Ask a survivor of forced familial child trafficking; how can we ever end these atrocities within our family unit?
As a survivor of this vicious act against children, I have shared my voice publicly through training seminars, various speaking venues, including the Speakers Bureau for Southwestern Illinois Rescue & Restore Human Trafficking Coalition; Panel Speaker for St. Clair County Illinois Domestic Violence Reform Program; Prosecuting Attorneys Association Of Michigan’s Annual Victims Advocate Training. You will also find me through many web based radio program interviews, and anywhere I am given the opportunity.
It’s only after these past ten years spent in recovery, rebuilding, and training to assist other victims, that I am finally able to face many of the evil nightmares which have haunted and held me silent with shame & disgust. The fact that my mother and stepfather encouraged, allowed, and actually invited groups of grown men to come into our home for late night parties with their young developing child; the daughter well trained to tolerate such ugly acts; it is still a troubling part of my history. In truth I had to accept the complete disregard I suffered throughout twelve long years of repeated molestations, beatings, rape, physically scarring neglect, and at the age of eleven my stepfather began his most favorite activity; he commonly sold or traded me out for sick pleasure or the price of a couple of beers.
This all sounds extreme and you may not want to believe it all; however, back then it was all a ‘normal’ process for me and something my mother and stepfather did on a regular basis. How was I supposed to know I had any other value as a human being or that I could refuse what was enforced by the parents who had all the control of my very survival? It was a common practice on late Friday night for groups of men, coworkers at Peabody Underground #1 in Freeburg, Illinois; to come to our house for the entertainment of molesting and sharing a young child. When I speak today I use my voice to raise the dark curtain about how those who are in our family, protected by their given parental rights, then use us and destroy us through deviate acts they insist we endure. Remember, a child has no voice that others actually respect. Sadly this was true back in the 1970’s and although it may be slowly changing; it is a way we teach our children through family secrets and tolerance today.
I grew up in a small quiet town located in Southwestern Illinois. For nine consecutive years I attended the same school district and lived in the very center of town. It was during these years I was given as property to be my stepfather’s play toy and trained to be his ‘child prostitute’ from the age of about nine years old. This is just a few years after my mother willingly married the devil; a man whose own son had warned her about his evil. When he came into my life the value I had as a person, the happiness I felt as that innocent little girl; all of it was gone. My mother’s complete disregard for her own child, the neglect of all basic human needs or any form of medical or dental care led to rot, filth, and permitting her husband to destroy all that was good in her bright blue eyed little girl. This permitted destruction created a path of self loathing and an intense need to die; this is what I carried within the hidden secrets for most of my life. This type of disgusting abuse and disregard of a child is something we don’t forget, something we can never just erase from our existence; it is who we see in the mirror and the part of us we come to hate.
My mother permitted his acts and actually sacrificed her middle child to this monster for him to use however and whenever he chose. She ignored her own daughter and as he took over control of my life, she chose to treat me as less than human. Our family had the best health insurance back then, but yet the only time I ever saw a doctor was to be put on birth control at fifteen. She permitted, and the community who knew me so well watched, as he began taking me to bars and then eventually started collecting a few dollars from every adult man who wanted to come to our house for the late night entertainment. The men were allowed to get me high, feed me alcohol until I could hardly walk, then trade me from lap to lap as they probed and used the child who should have been sleeping for school the next morning. He took me out to tugboat parties with the workers he met at his common bar stop where my mother worked. My parents took me on their private dates and looked for adult men who wanted to be entertained by the child who was then just twelve years old. My stepfather repeatedly through parties at our house where schoolmates were invited for marijuana and alcohol, then as always; I was the prize & entertainment. Some of these nights included me giving everyone oral sex or allowing them to take me into my own bed. The price of refusal was a beating or his own sadistic acts as I lay in fear each night. I still have nightmares today about these parties, especially when it was more than one single person at a time, but I have learned through research & therapy my stepfather was a sociopath and my mother a narcissist; neither of whom could care less about what they did to this one middle child. in fact I believe their comment when I spoke with them both about all that had happened was simply, ‘You got what you deserved.”
The school personnel of Freeburg, the law enforcement, family friends, and even schoolmates who had been lured into his dark circle of trafficking his stepdaughter; they all knew who I was and who my parents were, yet not a single person ever questioned my care. There were many who avoided any physical contact with the child whose skin was covered with ugly puss filled sores, which left me today with deep pitted ugly scars. They said nothing about the rotting, broken black fangs, hanging in my mouth, which should have been my young beautiful smile. They saw vicious bruises and witnessed beatings in the street or heard the screams from my house as he beat me for the slightest infraction or late response to answer the ring of that little brass bell; all were signs of extreme abuse and evil against this one little girl growing up in the middle of this family, yet not a single person felt I was worth saving or heard my silent screams for rescue.
