Who are the forever silenced victims of Family Crimes?

 

NewCapitolBldng        Justice Has  A Name The forever silenced victims of crime are not those killed, but rather those still living in the broken destruction of their pain. It could be your Uncle, Brother, Sister, Mother, or your best friend. It could be your neighbor, and tragically if we keep ignoring these ‘terroristic abuses’ within our families, we will have many millions more who are forced into silence and will become the next generation living in the aftermath of horror and pain.

Readers, I am asking you to help us finally address this painful topic of these many silenced victims of crime. I’m hoping you will review the petition to our President and all Legislators around the world. See how tragically these Family Crimes and Terroristic Abuse have destroyed millions of lives and created such a huge financial impact in our National Deficit of the estimated $145 Billion Annually to prevent and help mend the lifetime impairments from those who endure abuse, violence, and trafficking.

Today we need to address the serious number of victims who are reported into our system every day.

***The 1 in 6 men who report Personal Violence against them by a partner or spouse.

***The 1 in 4 women who become victims of vicious attacks by dominating partners.

***The 3.7 Million reports of Child Maltreatment which show 1 in 9 reported sexual abuses and 1 in 3 who suffer violent attacks.

These are the silenced victims of Family Crimes and Terroristic Abuse who walk among us everyday. We cannot help or save all of them, but by finally updating our systems of investigation and prosecution, victims support and recovery needs, and education concerning the Individual Right to Be Safe & Live Save;

WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO TEACH SILENCE AND TOLERANCE; PROTECTING THE ABUSERS AND MONSTERS WHO ATTACK WITHIN OUR FAMILIES EVERYDAY? When will it be serious enough for the once silenced victims and the many who are suffering today to stand up and tell our governments to help us end this and hold these monsters accountable for their CHOICE to inflict terror, threat of grievous injury, even possible death if they do not comply with every enforced demand.

**ILLINOIS – CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS!!

**AMERICAN CITIZENS – CONTACT YOUR GOVERNORS!!

**HUMAN BEINGS – STAND UP FOR YOUR ULTIMATE RIGHT TO BE SAFE!!

Family Crimes NEED LAWS TO UPHOLD AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO HAVE NO VOICE, WHO ARE CONTROLLED BY THREATS OF GREIVOUS HARM OR POSSIBLE DEATH TO REMAIN SILENT AND PROTECT THE MONSTERS WHO ATTACK. THESE TYPES OF OFFENSES DESERVE ONE FEDERALLY MANDATED STATUTE ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF ALL PERSONS: without regard to age, gender, race, religion, economic standing, or residential location. Now we end the ongoing personal violations within our homes and hold these offenders responsible by enacting into law the following listed measures…..

Bullet Points – Family Crimes and Terroristic Abuse

Trecia’s Law

We the people of our United States of America hereby sign our name to request our government entities implement the changes in our prosecuting statutes, civil liabilities, and social services directives to enact this amendment as written below…

1) Make the acts of detrimental child abuse, child sexual abuse/aggravated sexual assault of a minor, human trafficking or other sexually related acts against a person under the age 18 a FEDERAL OFFENSE.

2) Enforce mandated training for a Zero Tolerance when law enforcement, healthcare professionals, or our public educators suspect a family abuser or other party within the home who is using attacks of grievous harm or threats to prevent the victim of the abuse from accessing help or assistance.

3) Any permanently disfiguring or physical injury to the victim of abuse, should warrant harsher punishments, from 10 years to life in prison.

4) Adjust Statute of Limitations, criminal and civil, when there is any form of sexual interaction with a minor under 18 years old; no less than 20 years from the victim(s) 18th birthday and apply to all states across the country to meet a uniform prosecution process.

5) Forfeiture of any and all properties and assets of the offender at the time of prosecution. Forfeiture of these assets and properties should be awarded as victim’s restitution and/or reimbursement for the nation’s ongoing financial deficit in the provision of victims and/or family recovery services.

6) Any person who knowingly neglects or refuses to make a report concerning the well being of another party, especially a minor child, will be held accountable in a court of law with a sentencing minimum of $500.00 fine and/or up to 10 years in prison if that knowledgeable neglect to report these harms results in the death of a victim.

Public Policy Updates & Changes:

1) Implement Social Services directives to (Three Stage Review) for every report of child maltreatment reported by persons other then law enforcement, medical care, and/or educational professional.

