A human society creating Victims and Offenders……

Often trying to assist victims of trafficking and other dangerous crimes, we find they don’t always see how serious the harm. For them it is something they just always had to tolerate in order to survive, so as a result by the time they are older teens or adults, they might not even feel it was an actual crime. I know because it happened to me.

The first time he took me out to another location I was about 10 years old and it was a tugboat down around the Baldwin Illinois area. He used to take me with him quite often, something I couldn’t refuse without punishment and something my mother never questioned regardless of what condition I returned home. He picked up a 12pack of Pabst and we took off driving, him feeding me all but three of the beers which he drank. Needless to say I was wasted. I don’t remember everything, but I sadly remember all the hands, the touching, groping, and oral sex I was made to perform on at least one of the men. They lit up a joint and took full advantage of having the intoxicated little girl to play with for their (and his) amusement.

Next it was the bar where my mother worked & all the local coal miners hung out. I was 11 years old when my stepfather involved me in very public exploitative measures so men would buy him beer and he could watch as they all flirted and played with me. He offered the one young man time alone with me outside, thankfully the guy responded ‘She’s just a kid’. However it set off a rage of fury when we immediately left and I was beaten in the car because ‘You’re just too ugly, that’s why nobody wants to be with you.’ My head was bashed against the window a few times, on the dashboard, and his hands clenched around my throat.

Surprisingly my mother came walking up and pulled me out of the car. She didn’t ask why I was crying, or what had happened; she simply hustled me home angry and screaming at me for getting drunk. It was all my fault those men wanted to do things and Malcolm was beating the crap out of me.

This was just the beginning of what would be the next five years of private parties initiated by him with neighborhood boys, schoolmates, and grown men who came to our house on late Friday night. It was all so ‘normal’ for me. It’s what I had been beaten into tolerating and no one was doing anything to stop it. The boys and men always laughed and enjoyed it, my mother stayed in her bedroom and watched tv or she took off for the weekend and left me there.

In all honesty, I had never considered myself a ‘trafficked child’. I didn’t understand how everything that happened and all the ways that I was used, manipulated, and forced into these situations created such a mess and it trained my behavior to be exactly what he wanted; his own personal little prostitute. Sadly by the time I was around 13, that is exactly what the community talked about when they saw me.
How in the world was I supposed to understand exactly how wrong it was when no one was doing anything about it?

The community members whispered about it and how I messed around with their husbands, boyfriends, and sons. They whispered about the filth that covered my body, the body odor, the infected sores, and how I rarely ever had time allowed out of the house because there was always something I had to take care of, or there might be something or someone who needed me to do something. I was the girl their daughters could not hang out with and the girl their sons were never allowed to date. I’ll never forget how it felt growing up in the center of that small Illinois town while neighbors, family friends, teachers, and classmates all made fun of me and shamed me, but not a single person ever tried to help me. In the end the only way I knew how to get through a day without being beaten was to do whatever was ordered, whenever it was ordered, and with whomever was next in line.

It wasn’t until after I started really focusing on coping through my Complex PTSD, and the debilitating injuries from all the physical trauma which existed for some 20 years in my adult relationships. I couldn’t figure out what it was about me, why did all of this stuff happen and why didn’t anyone seem to care? This is when I began writing ‘My Justice’; hoping to put all my pieces back together and help my kids understand that their screwed up ideas about relationships had resulted from how I had been so well trained to tolerate extreme harm and never believe that I deserved anything different. I was almost 50 years old before I was able to connect the dots of trauma, to my lasting wounds today. It was after the book was published and I took a training seminar on trafficking before I realized ‘OMG, that was me’.

Helping victims of Family Crimes, whether it be extreme physical violence, sexual harm, or perhaps even trafficking; these persons do not always understand that they were victims at all. To them, to me, it was just survival. I had to do whatever was demanded and I developed survival coping skills in that horror. This is what happens when we dismiss the possibility or even witnessed exploitation or direct harm of a child.

In trying to help someone cope today, we must have compassion for the emotional instability, remember they are just beginning to realize exactly how much evil they had to endure just to survive. Almost all of the adult & teen prostitutes today, first became victims as a young child. To them their body is nothing more than a sexual object, one built to satisfy others and to endure whatever they might inflict.

Helping victims of Family Related Offenders is a difficult situation because we teach them quite young to be quiet, stop crying about it, it’s nothing, it’s because you did something, it’s because we need the financial help, it’s because we need a roof over our head, it’s your burden to carry those very ugly secrets and never tell anyone about what happens here.

How many more victims of trafficking, grievous injury, emotional trauma, and lasting mental health challenges will our human society continue to raise as we turn our backs and pretend nothing happened, or convince ourselves that it’s not our problem. If you know about a family or person in harm’s way, then it just became your problem. If you don’t get that person help, who will? It’s time to stop raising Victims & Offenders, it’s time to initiate intervention and community involvement to stop ALL crime, even the generational teaching of tolerance about crime inside our family.

Keep in mind that it’s not just the children who are forced or manipulated into multiple sexual interactions or forced to stay quiet as they are beaten beyond recognition. These actions against persons inside our homes affects all races, genders, and most importantly ALL AGES. There are no boundaries when it comes to inflicting harm on those who do not understand or are not able to defend themselves.

We must defend a persons right to be protected regardless of who they are or where they live. Home doesn’t have to be perfect, but it absolutely must be SAFE. To provide any change is going to take a strong united human effort. Ending the harm inside our families, means that we give our children a better, safer world to flourish in their dreams and achievements. Teaching that all beings deserve safety, that we have worldwide laws & constitutional laws defending our right to be safe. This should be taught in every basic history class across the country.

Give a child the gift of freedom without the fear of grievous harm, especially inside their home.
Using information & resources shared on www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery is just one possible source of help. There are resources around the world to aid in this recovery process and life skills development for healthy parenting. If you or someone you know is in distress or being harmed, please research available resources in your area.

 

Thanks & be a blessing to those in your life’s path

Trish McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’

Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Talk Radio Network

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Specialist

Family Violence Speaker & Educator

Family Crimes and Terroristic Abuse Act – ‘Trecia’s Law’

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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