America our families matter and so does the future for our children…..Support the ‘Family Terrorist Act–Trecia’s Law’

 

Morning America. …I’m asking the ‪#‎advocates‬, ‪#‎ChildrensRights‬, ‪#‎HumanRights‬, ‪#‎DomesticViolence‬, ‪#‎MentalHealth‬ , ‪#‎Victims‬, family friends, community members, education & law enforcement, healthcare providers, even our #Entertainment Professionals….PLEASE SIGN & SHARE

If I’ve ever needed you to help me at all, I most certainly need you now. With your support we can change the future for our children, give families much needed resources & support, help victims receive justice, and hold these types of offenders accountable for their choice to attack & terrorize persons they are supposed to love & protect. We need a huge #media blast and I don’t really have the skills to put that together. Friends give me your support for this measure today!!

Let’s let our human history be our teacher and give our families the safety, protection, justice and appropriate services many of them are trying to cope with today; trying to survive with their personal attacker just one more day, hoping someone will care enough to hear their silent screams. They cannot take the chance of speaking out because if they are not assisted and their monster finds out, they will certainly have a huge price to pay.

Every survivor can tell you about the different levels of abuse inside the family. Some are ugly acts but are not overwhelmingly controlling through threats with weapons or other types of extreme fear or even imposed risk of severe bodily harm. However there are many homes who live every day in this type of constant extreme fear. This is the definition of what our ‪#‎government‬ refers to as ‪#‎Terrorism‬. Why do none of our prosecuting systems and recovery for mental health & physical injuries ever direct this into their special focus? Our society has become trained & numbed about some of these vicious attacks within our home. We do not like to think about a parent using their child in such evil ways or harming them in extreme violent acts. I get that, but we cannot deny what has been proven in many studies shared by the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, the Centers for Disease and Control, even in the voices of many thousands of survivors today. We are finally beginning to hear stories of brutal acts throughout an entire generation of pain filled lives because so many of us looked away and did nothing to enforce our #Politicians, #Elected Officials to hold these crimes intolerable.

We can put to use, in a more focused manner, the $135 Billion a year our country is already paying out to help in providing education, prevention, and awareness, medical & legal support, for victims of Child Abuse or Domestic Violence; using it in better more focused way so that all persons involved  receive the needed skills to heal & live their life without FEAR being the one dominating scar.

These specific types of offenders often have either been victims themselves or they may have gone through some type of trauma related issue that caused this type of behavior in them. Regardless of that harm done however, behaving towards others in this type of manner is a choice. They need to feel powerful over the weaker ones around them. They make this personal decision to strike out at those they love most, yet because of their need to feed off of your intense FEAR, their attacks are most often quite brutal, sadistic, and they find enjoyment in trapping the entire family in this circle of their own power. It does not excuse the behavior and it does not make them any less responsible. The direct victims of these types of abusers deserve to be given justice for the manner of crimes committed against them.

Remember, if it were a stranger halfway around the world who committed these acts we wouldn’t think twice about putting a law in place to hold them accountable in our courts. However, when it is a family member whom you live with day in and day out, the one you depend on for your very survival, the one who may torture you for years, decades and into your future as they manipulate and accuse you as other family stands behind them. It seems no one holds them accountable and society often blames victims for being weak and living a life filled with self destructive choices.

No; we cannot let this be the life we give our children. Please help this legislation be put into action. With your name on this petition we have an opportunity to change the human past and allow it to be guide for a brighter future. You can change our world and by helping end the ‘Family Terrorist’ , help open the door for the trapped victims, allowing prosecution, restitution & assistance for the many resources they are going to need in rebuilding their lives for a more positive outcome and a possible chance at ending this cycle in their family for good.

This important piece of legislation is to be used in the prosecution for the extreme cases, those of child trafficking & terror so brutal it scars their soul, this is when it counts the most and how it will better help our society to differentiate between the words Child Abuse as a one all type of crime and this type of terroristic abuse which is truly haunting and monstrous. Yes, ‪#‎FAMILYTERRORISTACT‬, is truly the way to separate the deep levels of harm that bleeds into the lives of all those who come in contact with this vicious person. By seeing these more impacting layers of harm, then providing the much needed early intervention; we can provide the necessary support, rescue, and rebuilding necessary. You can help make a difference with a click of your mouse today.