2) Provide an immediate focus in knowledge based recovery support to meet needs of the victim, beginning and ongoing for a period up to 10 years from the prosecution ending date. Education and Recovery to assist in life skills education, home and parenting awareness, health care and family building blocks. y.

3) Societal Accountability, implement education and prevention strategies within every public school system to empower our youth to understand what their rights to life, liberty and security are and give them the tools to help end bullying, abuse, and/or violence among their peers.

4) Engage a Community Response Team to provide education and prevention in every small community, this should focus directly on Warning Signs & Prevention of abuse and/or violence, sex trafficking or terroristic types of harm, to better assess, report, assist and/or rescue victims and/or families in need. ******************************************************************************

**Note: these changes in our prosecutorial and civil remedies are to protect and educate about the types of terroristic personal attacks, specifically against a minor child, but regardless of what familial, foster, or governing state custody the victim(s) may reside as a physical address.**

There is a constant increase in these crimes; resulting in more than 1500 documented child deaths across the country every year related to severe neglect or physical harm. It is time to truly address the criminal and personal seriousness of these heinous crimes; creating a stronger frontline prevention by implementing measures at the States & Federal levels of our United States. 

Our laws & policies must meet the needs of those harmed, but our society also must begin teaching our youth about their ULTIMATE RIGHT TO BE SAFE. The best place to begin providing these changes, is to protect all persons and ensure that we will prosecute at the harshest level possible for these viciously detrimental acts of what is nothing less than ‘terroristic abuse’ committed with malice and directed against persons within our home, especially our children; used to prevent ever reporting these attacks and protecting the abuser from prosecution.

SIGN HERE – Family Crimes and Terroristic Abuse Acthttps://www.change.org/p/mr-president-please-enforce-the-right-to-be-safe-for-all-persons-especially-our-children-enforce-family-terrorist-act-trecia-s-law

Today I’m counting on the millions of adults who suffered for years waiting for someone to hear them, to see the harm and threat they lived within and are still forced into silence about today. The silenced victims have an opportunity to be heard. We have numbers together, creating strength together, and now is the time to climb out from under the shame. Let’s reclaim our lives, no longer terrified, but to ensure we stand strong to educate young victims today so they know they have a common given right to be safe; freedom from fear or threat of harm, freedom from sexual attacks or being sold for a few pennies by the monsters who have ultimate control over their lives.

There are many who will never be heard because the threatened, taught, and forced silence continues to trap them in a cycle of ongoing pain, self destruction, alcohol, drugs, and thousands who commit suicide as a result.

These victims of crime didn’t do anything wrong to bring on the attacks they suffered. They didn’t harm someone else, or cause any distress to those around them. They have fought endlessly, day in and day out, year after year, waiting for someone (anyone) to help them. They know if they come forward to acknowledge the crimes, brutal attacks and threats, which they suffered through for years; their professional careers and all they’ve built in trying to erase and change their past harm are at risk. However, if we remain silent and do nothing, we simply continue to teach tolerance and silence about what is the greatest harm of our human society, the true horror of Family Crimes and Terroristic Abuse.

Although today they are survivors trying just to live in whatever happiness they can create, there is a hole inside which carries the part of them who lived as a terrorized silenced child, struggling to keep control and still praying for someone to see just how badly they were wounded from their many daily battles.

How much longer should these forgotten and discarded victims of crime hide their pain in the shadows because our society is not ready to accept how truly ugly it becomes within the trapped environment of our homes? How much longer will they have to ignore their own tears, silence their screams, pretend nothing happened because it just doesn’t matter anyway?

What I’d like to ask of our society more than anything else, is to finally begin teaching our young children they have an Ultimate Right to Be Safe. They have a right to be free from any fear of attack, and also a right to Freedom of Speech. No matter who might have harmed them; the laws and services must be there for when they find the courage to seek help or rescue. Let’s not allow another person to grow up filled with anger, self hatred, pain, and dysfunction. We have to accept how challenging it is for children to suffer in the threatened silence and cruelty, then honor their courage and bravery to face the world each day. 

Illinois Legislators will address House Bill #3242 as introduced by Illinois General Assembly Member, Representative Jay Hoffman. Today ILLINOIS we need to contact your legislators by email, phone, or letters demanding they accept into law changing Statute of Limitations from what is now, 1 year from victims 18th birthday to 20 years from victims 18th birthday, to allow victims time to escape and find safety to bring forth criminal and civil charges for the harm and deviate behaviors they were forced to endure.

