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Child Abuse Resources

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Showing 1-25 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 26, 2007 3:20:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2007 3:23:56 PM PDT
It is our civic duty to report child neglect and abuse. To me the best source for reporting chilld abuse is the local police force. At least the police attempt to protect the source of the call. Child Protective Services has many flaws. Although they care about children, they do not protect the individuals reporting the incident. In many cases, they are reactive, but not careful. Serious consequences can result. I know this first hand and document this in my book Tommie & Grope. If Social Services and the police are involved and go to the abusers home, be sure to insist that they obtain a search warrant first. I quote a case in my book where the criminal was let go and the record expunged simply because no warrant was issued. They entered the house illegally. The children suffered, and so did the individuals involved in reporting the case.

Matt Johnstone
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2007 6:57:46 PM PST
There are no simple answers. Calling the police may actually make the child's position worse unless the call results in the child being placed in a protected situation ... and in many states, social services takes a child from their own abusive home only to place them in a foster care situation which may be as bad or even worse. There need to be safe houses for children where they can be nurtured and protected ... because once an abuse situation is made public, via social services, the school system, or the police, the abuser, angered at the attempted interference, could be expected to escalate the abuse.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2007 8:44:44 PM PST
I agree that there are no simple answers. As an abuse survivor myself, I have often been frustrated with the inadequacy of the laws protecting our children. I belong to the National Association to Protect Children - a membership association dedicated to providing political strength and leadership to create tougher laws for the protection of abused children. As a member, I am comforted that I am doing something to support creating safer communities for our nation's children.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2007 9:47:47 PM PST
Yes, I am an abuse survivor too ... in fact, I wrote a book about it. So many of us act as if we are guilty of something, which, of course, we are not. But we don't talk about it except, maybe, with each other. Which keeps the bad guys in business.

The process of writing my book made me confront a lot of issues in a way I'd never done before ... a primary one being the utter inadequacy of our laws and so-called systems. Despite the stuff on TV, there is very little protection for children being abused in their own homes. I know that social services does what it can by taking children out of abusive home and putting them into foster care, aka "the system," but so often the result is that a child goes from one bad situation to another bad or worse situation. When I wrote the book, I hoped to reach the community of child abuse survivors. There are SO many of us ... so many more of us than anyone realizes.

I'm not entirely sure what kind of laws would actually WORK. Putting a law on the books is one thing ... making it do the job it is supposed to do is quite another. I know that we need to offer kids safe haven so that they don't have to worry what will happen to them if they aren't believed, without fearing (with good reason) that they will be sent back, or that they will be ripped from the only home they know (however bad it is) and put into some group home where Heaven only knows what will happen to them.

Government agencies don't deal well with domestic issues. Abused children are suspicious and scared with good reason. For all the noise, we haven't progressed much from where we were 50 years ago when my brother and I were being brutalized.

As far a legal remedies go, I have more questions than answers. But I have found some effective ways to heal ... starting with (but not limited to!) telling people what happened to us. Our silence empowers the abusers.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 9:53:48 AM PST
I agree that the legal system is still limited - especially with respect to Child Protective Services. Part of the problem is that children don't have a voice in law-making. It falls upon adults to speak for them, and the majority don't. I do believe we are making some head-way in the legal system in terms of laws against abusers.

Whether we seek legal justice, justice within our communities, families, through the written word, or within a small group of supportive individuals, justice is key to exposing the truth, and facilitating recovery.

When I was young (and abused), I'd never even heard the term Child Abuse. That is why I agree that survivor stories are very important. They call attention to a large world-wide problem.

The Catharsis Foundation is a platform for just that - making sure survivor's stories are told, while calling attention to the need to put an end to childhood violence.

Your book sounds wonderful; certainly a unique method of healing from child abuse. I look forward to reading it!


