A letter to the White House

June 23, 2015

Attn: President Barrack Obama              Patricia A McKnight

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue                      135 North Oak Street

Washington, DC                                         Breese, IL 62230

                                                                     XXXXXXXXXXXX

RE: Family Crimes and Terroristic Abuse Act

Active Petition Change.org – https://www.change.org/p/let-s-make-all-sexually-related-acts-against-a-minor-a-federal-offense-and-allow-a-three-step-review-of-all-child-maltreatment-reports

Dear Mr. President,

Please permit me first to thank you for your time of service to our country. You have lead the way to many changes which I hope will continue to inspire freedom and respect for others in our nation, as well as around the world, for many centuries to come. Through your joint work with Vice President Joe Biden, you have successfully updated our nation’s Child Protection Act, Violence Against Women Act, and implemented the Human Trafficking Protections Act. You’ve enforced better services to men & women who soldier to protect our country’s freedoms and enhanced victims services and prevention strategies to end the cycle of violent crimes not only against children, but against all persons.

This is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve actually sent a letter to you these past few years. It is in those I write speaking as an adult survivor, one of the estimated 45+ million adult survivors in our country. These are persons from at least three or four generations and we have watched the level of personal violence grow to bleed into every small American town across the country. We are those who have endured the day after day, year after year, continued decades of battle to survive the harm as children, then grow in self destruction as we try to develop in the aftermath of extreme physical, sexual, emotional pain; most of which has occurred right within the safety of our family home.

Today sir, I have become a strong recovering advocate voice in the mission to empower new ideas in prevention and recovery. Also, in the many professional trainings and research, I’ve put together and present locally an inside look at these types of taught human behaviors, and the judgment rather than assistance, silence rather than reporting these painful and horrific actions against the smallest of persons which has been taught  throughout our human existence.

How tragic is our world when acts of Child Sex Trafficking, Exploitation, and brutal harm, which is nothing less than terroristic types of cruelty, is the most protected topic around the world? In researching topics, I’ve broken down the Child Maltreatment Report FFY 2011; would you be shocked to know that 3.7 million reports of maltreatment were entered across the nation, but 2.3 million of those reports didn’t even receive an investigation? The horrific numbers of children being harmed in our country, yet so many soldiers go out to sacrifice their lives so that we can live in America protected by the Inalienable Right to Be SAFE; to live free, free from harm and free from fear. Is this not something that should be a priority for our entire country? Sadly sir, there are very few who are actually speaking and when they do they never address the issue of truth;  the greatest numbers of harm to our children and the greatest numbers of Domestic Child Sex Trafficking is committed by the close family within our home.

In our human society, not just in America, it is those who have complete access to control, manipulate, degrade, and threaten, imposing grievous harm or a believed sense of certain death, fear of being sent away; it is these persons who maintain constant fear to ensure child’s silence, tolerance, and protecting their abuser “Family Terrorist” from ever being prosecuted for their actions? The 2011 report reveals statistics; 1 in 9 Sexual Abuse, 1 in 3 Physical Abuse, and over 1500 child deaths were confirmed as a direct result of neglect or physical harm. The emotional turmoil inside of a child living within a circle of family, neighbors, friends; yet abandoned believing no one cares about the terror and harm which haunts their home. How can someone not report when they see the outward signals and determine a sense of need? What happens to the example we give our children and youth if the most dangerous place in the world they know is their very own home, and so many people and family around them do absolutely nothing to help? We have used these abusive actions to control and silence our children in tolerating the many crimes against them, which traps these young persons in self absorbing horror while protecting their abuser, the only terrorist they know.

Yes sir, I do realize how strong of word ‘terrorist’ is; however, when children endure these truly torturous types of harm throughout their entire lives; it is a trauma of dark pain and ugly secrets that our human society knows exists but we cannot face. As one article I’ve read states so honestly; ‘Not even discussed in private rooms’. Is it our own adult neglect to protect from these actions or in the times we’ve simply turned away from a hurting child?