Please help me give Illinois General Assembly Member, House Representative Jay Hoffman at least  ‪#‎FIVEHundredSignatures‬ for ‪#‎TreciaLaw‬! !! Thank you.

Please sign here & pass it on with your own special words of support – https://www.change.org/p/u-s-house-of-representatives-family-terrorist-act-trecia-s-law-the-enforced-terror-prevents-victims-from-seeking-assistance

Friends I am begging for your support on this change in how we not only prosecute but also provide healing for the entire family. I’m begging you not to turn away ever again. Hold these types of dominating monsters accountable for the harm & lifetime recovery. Not one single person has the right to take away your given right to live safe!! Do not allow these monsters to dominate through actions of extreme harm & fear any longer.

Thank you,

Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight

Advocate/Author/Speaker

Owner; Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

Creator: ‘Steps to Recovery’

Cert. Human Trafficking 101 Trainer

Il. DV Advocate Assistant

Panel Speaker St. Clair County Domestic Violence Offender Reform Program

Talk Radio Producer & Host

www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamstalkradio

Author: ‘My Justice’   MyJustice

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Can you hear the children screaming???

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coverkindle.jpgThese are pictures of my past, but now have become pictures of my present day life. Yes, the Breese Journal, Belleville News Democrat, and even KSDK News 5 have all done articles or have shared video from local speaking events. Today even the FBI Victims Services & Citizens Academy have recognized what I am doing here locally (Clinton County Illinois) and as a Trainer in Human Trafficking, Certified Domestic Violence Advocate, Child Abuse Prevention Specialist, and ‘Steps to Recovery’ presenter; what I do to help others is a constant area of work for me today. It is crucial, as in URGENT we begin paying attention to what goes on in our surroundings and circles. There is not enough we can do independently in everyday concern and respect for another, which will outweigh what has been passed on throughout centuries in the acts of domination over another.

My story is one which comes from a life growing up in Freeburg, Illinois during the years from 1970 through 1980, a period of ten years as a child living in a publicly displayed nightmare of horrific abuse, child sex trafficking with community members; actually husbands and sons who were co-workers of my stepfather, schoolmates of my brothers, and directly related to some of my mother’s best friends. The actions of my stepfather were never hidden, as my mother and stepfather truly didn’t care, who did or didn’t know, about how they used and tortured this one middle child in their care. There were so many individuals who were involved with or knew about how I was being used that I can’t even remember how many hands have touched me. Many times I’ve been hit with memories and even shared some of the direct evils inflicted in the true story written in ‘My Justice’. What’s worse however is what has been triggered in my subconscious by permitting myself to travel back in time to reveal the ugly family secrets I’ve carried throughout my life. Those who know me from this town remember little things here and there. Schoolmates have contacted me after reading ‘My Justice’ and all share remorse about what they as children, didn’t recognize, but they remember how my parents used me, isolated me in family responsibilities that went as far as to answering the ring of that little brass bell. Some have contacted me and stated ‘I knew something was going on, but Trish, I had no clue how vicious the life you spent in that home really was.’ Sadly the adults who know my parent’s and, especially my stepfather,only one or two have reached out with words of sorrow or statement about any of what I wrote in being untrue.

Even my own mother, who is still alive, has asked but a few questions, the most ridiculous of those is, ‘How would you like me to talk about a few SECRETS about you?” Thanks Mother, that statement in and of itself validates everything I’ve shared about all that happened and what YOU took part in the training of your little girl whom you helped develop as his forced child whore. How dare you Mother? Do you see what you have done to your child? Do you see just how ugly and brutally neglecting you were? You threatened to SUE me; REALLY MOTHER!!! Step up and claim yourself as being my mother, the mother of all mothers who would allow such evil against one of your own children, but hell you never really cared about any of them!! All you were worried about was the fact you had someone to put a truly evil roof and dysfunctional views for your children. Why was I the only one you allowed him to target in these evil acts? Why was he not ever put in jail? Why didn’t some of your circle of ‘FRIENDS’ ever say a word, or what excuse did you give them for their questions? You probably told them you were the VICTIM. All you ever focused your attention on was what you wanted to make you happy. You knew you could make him do anything, or was I part of that bargain? I hope these questions reach you, since you will not permit me any form of concern or apology, you have given me VALIDATION and for that I guess I can do nothing but at least thank you for that.” your daughter, ‘Trecia Ann’ – Now I am a published author, now I have even developed my own source of business as prevention and awareness, support and information for all those communities today. Are you proud of me yet mother?