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 10:03:07 AM PST
I completely agree. I have your book in my shopping cart, awaiting the arrival of some money! I wish more of us would speak out ... but on the whole, we don't. Have you watched the show Amazing Grace at all? It's on TNT with Holly Hunter ... and it deals pretty well with how childhood sexual abuse warps adult personalities.

I look forward to your book, too ... I read little excerpts from it and liked them.

Merry Christmas,


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 10:42:32 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2007 10:43:27 AM PST
Thank you for your kind words. The book was difficult to write and I infused dark comedy to lighteen the topic somewhat. I have not watched Amazing Grace, but will. Child neglect and abuse are becoming worse because the "system" is so backlogged with cases. It saddens me to see that neglect is not looked upon with the same intensity as abuse. I think they are the same. I pray the book opens some eyes

Regards - Matt

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 11:35:29 AM PST
I haven't watched Amazing Grace, but I have seen the promo's, and they always look good. I didn't know the show deals with issues surrounding childhood abuse. I'll make sure I watch. Thanks for the tip!
My best,

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 11:39:17 AM PST

You're right. It is sad that emotional abuse and neglect are not taken as seriously as physical abuse. Having suffered from all three, I can say from experience that the repercussions from emotional abuse and neglect, run much deeper and hold on much longer. I too hope that your book opens eyes.


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2007 1:07:04 PM PST
I think that more often then not, it's a package deal. Neglect, in my house, was the best deal in town. My brother and I got really good at fending for ourselves and each other. The emotional abuse, ah yes. I agree with you 100% ... the damage it does goes deep and lasts a lifetime. It becomes embedded in your self-image and it takes dedication and determination ... and a good deal of creativity ... and faith in God doesn't hurt either ... to even confront it, much less change it.

My goal as a child was to be invisible. All attention was bad news. Being noticed pretty much always hurt, emotionally, physically, mentally. My father was quite an artist, actually. Even when we became adults, he managed to stick that knife in.

Bad parents are rarely only bad in one way. I'm not sure you can entirely tweeze them apart into categories other than bad, worse, and nightmare.


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2007 8:53:16 AM PST
I ordered your book! I think we all hope that our books open some eyes. The problem seems to be that those who buy it are often survivors ... but we all live in hope. We write our books for a reason. My book also, by the way, is frequently very funny ... but there are some very unfunny parts too. It's kind of hard to deal with these issues entirely humorously, but I too tried to not make it a veil of tears either.


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2007 8:55:52 AM PST
I bought your book too. Hopefully it will arrive reasonably quickly. I know that Amazon is very slow in shipping my book, which is why I always suggest that people buy it directly from the publisher ... they deliver in a few days.

We all hope that we reach the unenlightened ... and maybe, eventually, we will! I'll look forward to reading it!


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2007 11:42:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2007 12:02:04 PM PST

Thank you for purchasing my book. I hope the story meets your expectations. In answer to your coments, you are correct that most individuals that have read my book suffered some level of neglect and/or abuse. However, I have been receiving emails on my author web site from readers that have not directly encountered neglect/abuse. Some responders are teachers that have observed children that are suffering. I feel their pain and their sense of inability to do anything about the problems because many school administrators restrain their teachers from reportring problems (outside blatant physical abuse). They prefer not rocking the boat. These are among the individuals I would like to reach.
It has taken some time for my book to become noticed, but it is really catching on, which gives me hope. Thanks to people like you who care, perhaps the word will spread and the message I/we send will reach a larger audience.

Please post the title of your book. I would like to read it. I am sure others who read this post will too. Oooops! I found it - "The 12-foot Teepee." Now I will buy it.