As of now, myself and two other strong advocates, have developed an ongoing petition as referenced above. This petition has written out 10 specific guidelines we would like to see implemented to end these types of crimes across the country, but more importantly influence the life of children around the world. Already more than 550 have signed and we will keep this going for as long as it takes, until a resolution is found and we can begin teaching new behaviors of good rather than pain and uphold the laws of protection to include those who are too little to defend themselves, too young to understand, or not even able to speak at all. Sir we must do something and I am praying you will choose to take just one more courageous step, please sir initiate a Federal Level complete review to update, revise, and implement whatever strategies necessary to protect our children; especially when the family, schools, community around them will not.

The basis for the mentioned guidelines is taken from two parts; first our American Constitution and the amendments there in which give the right to freedom for all persons, the right to be protected under the eyes of law as equal, without regard to race, religion, economic standing; without regard to age, gender, or place of residence within our country. We all, as Americans, have an inalienable right to be safe, be protected, and be free. Part two of the research to put this together is the rights written into law, December 1948 by United Nations General Assembly Committee; The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One member of this committee was our country’s Ms. Eleanor Roosevelt and in these are stated what shall be upheld as the highest laws of all mankind; our world laws. Articles 1 – 8 of these writes very clearly the rights of all beings to live free; free from harm & free from the fear of harm. In this is also the rights to be protected under the laws of our world; not even prisoners can be treated in such a torment and tortured existence what often happens to our children.

The term ‘terroristic abuse’ or ‘family terrorist’ is one which describes extreme situations of harm; taken from the definition –‘To inflict or cause/create a threat of grievous bodily injury or a believed sense of certain death in order to maintain control over another person, party, or entity’. These are definitely the actions of some of the harms our children are forced to handle in silence, because if their family abuser finds out they are trying to reach outside help or that they could be prosecuted for the pain they inflict; there is a risk of certain death or grievous injury which just might become permanent for them.

You might be asking, ‘why would a person relate to such actions as grievous injury or death inside their home’? I am one of these survivors who barely made it out alive, and definitely not without permanent injury, which has taken away my independence and my hard earned career in business management/customer service. The actions of extreme physical and sexual harm have resulted in my going on early disability from the permanent spinal cord injury and multiples of head concussions from more than 30+ years of these evils, beginning at age five.

My mother married a man she had been warned about by his adult son. He told her how horrific the temper and disgustingly sadistic the actions of Malcolm White, but my mother chose to marry him then gave him complete control over me. He would have done anything she asked of him; he felt very lucky to have such a beautiful small woman marry him. Immediately he attacked me that first night in front of my older brother and two of our neighbor boys he was babysitting the night of my mother’s bridal shower. He used force and terror when he probed and molested me in front of them, then he shoved me on the floor and sent me away, threats of much worse if anyone said a word.

Age five was just his beginning, for the next twelve years he controlled every moment of my life, set down rules I had to follow ‘or else’, then he would attack night after night all with my mother, brother, or sister or others who witnessed. At around 11 he began exploiting me for beers at the small town local bar, then he took me to private tug boat parties, he had multiples of parties at our house, he sold me/traded me/used me in sex trafficking acts or exploitations which lasted up to the moment of my leaving home at 17 years old. I begged for my mother to help me many times, but instead of helping she enforced his control over me and rarely allowed me to leave the house. I always had something I had to do in servitude; cleaning for my family, cooking, caring for my sister, or answering the ring of my stepfather’s little brass bell. My mother allowed me to rot away at his hands; it wasn’t safe to bathe in my home and from age 12 to 17, I didn’t bathe at all. The filth filled the crevices of my young body and layered over my skin, face, and hair. About six months after I stopped bathing sores started breaking out as infection and rot covered the little girl I used to be. My teeth rotted and broke off from never being given a toothbrush or any form of medical or dental care over all those years. Not once in all the persons who knew me, knew my family, or in my school system; not a single person ever questioned my care or taught me that I deserved anything kind or decent. They came to the sex parties, the weed, alcohol, and the child they could pay money to play with or be entertained by; maybe even take me in my room or into the camper on the back of his truck.

Sadly Mr. President this was the only existence I knew and I believed I deserved it all. It became what I expected and what I learned to tolerate in my adult relationships and then it bled to invade my children’s lives and still impacts the emotional distress and safety of my grandchildren. I am sickened by all of it and I’ve made a promise that I will do whatever is in my power; to somehow make a difference in how our children are protected today.