Your time in reading and sharing this is much appreciated. We need media attention, we need all legislators to take part and speak for those who are the traumatized and terrorized silenced children of yesterday.

Thank you,

Patricia McKnight – Petition Creator, Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

Dana Pfeiffer – Grounds of Grace, Exec. Director

Lisa Chilton – Violence Prevention Center SW IL, Legal Advocacy Director

Illinois House Representative, Jay Hoffman

Illinois State’s Attorney, Brendan Kelly

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Survivor finally feels FREEDOM

 

Victim Impact Statement

St. Clair County Courthouse

Wed, July 10th, 6pm

Court Ordered Offender Program

Domestic Violence or Abuse Charges

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Survivor/Author/Advocate/Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight – ‘My Justice’

Recently I was given an opportunity, which most Survivors like myself, have not had a chance or as of yet been given the honor;

I gave a Victim Impact Statement!!

Now, don’t get confused, it was not given for my specific offenders, but it made a huge impact on the Offenders and hopefully St. Clair County, Illinois; Prosecuting Attorney, Liz Nelson. The Legal Advocacy Dept, VPCSWI.org, Lisa Chilton Director and Ms. Tina Kempworth, Director of Counseling @VPCSWI are the ones to thank for this tremendous event.

The statement given, other than a few little changes due to the direction of the presentation itself, can be viewed through this link – http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com/patricia_and_speaking.html

Giving this speech was an intense feeling of #FREEDOM!! I was there, in the very same courthouse, which would have given me justice and protection back then. I stood there in front of the Prosecuting Attorney, Legal Advocacy Dept, Offenders, and Survivors: ‘I am here as once a victim, but today a VICTOR!!

If you are not aware, my life was filled with one vicious attack after another for thirty two years beginning at age 5 when my mother gave me as property to the devil himself!!!

‘Why did everyone around me, all who new me;

Why didn’t someone help me?

All we can say is ‘Society itself let me down’. An entire community turned away from what they witnessed, took part in, or turned away from; but we didn’t have enforcement of the system we do today. We cannot loose the momentum that is pushing forward to stop these heinous crimes today. We must all demand that our lawmakers, politicians who have the authority to enforce stricter punishments and speak publicly against these actions will hopefully do so starting today!!!

No one should know this intense fear, especially within their very own homes!!!

I, along with millions of others like me, ask all in society: ‘Please help end the torture, molestations, rape, captivity, and terror that has grown within our families, our relationships; inside our homes. Help be a SAFE person for another. Please learn the Silent Signs to spot a victim in need.

Step up and Make It Count!!

Read the TRUTH about our millions of reports submitted for crimes of Child Maltreatment. Sadly, most have them have been dismissed without even an investigation. This should never happen. We have silenced 2.3 Million Child Victims by disregarding the reports and ignoring the deep personal violation of that child. How is it possible for us to do this today?

Our homes should provide us with SAFETY from the dangerous elements of the world, instead they have become a daily nightmare of vicious attacks by those who are supposed to love us, guide us, comfort us.

Thankfully we are part of the new generation, the VERY FIRST GENERATION to finally break the silence enforced throughout our forming years. We are Generation No More; speaking the truth of mankind’s most darkest evils.

Stop the torture within our homes!!

Learn how to rise above their actions,

Heal yourself to become the magic you are,

Become a stronger parent who can guide while teaching respect, love, and kindness.

One at a time we are breaking down the walls of silence!!

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Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight

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

Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

Butterfly Dreams Talk Radio

Contact: tricia.mcknight@hotmail.com

Speaking/Writing/Special Interviews on our Talk Radio Programs!!!

Horrifying autobiography inspiring lives around the world

“My Justice”

‘Life changing, Highly Reviewed

and now

Required Reading

by Dr. Brenda Joyce Orozco Markert-Green

Marriage & Family Therapy Training Course

La Sierra University

Riverside, California’

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‘My Justice’ is a horrifying, but excellently written autobiography about the sadistic thirty plus years survived by one local woman who grew up within the small community of Freeburg, Illinois. Located just 40 miles outside of St. Louis; Author Patricia A. McKnight is sharing a life lived in hell, which is a FIVE STAR RATED tale of just how dark one man’s actions can be to the child within his home.

