who we believe are trusted persons, responsible for the harm they inflict against a defenseless child. Help us by reading the ‘LETTER TO….’ section of this petition. Help us by signing your name and then begging your friends to do the same. If they refuse, please ask them why, perhaps they themselves are secret abusers who teach their children they are bad, they deserve this punishment, they deserve to be beaten because they did not listen. There is a huge difference between corrective parenting and these secret types of predators. The man this mother chose has a juvenile sex offender record, he’s been caught having sex with a 16 year old neighbor girl, whom this young mother then blamed that girl because ‘she came on to him’. Please friends help us ensure that the right to BE SAFE & LIVE SAFE is upheld for all persons but most definitely our young children who are trapped inside the control of their parents and whom, without intervention, may never know what a loving safe home is really supposed to be like. Thank you ——- FOLLOW THIS LINK——

https://www.change.org/p/mr-president-please-enforce-the-right-to-be-safe-for-all-persons-especially-our-children-enforce-family-terrorist-act-trecia-s-law

Thank you for reading. I pray you will help us move forward. You can encourage your local politicians, your prosecuting attorneys, family service providers to begin addressing this very serious issue. You can donate, by just clicking the ‘PROMOTE’ button on the petition, which helps reach out to more persons within the Change.org system. Please help us enforce the Universal Right to be Safe for all Children.

Petition Creators/Partners:

Patricia McKnight, Author & Owner, Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

Lisa Chilton, Director Legal Advocacy Dept. St. Clair County

Dana Pfeiffer, Exec. Director – Grounds of Grace

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

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