Since having to go on full disability about five years ago, I’ve devoted my time and energy into studying, publishing, and sharing what I’ve found out in the research to produce and host more than 200 hundred talk radio web-based programs. I found that our Centers for Disease, National Institute of Mental Health, National Coalition to End Domestic Violence, National Child Traumatic Stress Network and even our Department of Health Human Services all have many published articles about the influence/life altering impacts from the actions of maltreatment and brutal harm. We have studies revealing the levels of Frontal Lobe Brain Impairments from the constant threat of harm; the longer these types of harms are inflicted the more serious levels of distorted perceptions, learned harmful behaviors, coping strategies which become addictions, and the inner turmoil when the victim cannot speak to others. We also know there is an estimate of more than $140 Billion annually that our nation spends in the lifetime recovery costs and prevention measures within communities. However, what I’ve found through the many trainings I’ve attended these last few years in my efforts to heal & help prevent these crimes; Parent or close family makes for 95.4% of these tragedies. Stranger & types of harm by a coach, church official, or neighborhood friend only accounts for 6.6% of the harm to children.

It infuriates me, not just because I was one of those tortured, trafficked, and community abandoned children; but more because it’s what the service providers in my South Central Illinois area are still confirming in cases today. This is why these two local providers have decided to support the recommendations and petition request for a complete Federal Level Review & Update in our nation’s Child Protective Services, Family Judiciary System, and Criminal Prosecution of these most heinous offenders; those who terrorize their children into silence; those who protect the ‘Family Terrorist’ who trafficks their children for money, drugs, or simply because they can, then uses acts of brut force to trap the child forever in self loathing destruction, addictions, and for many resulting in suicide. It is the truth of these ongoing personal attacks and harms within our homes, which is the example of violence which causes more harm to mankind as a human race than any other harm or battle in the world.

Mr. President your family has been such a positive role model for our American Society and I believe, also around the globe. I know your values have inspired many changes and now I hope that sometime before your service in our country’s highest office of power is down, I pray sir you will help us ensure that our systems, our prosecutions & family services, are doing all that is within knowledge and within our constitutions rights to uphold these protections, hold the offenders accountable and forfeit their assets to help provide victims services and life skills development to help those harmed to fulfill their dreams and become self sufficient productive members of society. 

In this letter I’ve attached a copy of the recommended guidelines we have listed on the active petition, but in short the main changes I feel necessary are as follows;

1> Prosecute sexually related actions/interactions with a minor child age 0 to 15 years, committed by a person 18 years or older, as a Federal Offense with sentencing from a minimum of 5 years to Life in Prison.

2> Prosecute ‘terroristic’ actions, those which cause or create direct grievous bodily injury, threats or direct harm from weapons, child trafficking, exploitations, and other such harms which are used to manipulate or silence a victim, protected from revealing identity or prosecuted for their crimes; these types of actions committed against a person 0-15years as a Federal Criminal Offense, leading to sentencing from 5 years to Life in prison.

3> Forfeiture of any/all assets of offenders, using funds to provide ongoing victims recovery services and life skills education/development and/or victims restitution.

4> Implement a full investigation into Family Judiciary System and Child Protective Services across the nation to determine faulty systems or lack of appropriate decisions based on what is the safest possible solution for the child rather than money making profit for the states or country.

5> Implement a mandatory THREE STAGE REVIEW for every report of child maltreatment entered into our National Child Abuse & Neglect Data System across the country; above all else protecting the child too small too defend themselves from persons within their home, family, or community who otherwise have harmed or trafficked them.

In closing Mr. President, I do hope to hear from your office, or from you personally. Perhaps you will consider the information I’ve shared here and help us provide a positive change for our children’s future, the greatest possible change we can give them, ensuring they are SAFE.

May you be well and with great respect, thank you.