Today I find it also validating to hear from others who knew me as a kid, who share with me statements their parents made, such as; ‘I always wondered why that man was so mean with that little girl’, ‘I remember how he used to always take her with him out drinking and hanging out at the bars’. In truth, I was the girl their sons were not allowed to date and their daughters were not permitted to befriend. I was the girl that the boys, groups of them, knew they could come to, either one on one or together, to use in games of ‘Post Office’ where each one had a chance to see how far they could go and just exactly what I would allow them to do with me. There is one childhood friend who started reading ‘My Justice’ and when they got to the part about the one time I spent the night at a slumber party and the only nightgown I had was the see-through little cotton gown purchased by my stepfather at ‘Victoria Secrets’, which my mother permitted him to buy as a gift for me. Well, this friend had to throw the book down and was sickened by what suddenly became the reality of the girl she knew so well. At this time I was just twelve years old, it was his favorite age; the age where my body started to grow into a young woman, the breasts changing and pubic hair just starting to grow. It makes me sick as I think back on it even at this very moment.

Malcolm, ‘Walter in the book’, which I changed names to protect siblings; however, not a single sibling will even talk to me today. My brother condemned me a long time ago, at least ten years ago and has not spoken a word to me since. He only sees my stepfather’s trained whore when he looks at me, says my actions make him sick because I do not live up to the standards of his perfect little life. My younger sister, used to connect and was willing to talk with me about how dysfunctional our home was as a result of the severe alcoholism and mental health disorders in our parents unfolded. She would discuss her emotions of how it was for her after I left, when she was just nine. I say to them both, ‘Neither of my siblings have endured anything remotely close to the harm they witnessed against me.’  Its validating enough for you to discuss the raging alcoholic who was so vicious and the parties, which kept her awake all night.

Mona, ‘Shirley in the book’, is the mother who turned against her own child and abandoned her in the evil of his touch. She has read ‘My Justice’ and repeatedly tried to reach out and talk with me, threatened to sue me, and worst of all; ‘How would you like it if I went around a told a few secrets I knew about you? How about if I tell them how I used to have to go searching for you dirty clothes? How about if I tell them about the boy who climbed through your bedroom window and caught you having sex with him at just thirteen?’ She has not once apologized, she has never denied any of it at all. When she found out about the time he shut me up forever by using his favorite shotgun barrel to take my virginity while my brother and sister lay downstairs watching their favorite show; all she had to say was ‘That sounds like something that sick son-of-a-bitch would do’. She admits that she was warned by his own son from his first marriage about how evil and disgusting he was, yet she chose to marry him and allow him complete control over just one of her children, her young daughter who was just then five years old.

It was a lifetime of haunting by a monster. He would prowl around in the dark like a lion hunting his prey. He would beat me for having boyfriends, and stalk me even after I had grown up, had children, moved out and gone through my first divorce. He even hunted me down to smash my head against the truck window and dash, drag me across the very public street, call me every name he could think of as the neighbors watched and did nothing. The boyfriend I was dating, whose father’s house we were at, simply said; ‘He’s here for you, outside screaming your name. You really have to go now.’ This man preyed again when I was forty years old, had just lost everything I had due to an illness (Pulmonary Embolism), which caused me to be out of work and depend on credit only to take care of my children; well I ended up at my mother’s house to stay in her basement till I was able to get settled again. Guess what happened, guess who prowled around outside the basement shower room which I was told I absolutely had to use, because her bathroom with a lock on the door was completely off limits? She told me he couldn’t climb down those stairs anymore. The bed I was supposed to sleep in was the very same bed I had used as a young teen, even had the same yellow lace bedspread. She would not permit her granddaughter who desperately wanted to travel with me; Mother simply stated; ‘I am not responsible for anything that might happen, so don’t you start your shit’. SHE KNEW!!!! Mother has never denied a single event or action of her neglect for all basic human necessities. She never apologized and in fact there was one slip of the tongue when she stated, ‘You got the life you deserved’, ha-ha really Mother????