Ms. Debra Mize, Prevention Coordinator & Educator for Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois, refers to this incredible story as the most powerful since she read and attended a speaking engagement presented by the great author Dave Pelzer and his autobiography, ‘A Child Called It; One child’s courage to survive’ which made the leading New York Times Best Seller List”.

“My Justice; Shocking, Disturbing, Emotionally Charging throughout every page!”

This powerful story will rock the moral foundations of everyone who reads. Patricia A. McKnight; Author/Advocate/Speaker, now founder of Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Talk Radio Programming, begins her story at just five years old as a happy little girl filled with excitement, but the moment she open’s the door to the next thirty plus years of her life, everything you thought you knew about the evils lurking within our homes will be forever changed’.

Dr. Brenda Joyce Orozco Markert-Green: whose highly skilled reputation as a Family & Marriage Counselor, Owner & CEO at Afterglow Counseling, Mediation & Family Services, Trainer for American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy, Educator and Adjunct Faculty Board Member of La Sierra University, located in Riverside, California is now using this incredible autobiography as REQUIRED READING for her  students in the field of therapy and family counseling. “My family therapy students are required not only to read this autobiography, they are also required to complete an exam and classroom discussion on what they absorbed and felt; what can they take forward as therapist to increase their senses, skills and expertise as counselors, and to enhance their abilities to better help their clients. This story leaves a deep, lasting impression on my students, which I’ve seen first hand. It truly changes how we see the lives of those around us and how the victims are left so shattered by these acts of viciousness.”

Mr. Peter Thomas Senese: Best Selling Geo-Political Thriller Author/Child Advocate & Founder of I CARE Foundation, who also helped build a women’s shelter and who, in his capacity with the I CARE Foundation, sponsored a conference at the United Nations at the request of the Department of State on international parental child abduction and trafficking, while working to create new laws and government policies that will protect children from kidnapping said of Ms. McKnight in numerous articles and essays, a ‘Hero; A conqueror over abuse and calls this book a ‘Blue Print to Freedom from Abuse’, but it is so much more for by penned word and by action after action, Ms. McKnight and all that encompasses who she is educates or reminds each of us that all of our voices matter. On this note, ‘My Justice’ is a map to find one’s courage, and in it, freedom. As an avid reader and best-selling author, ‘My Justice’ sits in a very special area in my home – and next to ‘Unbowed’ by Noble Prize writer and friend, Wangari Maathai – as ‘My Justice’ has had that significant an impact on my life and my own call-to-arms to protect innocent children from abuse. In my capacity with the I CARE Foundation fighting against child kidnappers, there are many times that I would ask myself while dealing with these difficult cases of families in crisis, “What would Tricia do?” Then answer has led to many children once bound to know freedom . . . and that is just how significant of an impact ‘My Justice’ has had on me and the community of children we serve around the world.

Ms. Linda Walcher: Educator in the Fayetteville & Freeburg, Illinois school system for over 20 years and now a leading member in the Illinois Retired Teachers Association and mentor for many college students has this to share about ‘My Justice’ and the little girl she once had as a student. ‘As an educator, I first met Ms. McKnight when she entered my fourth grade class. Being fresh out of college and a very young teacher then; she was one of my first students. In her bright blue eyes I saw just a happy, beautiful little girl. As I moved on to continue my long time career in the same school system she attended, I truly had no clue as to the life I could have saved in that child. It is only in the last few years, since first reading the details of her endured beatings and sadistic crimes of her step-father, that I have reached out and fully support every effort she puts forth on a daily basis to use her learned and lived knowledge to try and help many others. As an active member in the Retired Teachers Association and with the mentoring of upcoming educators now in college, there is not enough I can say about how this book has changed my entire thinking process. Back in the 70’s we were not as educated or made aware as we should have been about child abuse and what signs to watch for in children. Throughout my years as an educator I was able to help rescue a few children, but reading this story brought all of that little girl’s Red Flag Warning Signs, which she was waving around with all her might, but I just didn’t have the knowledge or the training then to help her. ‘My Justice’ is a book which I highly recommend for anyone who spends time with children.’

