Domestic/Family Violence; YOU make the difference between life and desruction

Purple-Rose_13.jpg  October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I hope our society will continue to grow in how we recognize and assist the persons affected as children or adults so they can give something better, SAFER, for their families.

‘Awareness’ is about;

    • Acknowledgement; almost every person in our human society has either experienced some type of Family Harm or is dealing with this today. In America the Centers for Disease estimate that ‘1 in 4 homes’ are coping with some type of violence or abuse. Millions of children & families living in extreme, life threatening, harm or terror. If we look at this ‘human conditioning’ of tolerance as a disease; a human disease which we may have been taught as children to keep secret, we can see it encompasses our entire history. Most children are taught to protect, even respect, the person who is harming them or their family. It has been happening since the beginning of time. Unless we step in and teach our children a better, safer way of life; their kids are going to learn the very same types of behavioral harm and violence.
    • We are supposed to be the most intelligent species on the planet. However, it took us until Jan 2014 to finally enact amendments to Violence Against Women Act to provide services in aiding MALE victims. The amendments provided that ANY person, of ANY age or gender, ANY economic standing or place of residence, ANY ethnic origin or religious beliefs; there are no boundaries that divide an act of family harm or Domestic Violence, even trafficking/slavery of our partners and children; so now we have laws & services growing together to help make a difference in our worst ‘human condition’.
    • Accept that we have a decade of studies by nationally recognized medical, psychological, behavioral, and reported acts that have been evaluated in every level to understand the lasting traumas and distorted behaviors; learned reactions as a result of having been someone’s victim. Our nation’s reports continue to climb and the depth of emotional trauma continues to be studied so that we develop the appropriate resources to help heal these wounds and rebuild to alter the ‘VICTIM’ state of learned behaviors.
    • These offenses if beginning in the early years of a child’s life, even inside the womb, can and do cause an ingrained emotional alteration in our frontal lobe cortex. In young children you can see how living in this every day or week, month, year can affect every person differently. Some might become adult or teen offenders, others might stay in that trained sense of ‘VICTIM’ pattern and submissive behaviors. Either way these young persons grow up to become those who run our businesses, our police officers, judges, and political leaders of our nation. These are the people everywhere around us today, and we are creating the next generation of tomorrow.
    • If you’ve ever lived with someone who has gone through these types of Family Related or Relationship Offenses, you know daily life can be challenging. Usually the result of a heightened anxiety, inability to level our stresses, which then results in emotional reactions that either bury the feeling of harm, triggers harmful behavioral outbursts or cause various types of self harming, even suicidal responses.
    • Address these types of behaviors as if they are an illness within your family or circle of friends. The first way to begin combating this type of illness is to discuss the symptoms and provide a support system of knowledge, friendship, and resources to take care of this illness so that our loved ones know what it’s like to have a SAFE life and laugh without fear.
    • We have pandemic measures of victims recorded for the past decade that prove 1 IN 3 AMERICAN CHILDREN (about 25Million) every year are trying to survive and understand what is happening inside their home or trusted circle. If we had any other type of DISEASE affecting this many children, (these are only the REPORTED cases); if these numbers were reflective of any other illness we would have rallies, legislation, and targeted specialists involving every small rural or urban community across the nation until we ended it’s plague. We would listen to every victim and develop continued working strategies to decrease those affected. We would ensure that somehow the message was connected across the country, courts providing justice, healthcare providing treatment, emotional support, and long-term behavioral life skills development so that new victims do not become tomorrows offenders. We would all talk together and work together because it would not be about how much money you can take in for helping, you would simply just have to help.
    • Right now the annual estimated budget for providing prevention, intervention, and short-term recovery for these offenses is around $145Billion every year. Economically those harmed have trouble succeeding in a self productive manner to care for themselves and their families. If they are working with services, some of these CEO’S are bringing in 6 or 7 figure salaries but show few changes in how many victims they’re helping or how they’re changing the way they help them. Most are short-term recovery shelters to get you started, which give about 45 to 90 days. In this you have to get all your legal paperwork done, find a job, a place to live, apply for any state assistance, and figure out your own transportation. Have you done the ‘Walk in Her Shoes’ event anywhere? You definitely should so that you are fully aware of exactly what it’s like as a single young person in a homeless shelter or a mother of three trying to find somewhere to go and how to care for your kids.
    • Services and rallies for adult males who have been harmed in childhood or in their adult relationships with either men or women; these guys still have very few resources as most shelters have been designed for women and children. They have little if any support and it is still an old traditional ‘hero’ thing if an older woman or girl teaches them about sex early in life; maybe an uncle or the neighbor they mow the lawn for once a week. We really don’t have true numbers of male victims because we’ve made it so difficult in what we teach them. Usually it’s about being a strong man; ‘Don’t you cry when you’re hurt boy, you get angry and you keep going’. It’s been this way forever and will be until every man, woman, and teen is involved in helping those in their circle learn about how to stop this mess and give the support, addiction recovery, and financial ability to live a better SAFER life.