Best Regards, Matt

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2007 11:47:21 AM PST
Gee, you sound exactly like me. I hope that somewhere along the road, my book will get noticed. It is very frustrating. I never expected it would make me rich, but I did and still do hope to find an audience. I look forward to reading yours. Best, Marilyn

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2007 7:34:08 PM PST
As someone who was abused as a child, I'm so glad to see these types of discussions taking place. I know I felt that for most of my life, that I could talk to no one. That's one of the main reasons why I wrote my book, titled "No Momma's Boy." If you get a chance, google it. Happy Holidays to all.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2007 7:52:15 PM PST
Welcome! Now we are 4 authors ... I will check out your book. Please also check out mine (The 12-Foot Teepee) on my website ( or via Amazon. It's heartening that at least we are talking ... I only wish that there were more of us. Marilyn

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2007 8:23:13 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 27, 2007 8:25:16 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2007 8:35:34 PM PST
Hi Dominic,

Thanks for joining in. I heard about your book on the radio the other day. It takes a great deal of courage to share our stories publicly - even more so when you are already in the public eye. Bravo!

My greatest fear of public exposure was the possibility of negative fall-out from my family. As it turned out, after the publication of my book, we ended up reconciling our 14-year estrangement. It is interesting that when we venture out to conquer our fears, great things can happen. This is obviously true with your story.

It is very inspiring that through the sharing of our healing journeys, we have the opportunity to turn our negative experiences into something quite positive.

My best,

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2007 5:31:19 AM PST
Silly me. I didn't realize you were a celeb :-) I've been away from NY too long, I guess, though both my husband and I grew up there. My husband was a 40-year long reporter, starting at ABC Network in NY in 1967 (writer/producer ... his first day on the job was the first day of the 6-day war ... an omen?), then to Hartford, and finally to Channel 7 in Boston in 1970 where he settled down to 31 years reporting local and regional news. Garry Armstrong ... maybe you know each other? He seems to know everyone. The world is full of strange coincidences. He retired in 2001 and has been helping me try to market my book, which, I have to say, has been a struggle. I am extremely glad that you have been willing to stand up and say "it happened to me" because we are, as a group, locked in silence ... a silence that empowers abusers. Through this list, I have been able to discover at least (now) 3 more books ... and for the first time in my life, I don't feel quite so alone. Because we don't generally share our experiences, we develop a sense of isolation. And considering the huge number of survivors and I have met SO many at this point.

From the famous to the obscure, incestuous child abuse is an unreported crime that affects a much higher percentage of children than anyone imagines in their wildest nightmares. The number of people I've met since my book came out ... and mine doesn't have nearly the distribution that yours does ... who suffered abuse by a parent or other relative in their home as children is mind-boggling. I think the world at large is ready to crack this issue open.

I doubt anything will make abusers stop abusing. I suspect we will change the world by changing ourselves ... and in doing that, we can help survivors heal and move on.

I'll order your book when a little money comes into my world ... it sounds all so painfully familiar.

Marilyn Armstrong

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2007 6:16:17 AM PST
I just got your book, Nancy. It's my weekend read. Thank you for writing it!


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2007 6:34:19 AM PST
I've received yours as well! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2007 6:46:04 AM PST
Thanks for ordering it ... and I hope you like it. If you do, please put a review on Amazon for me and I will do the same for you :-)

Happy New Year!


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2008 8:55:37 AM PST
Hello Nancy, and everyone else.

Nancy I would have responded sooner but I was in Iowa and New Hampshire covering the Presidential campaign. I am headed to Nevada tomorrow. It's interesting your greatest fear of public exposure was the possibility of negative fall-our from your family. My book is titled, "No Momma's boy," and at public events I'm constantly asked why it's titled that. Well the sexual abuse came at the hands of my mother, (who was mentally ill) and because of what happened to me, My mom and I NEVER had a traditional mother son relationship. Thus I was never a "momma's boy." I state all of this to say, that one of the two people that raised me, my aunt, did not want me to tell of the sexual abuse. so I understand what you are talking about when you say negative fall-out from my family. Infact I start out the book stating my Aunt did not want me to tell about what happened. My sister also was greatly concerned of the public fall-out.

It is true Nancy, and to everyone else across the globe that can see this, "when we venture out to conquer our fears, great things can happen" as you said. I would just change it a little to state great things do happen.

