One Year Later

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Last week, I said that another child became pregnant because of her step-father raping her. I hated saying what was true. Simply because it shouldn’t be true.

Not all children become pregnant after being raped, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less wrong. Doesn’t mean it’s any less sickening. It’s heartbreaking to hear about any child that’s abused.

I’ve made it no secret that my niece has been abused. She was three at the time. It’s been a year almost to the day that she was abused by her ex-step-father.

One year later, I still cry every single time I think about it.

I’ve seen effects I can never explain. I’ve seen her be a little terror, I’ve seen her not trust men that have always been in her life, and I’ve seen her wake up in the middle of the night crying.

All because she was abused.

Did she get pregnant? No. Does that make it right? Definitely not. Child abuse has to stop, no matter what. Nobody deserves to be abused. No family deserves to have their heart broken because of what somebody in the family did.

It’s funny… Before all of this happened, I never thought it would happen in my family. I should have known that it could happen to anyone.

We always think, “That won’t happen to me,” or  “It will never happen to anyone I know.” But yet, it does. And a lot of times nobody will say anything. Because they’re scared. They’re ashamed. They think they’re the ones at fault.

You don’t have to feel this way. Don’t be afraid to speak out.

One year later, I’m more passionate about child abuse prevention than ever.

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This Has Got To Stop

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It happened again. Another child is pregnant because she was raped. By her step-father. This child is only ten years old.

I’m in a group on Facebook called Child Abuse Must Stop, which is where I saw the article. I didn’t read it — I couldn’t bring myself to do so. My heart broke at just the title.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen all too many stories about this lately. The child is raped by someone they trust. And not only is the trust broken, but they get pregnant with that person’s child. My heart breaks a little more with every article I see about it.

I read one where one child wasn’t allowed to get an abortion, even though having the child would endanger her life. I’m pro-life myself, but she’s just a kid herself. Kids should not be forced to have kids if it wasn’t their choice to have sex. It was abuse. They’re already traumatized enough by having to go through the humiliation, but to have to carry out a pregnancy and go through childbirth? It’s absolutely horrifying.

Some rapists will defend themselves and say, “Well, they didn’t tell me to stop.” That’s because children don’t know it’s okay to tell them to stop! They’re always taught to respect their elders.

See, that’s another problem. Today’s society focuses too much on “Respect your elders” instead of, “It’s okay to say no.” That has got to change. Yes, children need to learn respect, but they also need to know that it’s okay to get away from a situation that they’re not comfortable in.

Let’s work together to stop this. Child abuse has to stop. Tell your children that it’s okay to say no.

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Let’s Talk Racism

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Racism is a big problem in today’s world. A lot of people are saying that what happened in Baltimore is based off of racism.

Now, I’m not going to say whether it is or it isn’t. I don’t live in Baltimore, but I can tell you that from what I’ve seen, I don’t know what to think. I’m sure you all have opinions. Let me know what you think.

Racism is a huge problem. But I have to say, and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of backlash for it, but what about the white people?

We hear everything about African Americans getting racist comments about them, but what about when white people get racist comments? It happens, you know.

I read earlier today that there was a billboard in another state that said something about White Pride Radio. And apparently, it’s racist.

I’m sorry, but if there can be Black Entertainment Television…

Now, I’m not saying that racism against African Americans doesn’t exist, because it does. I’m well aware that it does happen. But for once, I wanted to look at the other end of the story. One that the media doesn’t cover. Racism goes both ways, and unfortunately we only see one side of the story.

Let’s stop racism of all kinds. No matter what race you are, you shouldn’t get hurt for it.

Like I said, I’m sure I’ll get backlash for it, but it still had to be said. Post your opinions in the comments.

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Looking Like Love

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Britt Nicole is a favorite artist of mine. She is so inspirational, and his a song by the title of “Look Like Love.”

I was actually just listening to this song and got the idea for this post.

I’m well aware that there are bullies out there, and our instinct is to just run and hide, and hate that person with a passion. Either that, or wonder why the world is so full of hate.

I’ve been there. I’m a victim of bullying myself.