Sincerely,

Patricia A. McKnight

trish.mcknight@live.com

www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

Author/Advocate/Speaker/Presenter/Survivor

Prisoner of War;The hell inside the house down the street -Passing the ‘Family Terrorist Act’ – ‘Trecia’s Law’

Friends & all person’s affected by the ‘Family Terrorist’ please read this blog. Help us gather 1000 more signatures to support passing this  law. Please think of all those who endure ‘terror’ inside their homes everyday, just waiting for a chance to grow up enough and escape the repeated attacks against them or other family members. We cannot leave our children inside the care of these types of abusers. Hold the attacker responsible for the constant imposed fear or impending thoughts of doom. Help us by inviting those you know to sign this petition.

Friends & visitors to this site and blog, may find some of its content to be disturbing or triggering of their own emotional wounding. Please be cautious of your responses to what is shared, particularly if you were once a person trapped inside a home filled with horror. If you find yourself reminded of your own troubling past, please go to something more pleasant to relieve the debilitating thoughts.

You might first think, ‘She used the word debilitating about a blog?’

Yes, indeed I did. You see the subject of being a ‘Prisoner of War’ stuns us and evokes emotions from within our deepest recess. Instantly we feel compassion for those #veterans who endured any form of this meaning. However; this particular writing isn’t about our typical Prisoners of War. Its not about the courageous men & women who go off to fight our country’s battles and are suddenly taken captive by the opposing soldiers.This is something even more horrifying; something many of us normally wouldn’t consider when thinking in terms of battle or being held prisoner. This is about the child prisoners who are held captive, many of them terrorized for years without ever revealing the truth to the outside world. We see these survivors walking around in our society everyday, in every walk of life, but we may never know just how much they have suffered or what battles they are still fighting as a direct result of the emotional trauma left in the aftermath of their hell. There may be many who read this and never connect the dots of their suffering to any form of harm they may have witnessed or personally endured during their young years. Sadly, they are still blaming themselves for the dysfunction or turmoil they feel inside, or for the lack of being able to connect with their own children. They are searching for the path to achieve the peace they dream of in their adult relationships, but it always seems to be beyond their grasp.

For them I would like to say, ‘This is NOT your fault!!’

These past ten years we have learned a lot about the emotional trauma of our returning veterans and endured trauma from the house down the street. Studies have been done to look inside the impacts of child maltreatment, witnessed violence, or even the acts of bullying from childhood peers. Experts in mental health treatment have been documenting and reviewing what these types of actions, or witnessed actions against another being, can do to our psyche. They have worked with patient after patient, noting the similarities of these private traumas.

‘What have they learned from these studies and the many thousands of cases unreported or even spoken about for decades?’

The link I’ve attached here discusses Complex P.T.S.D. Syndrome.

“In DSM-IV field trials, Roth et al (1997) found that complex PTSD is associated with the experience of prolonged exposure to trauma (i.e. over days, months or years), and first exposure at an early age. Complex PTSD is also associated with prolonged interpersonal victimization, such as battering by a partner, torture or prisoner-of-war experiences, and child abuse.”

I believe this is one of the best informational resources on this subject. You will see they share here those who usually end up with this type of diagnosis. These are those who have endured the worst of mankind’s actions, those who have been held prisoner during wartime and those who are a different kind of prisoner, they have been prisoners within their home!! Those who were tortured, terrorized, sold or traded, imposed threats against their person for years and the actual evil inflicted or forced against them with no way to protect themselves or a way to escape the perpetrator. Many endured years of painful acts against them, then they were brainwashed to believe they somehow deserved it; to believe it was their fault they were beaten, raped, tortured or degraded; controlled by extreme acts of violence or even the imposed fear of violence.

Maybe they witnessed violence committed by one of their parents against another parent or step-parent. Maybe they were traded or sold to someone to be used in sex or beyond ‘normal’ physical labor. Maybe they went to bed at night waiting for the monsters to come prowling around and strike within the darkness. Maybe their schoolmates inflicted constant harassment or violent acts against them.