It is important to also say that it took me 30 years to reach this point. I carried so much anger against my mother. It's important for me to state, that I have forgiven my mother and by doing that I have been able to start the process to heal myself. I feel like 800 pounds has been lifted off my back.

To anyone who has been sexually abused, I would recommend that they do not make the same mistake I did. Holding your feelings inside, and not moving on ultimately can become a poison. Nancy, I am finally starting to live my life at the age of 43.

To anyone around the world, I recommend they google any of us authors that have been mentioned here. Again, my name is Dominic Carter, and the book is titled, "No Momma's Boy."
I have been the keynote speaker at several sexual abuse groups here in NYC, and the book is on the recommended list by the National Alliance against Mental Illness. (NAMI)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2008 12:37:22 PM PST
Funny how we all have similar stories.

My name is Marilyn Armstrong and my book "The 12-Foot Teepee." I am 60 years old ... and I am finally free. I quite literally saw the weight of the abuse my brother and I suffered at my father's hands as a huge pile of rocks that I was hauling with me.

I never shared what happened without anyone except my husband and one close friend. And my psychiatrist. My brother would talk to me about "that stuff that happened" ... but ONLY to me and even then, only obliquely. He never told his wife of children, although they guessed without being told. I couldn't write about it until my brother died and then, it was time. More than time. It was long overdue.

The problem is that almost everyone hides their feelings and the actuality of childhood sexual abuse, especially incestuous abuse at the hands of a parent or other family member. We are ashamed, as if we are somehow at fault. We are humiliated and afraid of what "people will say" should they find out what happened.

The result is that we empower abusers. They get away with it. And those who could be helped by knowing that they are far from alone, remain isolated and in pain. It warps our lives, it twists our relationships. It makes us react is what others' perceive as peculiar ways to situations that we feel to be threatening.

At this point, of course, I have met and talked with many abuse survivors. Discovering that what happened to them is not so unusual is very comforting and learning that it is possible to drop the load and move on with life, feel better about yourself and your world can be a revalation. It is not easy to do, but it is entirely doable if you really want it badly enough.

It's also interesting that most of us who have been able to move on did so using similar self-learned technique.

I do some speaking (free, of course) as well as book readings and signings. I have done a few TV and radio interviews and a couple of newpaper articles too. I also have done speaking engagements at recovery facilities and senior centers, but I lack connections to do more. I would gladly do a lot more ... this subject so very much needs to be talked about in the open.

And our speaking out has other implications. We bear witness that recovery and a good life are possible, within reach. That you don't have to be defined by the worst things that happen to you. You are not what was done to you. Your selfhood is independent. You soul was and will always be, free. And when you know that, you ARE free!

I'll buy YOUR book too. I've bought everyone's :-) I am glad that we have all braved the worse fear of all: that our family will be furious with us.

Just as a final note, I was expecting anger ... but instead, I got a great deal of positive feedback, especially from my brother's widow and children. They were so glad to finally know what happened. They needed that confirmation that their suspicions were right.

I when my cousing read the book, she called me. She said "You said you don't know why your mother never left your father. But I DO know and I want to tell you!"

And she did. I never knew that she even knew what had happened, but apparently my mother told her mother (they were sisters) and then Berta's mom told her. But no one, for some reason, thought to tell ME. Funny how secret something this important can be!


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2008 7:27:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2008 7:40:51 PM PST
amanda says:
You may be interested in a discussion on amazon in religion labeled Child Molesters. The original poster was lamenting the lack of help available for child molesters. During the discussion she has advocated the need for forgiveness. I have stated attempting to forgive is unnecessary and may actually be harmful if it causes either guilt or denial. The most important thing is protecting children and forgiving the abuser places them at risk. The cycle cannot be broken if we insist on keeping dysfunctional relationships intact. It would be great to have eloquent writers who have experienced abuse join the discussion.
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Discussion in:  Child Abuse forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  30
Initial post:  Jul 26, 2007
Latest post:  May 1, 2010

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