Incredibly, Ms. McKnight has taken all of her many years of tragedy and turned them into something she is hoping will help rescue victims of Child Abuse and Family or Domestic Violence. She has now built Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery, which can be found by visiting her website http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com. There she begins with a few basic steps which are FREE to use by absolutely anyone to help with rebuilding life after any form of abuse or violence has effected you or someone you love. On this new site you will find educational and awareness information about what to do if you’ve just recently been harmed and what we can be aware of as a society to help those around us who may be struggling to cope through some form of abuse.

Patricia A. McKnight, known as ‘Trish’ to those who chat with her almost daily, has endured a life that most of us cannot imagine, but to her it was just seen as ‘normal’. She knows the path many victims of these crimes follow in the aftermath of being violated. In her drive to better help us understand she is making all of us aware and hoping to be just one of the voices in the beginning of change.

‘The purpose for publishing ‘My Justice’ was a need to explain and apologize to my children for the many broken repeated violent relationships I engaged in, which have left wounds in their lives. The bitter truth is there was never any legal form of justice to come from all the years of almost murderous violence and sadistic evil, but I needed to release myself from the hand covering my mouth and holding me captive in dysfunctions and madness all these decades; this is how and why I needed to publish this story. What has made a deeper impact on me is the many millions living in our society today just like me; some with even more horrific stories than mine. Because of the way we have been taught to view these actions, there are now an estimated 50 Million or more who know how dark a parent or trusted person’s actions can become. It should be these stories of generations past and present; my voice and the voices of many others, which should be our society’s learning examples of how these crimes, and they are actually evil criminal acts against our own children and our partners; how they set up human beings to live out their lives in a broken existence without ever seeing any value in their person. Even though these actions have been going on in our homes and communities since the dawn of mankind, doesn’t make it the right way to live. It means that we have to step up our game against these behaviors and see them for what they are ‘Nothing less than a learned way to live and treat others’, a disrespect and need for power over another human being. We need to toughen our prosecutions for these crimes and begin protecting everyone around us, not just our own children. What we have permitted by teaching silence to the victims, is what I refer to as our own ‘Man-Made Cancer’ only there is no wonder science which will ever provide the cure. Only by being aware, being vigilant, and being educated about the impacts of the aftermath; the many lifelong struggles of mental health disorders such as; P.T.S.D; Depression, Anxiety, Drug & Alcohol Addictions, Eating Disorders, and even worse the many who’ve committed suicide because of the horrible after effects. Seeing these ugly realities for what they are is the only way we will be able to change what has been taught as so normal. I believe when you discard someone because of their dysfunctions and what many may judge as being ‘less worthy’ or ‘damaged’; then you are discarding a victim or a survivor, someone who has been or is now being brutalized by someone they love. It is by learning from the experts, many of whom make up the millions of survivors today, that we will be able to change our thinking towards these crimes. This is our only hope for providing some form of rescue for our children’s future. Our kids are watching all of the activities across the internet today and they are paying attention to what we do when it comes to helping them cope with all their daily battles. I wonder how they will think of us if we continue to ignore these ugly, vicious, soul destroying actions as we’ve been taught?”

If you would like to find our more about this survivor turned, Author/Advocate/Speaker/Talk Radio Prod & Host, Founder of Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery, you can contact her by emailing direct to butterflydreamsabuserecovery@gmail.com or tricia.mcknight@hotmail.com. You can also visit her website http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com to enlighten yourself and others about the recovery process or what you may be able to do, not only to spot a victim in your family or workplace, but also create a greater vigilance within your communities and school systems. ‘Trish’ can also be found across many of our social networking sites today. This engaging and empowering speaker is happy to share with your churches, schools, any outlet you choose to give hope and help to all of those who directly relate with children, young single mothers, and many men who are living the life of heavy dark secrets today.

You are invited to view her latest speaking engagement through this You Tube Video; http://youtu.be/tujWedUtdf0 This was at the Illinois Healthcares Grant Education Seminar held in Belleville, Illinois; National Shrine of our Lady of the Snows, where the Violence Prevention Center initiated a training seminar with the outstanding Dr. Elaine Alpert. One of America’s Global Health Staff & Advisors out of Massachusetts General Hospital, who is a panel discussion member and actively speaking for the Education and Enhanced Collaboration of Health Professionals to rescue and provide help for victims of child abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking. 