You see, I am the one left today with many broken parts still inside. I doubt they will ever fully be able to heal, and some well the scars are so deeply embedded there is no magic surgery from any specialist around that can give me back any sense of normalcy as I look at my reflection everyday. You’ll see in this brief video the horrifying skin which covers my body today. I am left with scars inside and out that will never be able to be erased or healed, the child they tried to destroy and the one an entire community allowed to simply rot away. You will be horrified by this brief video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rpt_oHU5NM The Rot of Abuse, uploaded by Patricia A. McKnight

We as a society continue to ignore the hundreds, thousands who are sharing stories of evil today. You can search the net and find video after video, story after story, of lives destroyed and many who are now so extremely wounded by these acts they cannot even be parents to their children. Some so broken into actual separate personalities developed to protect them from the extreme trauma they endured. I ask you all, media, literary agents, book promoters, local press, organizations who defend children or rescue them; ‘When will all of this be enough to create a society strict on its punishments and supportive in recognition of the surviving souls today?” Help share the many stories today; let no child suffer in silence and become your own defender of children. Allow their screams of mercy and rescue be heard!!!! Our children are not expendable, they are not sex objects, they are not household slaves to be beaten and tortured for the slightest infraction. They are person’s waiting for us to lead them through growing to become the next generation in charge of our society. Let the monsters be known and protect our country’s children as one united force against these types of evil. No more can we ignore their screams, their tears, their secrets being shared today.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I pray there is a path for ‘My Justice’ and the many other survivors who are finally speaking out for their freedom and their recovery today.

Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight

Owner/CEO Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

Author: My Justice’  READ THE FIRST FIVE CHAPTERS COMPLETELY FREE!!!!

Mentor/Crisis Resources/Speaker/Child Abuse Prevention & Steps to Recovery Trainer Member: Southwestern Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force Board Development Member: Illinois Victims Assistance Network (I.V.A.N.)

(c) Patricia A McKnight

Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery Sept. 2012

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art via www.michalmadisonart.com

Triggers; what are they and how do we work through them?

What I’ve learned about these horrible little bugging annoyances.

Here is a list of definitions:

    • 1:  a piece (as a lever) connected with a catch or detent as a means of releasing it
    • 2: something that acts like a mechanical trigger in initiating a process or reaction
    • Psychiatry
      A factor that initiates and aggravates a behaviour or response.

Etymology

D, trekker, that which pulls

a substance, object, or agent that initiates or stimulates an action.

For ‘Survivors of Trauma’ triggers are any combination of person, place, thing or action, which sets off a remembered emotion or fear. These are instinctive reactions ingrained in our system from the attack/traumatic situation, which caused the original terror.

Just like we have remembered happy moments, which set off laughter or tenderness; compassion, we can also have negative and fearful moments. In fact; as my therapist shared with me, ‘When the trauma is severely impacting our body will gravitate strongest to the negative memory before a happy memory because the negative emotions are much stronger.” We have to challenge ourselves in working through our triggers. One of the first ways in this healing process is understanding what they are and how they work. Know that a trigger will lose its initial power as you first accept the fearful reaction; note here I highly suggest if the terror is extreme then please break down the memory and the challenge of the trigger in sections. Please do not run headstrong into  that which could result in a permanent break in our psyche. In facing little bits of the trauma at each step, we will find it easier to breathe through the trigger, rather than instantly respond; we can learn to control our reactions just like we do with anything else in life.

Its important to have patience with yourself or the person you are supporting during these challenging times. It may take years to finally be able to gain control over the trigger, rather than the trigger controlling you. Sadly the how and when of your control really depends on the person themselves; what they can tolerate, how badly they were traumatized, what specifically was done, if it was a repeated trauma, then how often did it occur and how long did it last overall? All of these go into play when we are learning to deal with these instinctive reactions, the emotions suddenly felt and the memories which take over our thoughts.

Society doesn’t know that you are sensitive to loud noises, or that you get sick when you get around the smell of a certain cologne. Even our family & friends would rather hear how you get ‘turned on’ by a certain cologne or giggle everytime they see you jump out of your skin from being startled. We have to be able to cope in society’s rules. Not everyone will be sensitive to our responses, which means we have to take away the trigger’s power and learn how to control our reactions & actions.