For whatever acts they may have endured or witnessed, these are victims of extreme harm & mental control by intimidation, even threats of death if they ever said a word to reveal what was really happening in that perfect little home down the street. It could also be the dysfunctional family we all knew but never did a thing to investigate the level of harm being done behind those walls. Was it because we feared that same controlling person the child or spouse feared? Maybe we turned away because we didn’t think it was any of our business, or we were just taught to believe it was acceptable for some families to use extreme control or physical harm as a form of punishment. Either situation has resulted in the same outcome, severe emotional harm which can lead to the life altered wounding and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, along with many physical illnesses such as Heart Disease, Chronic Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Lung Disease, Kidney or Liver Disease. Yes these many illnesses can  be the result of inflicted trauma, especially when it is endured for years without ever having resolution or rescue to heal the emotional wounding. Remember these types of survivors have been hiding who they really are, what they really feel, how they really think, and maybe even how they react to these actions. All of this trying to hide one’s true self can result in extreme stress. However, it is what this survivor had to do in order to get through it all and come out to be the individuals society will accept; rejection and blame is a constant threat. Many times rejection from family, the lack of being able to connect with others, the lack of understanding from others, the need to hide inside themselves for fear of being tagged with a mental disease or being considered an under-achiever; all of this can push them to commit suicide.

They take their life because they have been psychologically tortured to believe the tortures against them were THEIR fault, and it is THEIR fault they have all these battles going on inside, or maybe they fear hurting someone else as the result of losing control. 

Think of what these miraculous survivors have been able to accomplish while hiding inside the wounds of their imprisoned childhood or a dangerous relationship. Many become over-achievers. They will push and push themselves to be WORTHY of society, to be WORTHY of love, to be WORTHY as a parent or partner, to be accepted & promoted in their professional life, or perhaps they fall to the bottom of the pit and because of their inner pain they get lost in drugs, alcohol, self destructive behaviors attacking themselves because of the believed shame or blame they carry for their horrible existence. Often they will NOT openly display their emotions or disappointments.  They never had a weapon to hold off their attacker. Most were children who couldn’t even say NO to the attack. They couldn’t scream, they couldn’t cry, they couldn’t let the outside world know what was happening. If they ever showed some sign of the inner horror of their home, it could cost them their life or they believed they would be taken away; manipulated to believe they would be locked up because of what someone else was doing to them. No one would believe them and many would even place the blame of the sexual interaction on them, making them believe they DESERVED the attack is part of the manipulation itself.

Remember these children became experts in hiding the truth because if they ever showed any sign that lead to someone getting suspicious or invading their home to investigate possible harm; the price might be too much to pay. These prisoners believed their perpetrator and believed in their control. They knew no one could ever get them out in time; they would be murdered before the perpetrator would ever let anyone find out about their true secret.

If you review what the explanation of Complex P.T.S.D. reveals, especially the comparison between our war veterans and the adult survivors of these types of trauma, you will NOT see any variance between these two types of traumatized individuals.You WILL find more connections between the two than our society would like to accept or believe. In fact, it is only because of our war veterans returning home with these complications and mental trauma that we ever began investigating this disorder in the first place. Complex P.T.S.D is not a personal illness, it is a direct result of trauma endured throughout years of pain, repeated attacks, and inflicted emotional harm or the belief in controlled constant fear. (Think of these conditions as they relate to our grown men & women who are held captive or sent to battle; it is that same endured fear and emotional trauma.) As a society, we accept this condition in our war veterans and support all of the needed resources to help them recover. However, when someone shares they carry these wounds because of a life filled with horror and torture from their parent/s, we turn away. We don’t see the connection, so instead we make ourselves believe some of the following;

‘No parent could inflict such painful acts against their own child’; ‘No home could ever be as dangerous as what our veterans have endured’; ‘Mrs. Smith has never shown anything but kindness and caring in our neighborhood’; ‘Mr. Thomas would never use a weapon to threaten or rape his own child’.

These are the things we tell ourselves, because to accept the truth; to believe that ‘YES’ our homes can become as dangerous or even more horrifying than wars being fought on the other side of the world, well that would mean we would have to accept the possibility of our own guilt in refusing to see the truth when we saw the bruises, heard the cry for help or knew that other adults were using that child. Instead we blame the child. We can accept the possibility of the child needing more control over their behaviors. We use the diagnosis of things such as A.D.H.D, A.D.D, Bipolar or other such behavior or personality disorders, rather than to accept or question the possibility that homes within our quiet little suburb could ever be ‘dangerous’. When we are discussing possible relationship violence, we are made to believe the spouse is emotionally unstable resulting in them attacking and the perpetrator having to defend themselves with force.