Follow Patricia A. McKnight or listen to her live blog talk radio program every Monday & Wednesday evening:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamsabuserecovery

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

Google +, Twitter, Linkedin & Pinterest either Patricia A. McKnight or Tricia McKnight

You can purchase your copy of ‘My Justice’ in paperback, e-book, Kindle & Nook through most online book resources. E-book & Kindle editions just $2.99

References:

Dr. Elaine Alpert, http://www.ccvs.state.vt.us/sites/default/files/resources/E%20Alpert%20-%20Human%20Trafficking%20-%20Panel.pdf

http://www.ccvs.state.vt.us/content/elaine-alpert-human-trafficking-and-health-care-call-health-professional-education-and-0

Author: Dave Pezler “A Child Called It: One child’s courage to survive”

Published Sept. 1, 1995 by Health Communications, Incorporated and now a well known library and school reference autobiography.

©Patricia A. McKnight

Breese, Illinois

For contact please email: tricia.mcknight@live.com

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

Fear of Judgement and Shame……

This may be very triggering for some, but I beg you to challenge yourself just a bit to get through it. I believe you will find a great sense of accomplishment when you do!!!

Yesterday morning I finally faced something that I never thought possible. Please allow me to share in hope it can give you a breath of courage; a sparkle of what can change.

The Violence Prevention center of South Western Illinois, (VPCSWI.org) asked if I would like to speak at a training seminar they held at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois.

If you are familiar with any of my history, there is this huge block between me and ANY CHURCH BUILDING!! Religion itself is fine, but going into an actual church can cause instant panic; it rips at my emotions and holds me captive in fear of judgement. The valley of shame from my past and all the horrible truths that lie there-in still causes the tears to flow.

Sadly this is so much a part of me, when I attended a funeral this past spring I broke into little pieces, shedding tears as I looked at the beautiful stone carved angels. Simply being in the building I could hear them screaming “NO”.

“You shouldn’t be here!!! How dare you stand there as if accepted.”

Of all things the line into the church at the funeral landed me in the end seat of the first pew, just left of the pulpit. I begged them to forgive me. As we kneeled in prayer, I listened intently; however, I couldn’t stop the sense of begging for their acceptance of me. To look past all of my faults and all that had been done and not strike me down at that very moment.

When the service ended I exited quickly, gave my hugs to the family, and found my car. Shaking with the tears streaming down my face, I immediately lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply. (I’m extremely emotionally addicted to them.) Then putting my car into gear I took off in search of our local Baptist church.

I’d seen signs around town for the church, Faith Baptist Church of Breese, but had no clue where it was located. I actually came home to search it down, but not until I had driven around in a panicked state for an hour trying to find it. I don’t have GPS in my car or phone, so thank you internet & the creation of Google!!!

Sadly when I found it and drove out there the doors were locked and I stood there crying for someone to let me in. I had to speak to a minister at that moment or for sure I would just break into pieces and never be able to return. NOo one was there to let me in and I didn’t write the number for the location I needed to call.

“There was no solace and I came home to lay on my bed and cry like a child!!”

The only connections I had with any church throughout the past 30 years was my first wedding, my children’s Christening; then once a forced attendance during a weekend visit with my children, which was nothing more than a control game by their father. There has been maybe two weddings and this funeral. Somehow, I had always managed to stay out of a church because of this heavy sense of judgement.

“It wasn’t always this way of course!!”

As a young child I did everything to go to church, I loved church!! My babysitter or one of our neighbors who attended would always take me to our Baptist church. May dear Grandma McKnight, had taken me to her very Southern Baptist church during my last visit with her at five.

“Just two years after the monster came into my life, all of that was gone!!!”

First he used God’s allowance of what he did to me. Then after age twelve he said God would no longer forgive me for the bad things that happened between us. God would start passing judgement and I would never be accepted into His heaven.

“To this day I have been afraid of this judgment and would shake in fear with each service I ever attended.”

It’s not that I didn’t or don’t pray. It’s not that I haven’t always tried to live the best life possible or that I didn’t or don’t believe in religion. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’ve got an antique picture of Jesus and it is a beautiful sense of my connection with Him. This picture has been carried with me for these past 25 years, through the divorces and instant escapes. It was one of those most valuable possession I ever carried. Not valuable in dollars, but in a personal relationship with God. I have always gotten on the floor and prayed to this picture for a better way;  for a way out of the fear, violence, submission. I have broken down repeatedly and begged for His forgiveness to shine into my path.