Now you can pretend it didn’t happen; you’ve already been doing this for years and it hasn’t helped you any yet. So instead, try to recognize the physical impacts of your body’s reactions, (tense muscles, clenching teeth, holding your breath, heart pounding, other types of specific body pains). Understand there is something about your surroundings at that moment that just hit a nerve. What nerve? Why did I react like that? What is it I’m afraid of in this situation? Try to connect with the emotions and understand the memory which is flashing through your body. Sometimes we may not understand the connection, because as a mode of self-protection our mind might have tried to completely blank out the memory. However, if you come from a trauma filled home or life, then you can pretty much put the dots together. You don’t need to know every horrific detail in order to take back control of your actions and reactions. Keep in mind you survived something, something which must have been excruciating, but you survived it.

In becoming adults and parents, we know there is a huge level of responsibility, self-responsibility is part of that development. For certain situations in life society doesn’t accept your wounding, no matter how terrifying.  What if you are a parent who is triggered by something that either happens to YOUR child or something YOUR child does? You don’t want to freak out in front of them, so instead we have to take responsibility for our reactions, let it out at a more opportun time. While organizations like N.A.M.I. are developing and thousands are discussing the mental health of adult survivors of child sexual violence, there is still more which needs to be done,  so be patient with yourself and with society. Explain to yourself just as you would to someone else. Comfort yourself and congratulate yourself for your accomplishments, just as you would do for others. Continue educating as many people in our circles as will listen. The more we understand, the more we accept and the better we are able to assist victims today.

Think about this:

(We wouldn’t blame a soldier for being in a public place and suddenly breaking apart from a remembered fear. However, you will hear people whisper; “He/she needs to stay home and work through this. They need held. Be careful you don’t know what they might do. We warn others about their responses, be it for their sake or ours.)

Living in society is a lot different from sitting in our homes with our family. To LIVE in society means to work, run errands or be out in the public rules on a regular basis. Being out among friends, enjoying a meal out, taking a walk; these are all things which make our lives enjoyable. What if you suffer from the issues of ongoing triggers, or you have your own societal fears; the feeling of constant shame or judgment by others? You can see how this would be a problem.

Often times we are out doing something quite pleasurable in society, escaping the isolation of living with these pesky flare ups; this is when we are suddenly faced with something that sets off our reactions. We aren’t expecting it to happen, in fact we would rather it didn’t spoil our good time. There are some triggers which may take a few seconds before we realize it is setting us off at all. Many times if the trauma itself was a way of life then it may well be a trained behavior, so the initial traumatic response may not be as intense, but it may grow in momentum. It may be three days later when suddenly the memory has us swirling, it has taken over our thoughts and set off a series of tensions & fears, which may be completely incapacitating for a few days or more. I’ve seen this occur within adult survivors of child sexual violence time and time again.

Recognize the trigger as a trauma induced memory or reaction. When we look at it logically rather than emotionally (even if at first it is emotional; try taking a breath, snap your fingers, step out of the moment and regroup). As we learn to recognize this in connection to a serious perception of fear, then we can begin working through each reaction or memory of that specific trauma. This can be done on your own through simple daily tasks in life rebuilding skills to help gain back your sense of self-confidence, prove your value to yourself in completing little chores and set goals for yourself that help you in the rebuilding steps. However if you are having difficulty you may want to seek out a support group or mental healthcare professional for guidance.

Understand that some of this healing may involve teaching ourselves a completely new process of life. Meaning of  course, that we completely change our living behaviors and learn to re-do something without the trauma being a part of that specific behavior, such as some of the things I’ve challenged in my own healing. These things may seem pretty stupid to others, but for my life in extreme horror they are very real issues. One of the things I had to completely re-teach myself to do in life, driving. I learned how to drive beginning age 11 driving drunk stepfather around in the country while he repeatedly attacked me with sexual actions, but ‘Don’t you dare wreck’. When I got to be about 17 I couldn’t drive without liquor or the use of marijuana to relieve the initial trauma. These days I still have issues when driving sometimes, especially if I’m in or around my hometown area. However, today I do not have to be under the influence of any medications to get behind the wheel and take off for a day.