The reason I am sending this out now is because I have done a lot of work in my recovery, but unfortunately the trafficking has been the most difficult part of healing. This dark training of permitting multiples of men & boys to use and probe the child I was; it all created a lifelong pattern of extreme violence and degradation from boyfriends & husbands. I endured more than thirty years of severe physical battery, which almost ended in death more than once or twice. Through these vicious relationships I was threatened with weapons, attempted drowning, strangulations, concussions, broken ribs, broken collar bones and constant fear. The impact of living in these types of relationships, eventually left its own twisted pain and fear in my children’s lives. It wasn’t until my oldest child was fourteen years old that I finally found the courage to fight for my life and give my children the safe, loving home they deserved. They had spent their young years watching and hiding as their mother was beaten beyond recognition and repeatedly told how ugly, stupid, and useless she was. Today my children still see a lot of those same horrible things in the woman who loves them more than life itself. I have watched as the evil inflicted against the little girl I used to be, has crept through the veins of my bloodline and invaded the lives of my children; today they suffer in their own dysfunctional relationships. It is now in trying to parent their children and develop safe, healthy lives, that they are repeating some of those same behaviors which had become so ‘normal’ for them.
Above I have attached a photo of myself along with a picture of the memoir I published back in 2011, sharing my voice for the very first time and explaining to my children why their world was so disrupted by all the repeated vicious attacks and disregard of just one human life. The story, ‘My Justice’, is a true account of what happened in the protective window of family. It is a written apology to my children for how the trained acceptance of these crimes was such a huge part of my life; actually was my life.
In my healing I have become a strong advocate for those crimes which exist within our homes and our family unit. However, our modern day society, even with all of the many extremes we have learned to accept on our televisions, in our neighborhoods, and on our streets, it’s sad to accept that no one seems to want to acknowledge or speak about these issues. If we as adults cannot speak openly, without the feeling of shame and fear of judgment from others, then how are we to empower our kids to know we will help them, we understand, and they have nothing to fear? It is crucial for the adults in our communities to remain vigilant and take the initiative to prevent these acts of harm so commonly overlooked. Our society can no longer trade out our children for drugs, food, beer or for the sick pleasure of deviate thoughts. These are people’s souls we are destroying and when the circle of family friends, teachers, and others in these small communities blame and condemn the child victim, see them as less worthy rather than reporting and helping to rescue that child, then we are partly responsible for the destruction of who that person should grow up to become.
Today we are a new generation in charge and we know just how dark the dangers inside our homes can become. We have study after study about the many emotional disorders left on the child victim. Most often the adults who grow up inside this pattern of life, which many can never seem to escape; they live in an aftermath of Complex P.T.S.D, Depression, Anxiety, and extreme personality disorders that require treatment and medications, which usually cannot be afforded by the survivor. The burden of these healing treatments become the responsibility of our society, which is estimated by Center for Disease & Control at approximately $124 BILLION in the lifetime recovery cost of a survivor today. You can review a report on Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery which is research from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems, (NCANDS). This report, along with the allowance announced by Congress,(For every one report that is made of child maltreatment & sexual harm, there are at least three others that are not.); in the balance of this report it proves that at least 1 in 3 children are being forced to endure the brutal acts in heavy silence & family secrets every single day in the U.S. alone.
It is now that our children need us to hear their voices more than ever before. We already have generations of dysfunctional parents wounded by these vicious ugly acts, so when will it be enough that we finally begin a true active prevention within every family circle, every small community school, every law enforcement training, and most definitely throughout our entire medical provider services. We must begin to spot the silent children who endure every single day in the terror of their parents or other close family members. This support and strategic planning of protection for all children will only be possible when we stand strong as a united human society; making the choice today to teach value in every person, and empower every child to believe they deserve safety, love, happiness and that we will end the acceptance of these violent crimes within our very homes.
I do hope you will check out the website and organization of Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery to find out more about my story and the stories of many others like myself. You will find a campaign we are leading to create your own ‘Family Defender’. It is with a prayer that you will hear my voice and help the many developing grass roots resources provide an understanding of just how common it is for those in our home to be the most dangerous to a child. Together, with the support of many incredible people today, I am proud of who I am and I am learning to see just how important my survival and healing has been; this is the path so that I could encourage others to be the ones to help end the cycle of harm we have been teaching throughout centuries. Our children are not for trade or sale. Our children are not objects for sexual gratification. Our children are not born to be destroyed by the parents who should love and protect them. Our children are soon going to be the next generation in charge, what will they know? Will it only be pain, sadness, violence, degradation? It’s never to late to be a powerful force of positive inspiration in a child’s life. Hopefully you will not turn away from the opportunity to truly leave an impression on a child in your circle.
Thank you for any time or consideration you have given here in what I’ve shared. You can contact me personally by emailing, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org . You will find links below for the organization of Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Butterfly Dreams Talk Radio. Spread the message through telling your own survivor story or by sharing the truth of how dark the evil can become inside this man-made hell for children. We cannot allow these ongoing crimes of human destruction. Please stand strong, be proud, and be a voice in ending the repeated generational teaching of silence and tolerance within our family unit.
We have the duty today, the knowledge, the studies, the many thousands of adult survivors who share the horror they endured. How many more human beings will we permit to be used, sold, traded out, and forced into a life long pattern of self destruction. Please pass this on and help our society understand exactly what they can do to prevent these crimes and how every living being deserves to be happy, know the feeling of love, and most of all sleep in safety without fear of the hand covering their mouth and taking away their most powerful protection, the power of their own voice.
Together we are empowering our society to defend our children, connecting hearts & holding hands of help around the world.
Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight
Owner/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com
Author: ‘My Justice’
Advocate/Keynote Speaker/Radio Host/’Steps to Recovery’ Trainer/Survivor
(artwork via Michal Madison Art; Watercolor Artist)
Bring true awareness to our community, check out the ROT OF ABUSE, the child a town forgot http://awe.sm/s5Ezs