This brings me back to yesterday’s event……

The event was a Faith Leadership Training Seminar and I was asked to speak. I was honored and amazed they’d asked me; gladly I accepted and took on the challenge.

“Was it finally possible that I could stand in front of those who served various entities of their church and not feel that heavy weight of their judgment and my fear?”

It really first hit me as I pulled into the front entrance of Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Instantly I felt the grip of standing on hallowed ground. The panic hit and my heart started pounding. I parked as far away from the front door of this exquisitely decorated conference building, mainly because I felt the fear of;

“What would they think if they saw ME getting out of the car, pacing quickly into the building, searching for a familiar face to cling to for acceptance?” Luckily I soon found the beautiful friendly smile of Debra Mize, the one who originally invited me to attend and speak. She is such a bright face or perhaps it’s knowing the connection we have from our paths.

I watched as those attending walked into the conference room. with each eye contact I questioned my worthiness to be amongst them. As I listened to the awesome presentation from the staff at VPCSWI and the opening given by U.S. States Attorney, Mr. Stephen Wigginton; I absorbed all of their knowledge and enjoyed getting involved in the discussions.

Then came my turn at the end, that’s right; last speaker!! My stomach turned as I started walking up to the stand. My heart was beating so fast I feared a heart attack would strike me down right there. My knees shook so badly I felt myself stumble a bit as I walked. Then I stood there and looked out at the 25 faces in attendance, maybe not that many you say, but these were all mainly connected to their church!!! Different levels of leadership within their perspective areas. This was terrifying; their judgement of my being involved at all with this seminar was all I could think about.

First I questioned my worthiness then I questioned my ability to make an impact on their hearts!!!

“How could I leave them with something to carry away from that seminar besides the very useful information in the training?”

I took a deep breath and fairly explained who I was. Then as I began to open with the carefully written out and then outlined on notecards speech I had intende; 20 seconds in I had to stop the tears.  Then I thought about the importance of their understanding of how what they had just heard about in this wonderfully presented seminar, effected the person who lived inside the mess.

There were a few other topics I shared, but most importantly was to explain that those living in this violence and abuse, would most likely not be sitting in the front pew of their churches. The fear of judgement and the shame is too heavy for much success at this. Instead, I hope that I left an impact on them concerning the need of us, as a society, to remove the masks; to put no one in our society above suspicion of these crimes. Instead ask them to really see the people around them, in their neighborhoods, grocery stores, (yes, even bingo) and take 5 or 10 seconds to really look at who they are and what they might be dealing with or trying to survive.

Remember; 1 in 4 homes are struggling with some type of violence, bullying or abuse. We must care enough to guide them to resources and do all we can to support the continued provision of TRUE HELP!!!

We must remember also that people, like Jerry Sandusky; who was not just a famous coach, but also a father, husband, neighbor, friend and church parishioner. We must care enough about our friends, family, neighbors to ask when we suspect that something might be going on.

“Are you alright? Are you safe? Please can I direct you to some help?”

I pleaded with them as I do with each who reads this,

“Please be the extended arm of help?”  Remove the blinders of acceptance and do not turn away from the screams, tears, and fear of those who are being harmed.

To let you know what the greatest accomplishment for me; they all welcomed me!!!….. I did not feel the heavy weight of judgement when I left the conference. Instead I felt peaceful with a wonderful blessing of accomplishment, finally I know that it is alright!!!

Thank you VPCSWI for inviting me to attend and close out your very wonderful seminar.

Thank you U.S. Attorney Wigginton for a great opening to an early Saturday morning share.

Thank you Ms. Debra Mize; Art Therapist, Ms. Cathy Daesch; Educator Ms. Teva Shirley.

Mentioned:

VPCSWI.org – http://www.vpcswi.org/

Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows – http://www.snows.org/default.aspx

United States Attorney, Stephen Wigginton – http://www.justice.gov/usao/ils/index.html

Faith Baptist Church of Breese, Illinois – http://www.faithbaptistbreese.com/

Belleville Counciling Services; Art Therapist Ms. Cathy Daesch – http://www.stage-ps.info/Therapist-Directory.aspx

Illinois Visiting Nurses Association, Educator, Ms. Teva Shirley – http://sivna.com/

(c) Patricia A. McKnight

Author: “My Justice”

ISBN#978-1-45207-170

Authorhouse.com, Amazon, BN.com, Lulu.com

Available in Paperback, E-book, Kindle & Nook!!!

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