We can’t work through the emotions if we do not re-visit the trauma itself. As we work through the imposed fear, we become stronger & the trigger loses its power. True healing comes when we begin changing the impact the trauma has on our life. Understand how it’s all connected, then share that knowledge with others around us. Explain it is proven to be worse than the recovery of our amazing veterans returning from battle. The one important connecting factor in these two realms is that our vets travel around the world to do battle with a weapon and a team around them; survivors of child sexual violence have only themselves, there is no weapon to defend from an attack, an attack can happen on any level and at any moment, the attack can be a repetitive lived action, which most commonly is an attack from their direct parent/caregiver; the one person who has complete control by law and has the responsibility to make decisions about their daily life and how they are raised. In this type of harmful environment it normally doesn’t just happen for a period of time, but rather continues throughout the entire lifespan. This is when the end result is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and recovery takes an extreme personal commitment.

May this writing help you understand a bit more about these life changing & impacting difficulties, which will invade our children’s lives if healing and support are not achieved. We as a society can continue to pass forward all of this dysfunction or we can begin to understand all that’s connected and how it directly affects our personal development, then begin teaching our children about what it means to truly live strong and to live safe even inside their homes.

Healing begins when we make the effort to understand!!

Love, strength, and courage for your ongoing challenge to heal <3>

Thanks for reading & be well Smile

Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’

Owner/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Talk Radio Programming

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamstalkradio

https://www.facebook.com/survivorsjustice?ref=stream

©ButterflyDreamsAbuseRecovery 2014

The Town Who Chose to Abandon the Child

Each day I am usually contacted by a survivor of Child Rape, Molestation, Brutal Physical Abuse, Emotional Battery, and even severe Neglect. It breaks my heart to know there are so many of us, especially since I always felt so isolated and alone in my recovery journey. To know that in truth there are an estimated 40 to 60 Million of us in society today who are now parents and grandparents trying to make up for what our emotional scars have passed on to our own children while we try to watch out for the children around us now.

There are many layers of recovery that we must work through and if you are one of the millions who are still struggling through the aftermath, you know exactly what this means. For me the abuse encompassed all forms; from severe disfiguring neglect to spiritual and religious abuse, to trafficking and forced involvement with many different grown men and young teen boys who I also attended school with each day.

“Crazy to think these many young boys were threatened to take part in either raping me or lining up while I was ordered to perform oral sex on them. The next day when I saw them at school however, they would whisper, tease, point and be disgusted by the very sight of me, but ot once ever spoke up about what they were ordered to take part in the weekend or night before.”

This past Tuesday I had a therapy appointment and as I was preparing myself all morning as to where I wanted to direct my discussion that day, the hour long drive to her office filled my head with the swirling tornado of anger and memories. By the time I arrived at her office I was such an emotional wreck all I could do was walk in circles in the closed little office and shake violently at the prospect of talking. There was a fire of anger inside and I honestly did not know how to begin the sentence and explain to her what was wrong. Thankfully she is a marvelous well trained and expert in Trauma Recovery Therapy and we’ve been working together almost six years now. T^o say the least however, she was still a bit shocked at my actions and when I broke down on the floor in tears she knew that whatever was going on inside was eating at me and we had to break the wall to get through.

The anger was billowing up from the gates of hell where I had trapped it many years ago. I honestly believed I had worked through all the anger issues and had nothing left inside to be angry about. I guess as I have been talking on the radio with my guests, co-host and the wonderful growing number of listeners, it seems the hellish nightmares started churning and things I didn’t think I felt any anger about came pounding down like a hard cold slap in the face.

“If you know or love a survivor or if you are a survivor; know that our emotions buried from the trauma continue to invade our present day lives because of the many layers of mental destruction caused by the attacks.”

To share with others of this new emotional breakdown, those of you who know this buried pain and how we try to avoid going back to our dark reality; this new layer of anger is aimed at the entire community who made a conscious decision to ignore and watch as a beautiful little girl rotted in the evil of her home. The town is Freeburg, Illinois, where I spent nine years of my life, living through the very worst of all the torture and blatant neglect, the trafficking and the beating. The town was a small coal mining community back then made up of farmer and miners and totaling about 1500, according to our population sign shared on the ‘Welcome to the Village of Freeburg’ that was posted at either end of the main road, Highway #15, which ran through the middle of our small little nest.