I know, it’s so much easier to turn and run, but have you ever heard the phrase “bullied people bully people?” I know I have. So, I have to wonder what would happen if we showed our bullies love instead of just running and hiding from the world.

Some people will say that this post is saying it’s their fault for being bullied. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m also not saying that you should try to be their best friend and spend as much time around them as possible.

No, I’m not saying any of those things. All I’m asking you to do is to maybe smile and say hello when you pass them in the hallway. It may surprise you. It may make a big difference. I wish I had thought to do this when I was in school. I wonder if it would have made a difference.

Bullying needs to stop, and I would like to see what effect looking like love can really have.

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Chasing After Dreams

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We all have dreams that we want to chase after. A lot of times, though, we don’t do anything to pursue them because we’re afraid of what people think.

We think, “What if they laugh at me? What if I lose friends over this? What happens if I completely fail?”

If they laugh at you, ignore them. If you lose friends over it, then they weren’t really your friends to begin with. If you completely fail, then it wasn’t meant to be. Try another dream.

I know, it’s easier said than done. Everything is. I know, nobody likes to hear that. I don’t either, but it’s so true.

I’m a writer. I’m not published yet, but I hope to be one day. My family doesn’t agree with it. They think it’s just some stupid phase that I have. It’s not, though. It’s so much more than that.

It’s not easy to have my own family ignore my dreams. It’s not easy being completely ignored at family gatherings because of it. It’s not easy feeling like I don’t belong.

I know what it’s like. I know what it feels like to feel like you’re watching a completely happy family that’s not your own. Believe me, I know.

You can’t let that stop you from achieving your dream. If it’s mean to be, it will happen. You just have to be able to chase after it.

“Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.” -Alfred Adler

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Playing Abuse Up

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Just last night I read an article about Mary Kay LeTourneau, a formal schoolteacher that pleaded guilty to not just one but two counts of sexual abuse. And then Barbara Walters has the nerve to say that it’s a love story.

I’m sorry. What?

I’m absolutely appalled by how that turned out. Yes, they got married, but there was an order for no contact for them. There’s absolutely no excuse for what she did. She’s an adult, and this is a child we’re talking about. Absolutely no excuse.

I think what makes this worse is, April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. It’s a time where we come together and try to stop child abuse. And then ABC has the nerve to try and play this abuse up? What is wrong with people?

Having a family member that was involved in child abuse, I know how heartbreaking it is. I thought I would never be affected by child abuse so much, but when I heard that my niece had turned into a victim of this horrible, horrible thing, I know how hard it really is to live in the reality.

I think the problem with this world is, if we or someone we know is not a victim, we don’t think about it, and we don’t feel like we need to do anything about it. I know I certainly think about it more now that my niece is a victim, and to make it worse, the man that did it to her is getting away with it just because she wouldn’t talk. Makes me sick.

Child abuse needs to be put to a stop. Spend some time looking around at how you can do your part this month. The more we do, the faster these horrific stories can be put to a stop.

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Being Comfortable

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I was speaking with someone throughout the week about being comfortable with who we are. Isn’t that just so important?

I think a lot of times we’re okay with just being made fun of or not feeling comfortable in our own skin, because it’s what we’re used to. I don’t like that. Not one bit.

We shouldn’t have to be “used to” feeling like we’re supposed to be somebody else, because it’s just not true. You can be yourself. It’s okay.

You know what you need to do? Make a list of things you love about yourself. Even if you feel like there’s nothing to love, you’re wrong. Dig deep. Find out what you love most about yourself and focus on those. I did that just a few days ago, and believe me, it definitely helps.

Writing down the things you hate about yourself is also helpful. I know, what’s the point of writing down the list of what you love about yourself if you’re just going to counter it by writing down the things you hate about yourself? I’ll tell you what: you don’t focus on what you hate about yourself. Nope. You tear it up, shred it, throw it away, burn it, do something to get rid of it. By doing all of that, you release those negative thoughts and all you have left are the positive ones.

I know it doesn’t seem like it should be that simple. I was skeptical myself. But surprisingly enough, it definitely helps.

It’s okay to feel down, but you have got to get back up again. If you do, you’re more indestructible than you will ever know.