We create excuses for what we see or the acts we have become trained to tolerate within our family unit.We can accept these possible scenarios because then we do not have to accept that our gut told us something else was going on, but we didn’t know what to do or how we could possibly change anything?

Readers this is the reason we should be listening to the many stories from these types of survivors today. Our society has finally opened the door to possible ‘Domestic Violence’ in a home. We have finally accepted and put into law that no person has the right to harm another, even in their own home. However, we still do not want to accept just how horrifying or damaging some of these actions can be. We don’t want to listen to the gory details or the constant sadness left as a result of such trauma. The only time we are accepting this today is if it is a case discovered today, if it is a child rescued today, if a perpetrator is caught TODAY!!! I’m writing this to hopefully encourage you to support the loved one in your family circle who may have been a child victim of the past generations. We must believe in their emotional trauma from the painful homes. We must support their journey to FINALLY be able to use their own voice and speak about what nightmares they actually endured. These may have been some of the most ferocious acts from the very parents who were entrusted with their care.

We never really know the people living behind those walls across the street. We never really know what happens when the door closes on the outside world. Only these persons know the evil inflicted against them. Only these persons know what battles they feel inside today. Only these incredibly strong individuals have endured these evils, then walked through life hiding who they really are because of their fear of being blamed or rejected by others; tagged with some form of mental disease and blocked from being promoted in their jobs or becoming a success on any level.

Understanding the aftermath of their survival is the beginning of their healing, rebuilding who they are so that they can become the positive person’s needed to parent their own children. When we deny their truth, we deny their existence and continue to trap them in the cage of silence. We can only help them when we listen to them, when we have patience and compassion for what they have been forced to do as a result of the sick minds who attacked them. It is not their blame, it is not their shame, they did not ask to be raped, to be beaten, or sold out for someone’s sick pleasure. They had no weapon to protect themselves. They had no voice to speak against what they didn’t want to do. They were prisoners controlled and manipulated by evil. Forced to take part in unspeakable sexual encounters or beaten beyond their own recognition for the slightest imperfection or dereliction of duties. They have been manipulated and tortured, some beyond our wildest imaginations, but they have survived. They are not diseased with some mental or emotional dysfunction, they are traumatized individuals who with the appropriate support system and understanding can be the most affectionate, compassionate, and empathetic persons in society today. No longer do they have to survive as ‘Prisoners of War’. We have the resources, we have the teachings, we have the studies to show how we can help them heal and become the leaders of tomorrow.

 If we can do it for our veterans, if we can do all of this for the cases we hear about in the news headlines today; then why are we so adamant about turning a deaf ear to the stories from yesterday’s hell?

Mine is one of these stories, as is hundreds of others I know or have interviewed. We see the published stories, we see the comments and the posts on our social sites. We know these persons. We can help them become the true outstanding individuals they are inside. We can hear their voice and comfort their pain. Healing from trauma, as any therapist or psychological professional will tell you, is a journey filled with support and compassion. Trauma recovery is a process of rebuilding the soul and allowing the voice who witnessed or felt the extreme fear to finally be heard. You can be part of their journey to freedom by simply providing the support system they need in friendship or as a respected partner; teaching them self appreciation and self love for the decent person they are and who they are trying to be as they present themselves and their truth to a society trained to tolerate and dismiss the evil inflicted by those meant to protect us. It is in this type of hell these wounded warriors have survived being a ‘Prisoner of War’. It is compassion and understanding that can set them free and end the ongoing battles they deal with to hide their emotional aftermath today. ©Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight Acknowledgements: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/177/2/144.full#ref-9 Herman, J. L. (1992) Trauma and Recovery. New York: Basic Books. Lindy, J. (1996) Psychoanalytic psychotherapy of post-traumatic stress disorder: the nature of the therapeutic relationship. In Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body and Society (eds B. van der Kolk, A. McFarlane & L. Weisaeth), pp. 525-536. New York: Guilford. Roth, S., Newman, E., Pelcovitz, D., et al (1997) Complex PTSD in victims exposed to sexual and physical abuse: results from the DSM-IV field trial for Post-traumatic Stress http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects-of-complex-trauma Disorder. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 10, 539-556.