“Oh how I try to erase all of the connections to my past. My life is so good now and it has only been truly safe since about April 2002. There are days however when I just can’t turn up the music loud enough to drown out the thunder of emotions and dark horrific memories.”

storms               Thunderstorm2_small

Now I know times were much different back then, after all I grew up there between 1971 and when I first left home it was 1979, then finally left the area for 20 years in 1983; not ever moving back to that community. I can’t even drive through it without having a major panic attack, but back to what I was saying.

According to PDF report, attached here, written by John E.B. Meyers, he gives an excellent break down of our country’s Child Protection Act and it’s origin.

To quote just a few bits & pieces here;

1) In the forty years between the economic panic of the 1890s and the great depression of the 1930s; the devolvement and growth of social work became a recognized profession.

2) Organized child protection emerged after the 1874 rescue of 9 year old, Mary Ellen Wilson, who lived with her guardians in New York City’s Hells Kitchen.

3) The 1960s witnessed an explosion of interest in child abuse and physicians played a key role. It was pediatrician Henry Kempe and his colleagues that published the block buster article, ‘The Battered Child Syndrome’, which played a leading role to bringing child abuse to national attention throughout the 1960s and 1970s. It was after this publication that media outlets started filling their publications with stories of maltreatment. A Newsweek article titled ‘When They’re Angry….’ quoted this:

    “For every child who enters the hospital badly beaten there must be hundreds more treated by unsuspecting doctors. The Battered Child’s Syndrome isn’t a reportable disease, but it damn well ought to be.”

4) The Social Security Act amendments of 1962 gave way to the following shared by Vincent De Francis in 1967:

     “In additions to sharpening the focus on child protection, the 1962 amendments required all states to pledge that by July 1, 1975, they would make child welfare services available statewide.”

5) The first four child abuse reporting laws were enacted in 1963 and by 1967 all states had reporting laws. As the reporting laws went into effect the prevalence and child abuse and neglect came into focus. By 1974, some 60,000 were reported, by 1980 the reports climbed to 1,000,000; by 1990 they topped 2,000,000 and since 2000 they have been hovering above 3,000,000.**In 2011 there was a total of 3,712,034 reports of child maltreatment, but only about (1/3) of them were actually handled and processed through our child protective services system.** per Federal Children’s Bureau reports from all 52 states collective CPS reporting systems.

6) In 1977, Henry Kempe, gave a lecture in which he described: ‘sexual abuse of children and adolescents is another hidden pediatric problem and hidden area.’

It is this author’s determination that while I’ve tried to excuse the problem of ignorance throughout the school officials and the community in which I grew up, you can clearly see that in the early 1960s child abuse and sexual abuse of children was becoming a nation wide media and governmental issue. You can also clearly see that each state had a least four mandated reporting laws in effect as early as 1963.

“So for the officials who were required by law to report and help the abused children they witnessed, what the hell happened to me towns people of Freeburg?”

The first and most prominent of the Red Flags I was displaying, was the severe blatant neglect. Our family had the very best healthcare coverage available then, that which was paid for by United Mine Workers Union of America. There was absolutely no our of pocket cost  at all for care. Many may remember how strong the Mine Worker’s Union was in the 1970’s. These people took baseball bats, axe handles and fists to their meeting and brawls were common with many having to go for medical treatment. Our town, Freeburg, had these such meetings because Peabody Coal, Riverking Underground #1 was the lifeblood of the community.

Now although I was suffering in the many sadistic sexual attacks from my stepfather, and yes I know that sexual abuse rarely displays any noticeable physical signs; there are still many silent signs the victims display without being fully aware of what these actually reflect.

In school my silent warning signs were like huge beams of light searching for hope of rescue. My grades went from A’s and B’s to D’s and F’s. My homework was rarely completed, but the teachers always seemed to make note of that fact and ridicule me in front of the other students.

“Are you dumb or just lazy Patricia? Boy how I”d love to have told them that I didn’t get it done because I got beaten for two hours because I put on the heavy pajamas to protect me from his roaming hands or I was busy cooking, caring for my sister, and had to spend the evening being raped by a shotgun barrel.”