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Bullying Injustice

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Recently, I found a link that showed a lot of statistics for bullying. There were a lot of numbers being thrown at me, but there is one very heartbreaking fact that stood out to me: Far too many adults think that bullying is “just part of being a kid.”

Say what?

Suicide is the number three leading cause of death in America. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty startling amount. And guess what? Most, if not all, suicide cases can be linked to bullying.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like just part of being a kid to me.

Bullying is no joke. Many victims of bullying are embarrassed to talk about it, because they don’t want to tell anyone they’re being bullied. Being a victim of bullying myself, I know how that is. I know it’s not fun to think about, and I especially never wanted to talk about it. My naive middle school mind thought it would all go away on it’s own. I’ve been there. I know how you feel.

If someone starts talking about things like not being able to handle anything anymore, please get help for them. Look for the signs of bullying. I will post the link I found at the end of this post. If any of these signs show up, please get for this person!

Bullying needs to stop. It needed to stop a long time before now. I know it’s much easier said than done, but it must come to an end. If you or someone you know is being bullied, get help.

Check out your local Stop Bullying Now Foundation for more information on how you can help. If we all work together, we can put an end to bullying.

For more statistics, look here: http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullying-and-suicide.html

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Dealing With Injustice

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I’ve made it no secret that my niece was sexually abused by her ex-step-father. There’s been a case that’s been going on for nearly a year with it. This past week, I found out that the case had been dropped.

I asked why the case was dropped. My sister said that my niece wouldn’t talk. They laid out pictures of all the men that have been in her life. They asked her which one did it. She pointed him out. Then they asked her what he did. She wouldn’t tell them. She would try to change the subject.

I was beyond mad when I heard this. She’s only four years old! She was traumatized at such an early age. No child should have to go through that.

What made me absolutely furious is the fact that they have enough evidence to charge him with SOMETHING. Even if it’s just sexual abuse (well, not  “just” sexual abuse, but that’s the least of what they can charge him with), you would think they would at least charge him with that.

My niece starts therapy in two weeks. I’m hoping she’ll talk then. If she does, the case will be reopened.

I wanted to talk about this, because I know my family isn’t the only one that goes through this, unfortunately enough. It is way too common a problem.

Did you know that only about ten percent of sex offenders have a criminal record? Most of them are never caught. The case is dropped or nobody reports them. I don’t know about you, but if I had a child, I wouldn’t exactly feel safe with leaving my own flesh and blood with someone I barely know. Even if it is somebody I do know, well, I can only hope for the best.

So, how do we deal with the injustice of this cruel world? Well, that’s something I may never know completely. I try to deal with it by writing about it, or writing about something else to get my mind off of it.

If you’ve been abused, please talk. I know, it may make you uncomfortable. But please, if you have the power to help make that percentage more, please do so. Don’t let another case be forgotten about.

If we work together, we can stop sexual abuse. Let’s do this, everyone.

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Not Being Afraid to Tell

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Recently, I read a couple books by Rachel Thompson. She’s an amazing author that unfortunately went through something very tragic as a child. She was sexually abused by a neighbor. The two books I read are Broken Pieces and Broken Places.

In these books she talks about her experience, along with other experiences, in great detail. It’s hard to read sometimes. I was crying through most of it. I didn’t relate to the child abuse she went through on a personal level, but I did relate to it because my four-year-old niece was abused by my sister’s ex-husband.

As a long of abusers say, Rachel’s told her, “Don’t tell or I’ll kill your family.” Or, at least, it was something to that extent.

I think a lot of people become afraid to say something when we hear that threat. I know I would be. I wouldn’t want my family to be killed because I told someone. So, a lot of people keep it bottled up inside.

I think a lot of the reason my niece didn’t keep it bottled up is because she’s so young. She’s never afraid to talk about things how she sees them. It has a lasting effect on her, though, and I will never be able to forget that.

The fact is, keeping it bottled up destroys you. Yes, you’re scared. Yes, you’re trying to keep your family safe. But what about yourself? You’re damaging yourself.

You have to be brave. Be strong. If you tell, you can get the abuser caught, and get the help you need. The abuser can’t hurt you or anyone else if he or she is caught.

Be strong. Be brave. You can do this. I have faith in you.

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