I have taken my own past and use what I’ve experienced, along with Certifying Classes, to educate myself about how deeply wounding these acts can be and what little it takes from family and friends to actually make a difference in a person’s life.  I try to share very personal and upfront knowledge about how detrimental these acts can become over a period of time; tragically thousands ending in homicide and millions ending in suicide. It is crucial to have just one supportive person in our lives who is willing to wipe our tears and help us help ourselves so that we become stronger as adults and parents.

Much like the 50 Million estimated Adult Survivors of Family Violence or Sexual Harm, my life has been a rollercoaster of disasters. Battling alcohol & marijuana addictions, depression, high anxiety, and constant panic. My adult relationships and marriages reflected the male dominant partner who committed emotional/physical/financial/sexual/life threatening acts which continued destruction and fear; control to the millisecond of my life. What I tolerated and lived with was based on the choices of what I knew as ‘normal’, which honestly was pretty violent and depraved. Sadly I lived in this until I was almost 40 years old. I became a young mother who believed that if the kids weren’t being directly harmed, then they were doing alright. However, how do you think they might have felt hiding in the closet in the middle of the night, waiting to see how badly their mother would be beaten, or would she even be able to come calm you down when the fight was over. 

Would she live? Would you live? What if he got the gun out and was threatening everyone with it again? Who would you go talk to about what was happening? Would you be able to concentrate in school or get your homework done? What if both parents were drinking or using drugs, then either violence or sex began happening around you? How do you think our children would perceive life, what was expected of them, how to behave and how to treat others? What behaviors would develop in drugs, alcohol, violence, street gangs, sexual respect, or your emotional wellness? All of it would be altered until that person was in a circle of help that provided a SAFE ZONE, open discussion and support.

What you and I can do is to look at our family circle. Think about how you were raised; was it violent or amazing? Use what you know to begin making a difference today. If you have the same couple in your apartment building or neighborhood where you hear or see violent acts, the kids are screaming and crying; please call someone who can help intervene. If you’re a teacher, healthcare worker, law enforcement, minister or other community member; just take a few moments of gut knowledge and watch a child behave over time. See how many of the behavioral silent warning signs you know and how you remember behaving in what you’ve gone through yourself or seen in the numbers of victims and families you’ve helped. Communication & Community are crucial in helping change the future for our kids. If we don’t focus on the root of the problem at home, then we will never be able to change what is happening in our society. Sadly this ‘human conditioning’ will simply continue.

I hope something I’ve written will touch the heart of others around the country, as well as those areas closest to me. We can make a difference and I really hope that it begins right in this moment for you.

Respectfully,

Patricia A McKnight

Breese, IL 62230

Advocate/Author/Mentor/Survivor

A child may try to avoid situations which place them alone with their abuser such as; not wanting to interact with a particular family member or friend; not wanting to hug or sit on their lap; not wanting to go places with them or where the abuser will be; remember to watch for signs of what your child IS NOT telling you. They may not know exactly how to verbalize their dislike, distrust, or what is happening to them. Pay attention to their actions and reactions around others

Resources:

1) National Centers for Disease/Domestic Violence & Child abuse – http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/childmaltreatment/prevention.html

2) National Child Traumatic Stress Network http://www.nctsn.org/resources/audiences/parents-caregivers/understanding-child-traumatic-stress

3) National Post Traumatic Stress Alliance https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/treating-hidden-wounds-trauma-treatment-and-mental-health-recovery-victims-human-trafficking

4) National Alliance of Mental Illness http://www.nami.gov

5) Department of Health & Human Services; Domestic Violence & Children’s Bureau http://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb

Advisory Member:

National Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

Safe Kids Now National Network

Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery 

Nov 2012

 

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What can we do in our family unit to be sure this doesn’t happen to a child in your life’s circle……

 

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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, butterflydreamsteam@live.com or trish.mcknight@live.com . 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.

Thank you,

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

bdarbanner(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