Of course we all know the shame attached to this type of abuse, so it is rare that a child will ever break that silence; especially if they are being badgered and belittled by an adult. All the red flags were waving high in the sky around me. My plaque covered, never brushed, broken black fanged teeth. The rotting flesh covered with crusted filth and infected sores. The heavy stench of body odor and the unwashed stinking gym uniform was all visible to those around me, but still not one single person, no teacher, school nurse, or other school official ever questioned my care in any form. They all watched me fail at everything, they avoided any discussions or physical contact at all. The memories I have of school are all clouded by the many years of trying to hide from the world the ugliness that was now seeping from my soul and covered my flesh.

When I share that it was the entire community, I do mean all the family friends who came to our house for various reasons; the adult men who attended the late night parties which I was ordered to be hostess, toy and child drunk they could feel up and play finger games with as stepfather watched on in enjoyment and mother’s cold eyes as she walked into her bedroom and closed the door. She permitted him to use me however and whenever he chose. I was taken on their dates and fed alcohol while he tried to find a man to entertain my mother so he could teach me how to slow dance. I was taught very young, just 11, when we first went out to the bar and I was ordered to shake my ass about and use my body to entice the grown men around me.

Then of course I can’t leave out the neighbors and local police. I can’t even remember all the parties we had with drunken teenagers and cases of beer or the half barrel stored outside to keep cold. Kids walking in and out, my little sister got in the habit of charging them a dime to use the bathroom and it was a joke as too how much money she actually made at each of these events. The times when Mother took her along for weekend excursions, but left me behind to take care of the house and of course her husband.

“This is my time away and I won’t be bothered with you coming along.”

Each time she went away she would go around to the local corner bars and warn them each not to give stepfather whiskey because she couldn’t trust him not to kill her kids while she was away. Every time she came home I was covered with bruises and had to spend at least 6 to 10 hours cleaning up the mess from the fights that always broke out. Usually it was because a boy that didn’t want to take me in the next room and screw my brains out stood up and said ‘No’ to him. It could have been the nights that he got angry because I had a boyfriend so I didn’t want to do what he ordered from me.

The neighbors and the police all knew of these many parties, you can’t keep anything in a small town quiet. The folks on our street got a birds eye view of him dragging me across the road by the fist full of hair, or getting beaten in the middle of the street with his fist; perhaps the midnight dash out of the house trying to find a safe place to hide after my brothers had taken off and left me there with his raging temper. There was always some type of explosion at our house and the temper of stepfather was well known to everyone.

As I talked with my therapist the other day, she asked me what I would say to the community of Freeburg and the many who watched me be handed out and rot in this hell. I would actually love to have an article published to share my anger with them. It was suggested by her the following:

“Everyone in that town should be REQUIRED to read your book so they could feel what you lived through and hopefully open their eyes to what they so blatantly ignored.”

In truth I know I wasn’t the only child in that town that suffered the abuses of their parents, but not once have I ever met anyone else who had rotted like I did or been left so severely scarred, both physically and emotionally, in such an extreme nature. To be perfectly honest however, the words I would like to say to them could only be screamed and would be so foul that it would just lower me to their mentality, so I’ll use this writing instead to express the trapped emotions. Hopefully this will help me shed another layer of pain and begin a new light of healing.

Our society is so judgment of everyone who seems to be poor or less worthy. Our society disregards even the children of those adults who they feel are unfit. Our society damns all who have contact with such families. Our human society has no empathy, respect or tenderness for the many in our country who do not live according to their beliefs and morals.

To all of society I ask you; What morals do you have when you turn away from these vicious acts against children committed by their parents and the family friends each and every day in our country? When our Federal Children’s Bureau has reports of the statistics on these crimes and in our present day world full of information, emergency response system, federal and state child maltreatment reporting mandates, but you still use the age old ‘UNFIT’ status quo to pass your judgment on who should and shouldn’t receive your attention and who deserves to receive help or rescue. The poor of our society are not all bad parents, in fact, the reports show that the largest account for child abuse in our country is the White Middle Class who account for 43.9% of all the reported 3,712,034 calls for help to Children’s Protective Services.

“How do these reality checks make you feel now about the moral standards of mankind?”

Every soul is born with purpose, let no one keep you down by their judgment. Dream and chase those dreams, put forth the effort and no one can hold you back. No matter what the past has taught you, tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to create, build, achieve!!

~~Always Live Strong & Fly Free~~

Patricia A. McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’

Advocate/Speaker/Writer/Talk Radio Prod & Host/Survivor

Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Talk Radio Brdcstng.

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

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