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A Message About Abuse

In the past few days I've read stories that have pushed my triggers. It's time to stand up. If you are an abuser of any kind but particularly a child abuser I'm watching for you...I will report you...I will testify against you.

I don't know what kind of cruel background you were forced to live in. I'm not walking in your shoes..but I'm begging you get help now. If in your quiet moments you feel regret...or some part of you loathes what it is you do...then get help now. I don't know you but I've seen what you have done.

For several years I worked as a clinician for survivors of crime....not victims but survivors. All types of crime but much of it was sexual, physical and emotional abuse. 60% of my caseload were children from 2 years to 18 years.

How many ice cream cones does it take to erase the tarnish of your hand. There aren't enough ice cream cones in existence. I've been to the Emergency Room at 3:00 AM for a 4 year old boy molested by his Mom's boyfriend. I've stood in the lobby with his 3 uncles pacing the floor, ready to explode...wanting vengeance. I felt their rage and mine but it was my job to help difuse it...take them for coffee in the hospital cafe.

I talked with the Mom as she told me she didn't know...then averted her eyes..then admitted maybe she had " a "suspician". Listened to her say she couldn't do anything because  she "loved" the abuser. What about loving her son?

I know I'm not in your shoes...but if this story strikes a chord with you. If your daughter..or son comes to you, please do not turn away from them. Please do not say they are "crazy", or "a flirt", or "deserve" it...Do not tell them they are "liars" because of your own needs or fears.  If you are scared...if you yourself are being abused...please get help. Don't antogonize the abuser...don't tell him you are going to leave him...do it quietly. Make phone calls to domestic violence shelters...contact the police. ..get support. Keep your children and yourself safe.

There is hope. I have seen women who have stood up. They have saved their families...and themselves Take that first step. Now. Just do it. If you don't people like me will be seeing your children. And their spirits may be broken. You can spare them from further pain.

If you are a neighbor, a friend, anyone who see but turns away, not wanting to get involved. You are involved. It's time to stand up. Most likely you can do it anonymously. There are hot lines to call. Investigations will follow. Stay silent and you become part of it. I may sound harsh...but I have seen what happens when no one stands up. I have seen these kids, some tortured and broken, thinking it was all their fault...so confused because they love "Daddy" or whoever and don't want to lose what they feel is love.

I will not work in this field again. I felt I was swimming in a cesspool...had repeated dreams of washing in the ocean...that I'd never be clean again.

If you are living with this abuse tell someone...contact a hot line...tell a counselor...go to the police. ..take some action...do not tell your abuser that you are going to get help. Keep this a secret until you are safe.

This is not your fault. There are people who want to help you. Reach out and get that help. This story is for all types of abuse...elder, animal, women, men...but mostly children.

You know who you are. If this story hits home with you, don't turn away and say...later.  Please, do it now.

I will not write about this again. I want to write about kinder things. But when I read some other stories, I knew it was my turn to stand up.

frito414 frito414 56-60, F 69 Responses Jul 1, 2009

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I love this, there are so many things here that I agree with, and I don't think I could write it so well as you did! Thank you for writing this.

This is a book that is highly recommended for young children that have seen abuse and trauma.<br />
Kiddiboom.com empowering children<br />
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BTW...If you do read the above comment, sorry for all of the errors...I didn't double check it before posting it....I am over tired, and it really shows in what I wrote. I will fix it up after dinner....

Thank you so much for your story, I am a survivor of abuse and I appreciate your comments and your advocacy efforts. This tread is pretty old, so I am not sure if people still read it, but this topic touches on something that I am struggling with at the moment, so I will give it a try.I am here to reach out to someone who has some knowledge of domestic abuse, that does not include physical violence. This may sound odd, but I am trying to determine what is actually considered abusive and what is not. I realize that most people would not have to question this type of thing and would know, however, I suffer from post traumatic stress due to abusive situations. I have some concerns about my ex being abusive to our 9 year old son (not physical or sexual in nature) I will be taking my ex to court for issues involving visitation and custody at some point, but my PTSD and fear I am avoidant and tend to rationalize things a few days before I file with the court. I decide that I should not do it....untill the next incident.....every few months...anyway it is a cycle that I must end and somehow find the strength to follow thru. My concern now is that I am starting to see that my son is being affected by my ex's actions, and I feel like it is abusive, however, I am not clear if it actually would be considered abusive to others, and if so how to handle it. I know that my ptsd affects my perception of certain situations and circumstances. I do not want to make false acusations, but I dont want to wait if it is actually abuse.I am struggling with the decission making in this situation because, back in 1998, my daughter who was 6 at the time(she is now an adult) Was sent to the abusive beast that impregnated me...(for lack of a better term) after several court battles in which I made it clear to the judge that he was abusive, my daughter did not know him at all, I was told he was a drug dealer, and the conception of my daughter was the result of one "unconsentual" act...I was not clear on the details of what had happened then, but I have come to learn about date rape drugs and believe that is what happened....to make a long story short ofter years of fighting him in court, and running out of funds for my lawyer, the judge believed that I was lying about it, because that is the type of accusation women make up to get custody advantage, and that his wife seemed like a nice lady...and I was a working single mom with no father figure, thus he awarded them custody. She was in that horrible situation for 6 years, she finally returned home for good, only after he was arrested for violent acts he committed against My daughter, his wife, and myself....he only remained in prison for 3 years, but she never had to see him again....I realize this story sounds absolutly nuts and that I am leaving out details about me being a bad mother or just making the entire crazy thing up. That is not the case. there is of course many more details but the bottom line is the judge made a bad decission. His severe lapse in judgement changed our lives forever...I could continue this story for hours, but wont... I will simply say that all these years later my daughter and I still have physical an emotional scars...Now that It is clear that I must go to court to protect my parental rights....but I am terrefied of what could poassibly happen, and I dont trust the family courts to protect me or my children. The thought of leaving the fate of my son in the hands of a single family court judge, who can make decisions ba<x>sed on a whim is paralizing me....I fear that I will once again be rendered powerless to powerless to protect my child. Basically I am trying to figure out how the nightmare of that experience is affecting the current situation... I did go to a lawyer last year, but was only able to come up with 2k of the 5k retainer, which has all been spent (on a single in person meeting, 3 phone calls, and 1 document preperation)....I then went to legal aid, who did help me to fill out papers, but I know how to do that myself. I thought they could help me in court, but they do not do that. Apparently I make too much money to qualify for any help, and I am on my own...I would probably be better off if I was on welfare doing nothing..I could get all kinds of help, but that is not something that I would do, those are not the valuse I want to instill in my son....I dont know how I can go to court alone. I dont know if it is even wise to try. I do go to weekly sessions to help with the PTSD, but she is not able to give me a time fr<x>ame of when I will be able to walk into court with out symptoms, and I fear that any anxiety or panic in family court will make me appear unstable. If anyone could possibly offer me some advice, emotional support, guidance or contacts of someone that can help me with this decission...I would be so grateful, because I honestly dont know what to do, and at times I just feel like giving up, and I dont have a single ounce of hope or faith...thanks for reading all of this.<br />
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"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."<br />
-- Agatha Christie

When I was a kid and my mother would scream at me and slap me, the neighbors would rush to our door. They would pound on the door and scream, "Shut up that noise!!!" <br />
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It still horrifies and amazes me that over the years I was abused, emotionally often and physically occasionally, not one neighbor ever knocked on our door and asked, "Are you all right in there? What's going on? Do you need some help?"<br />
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It has made me a solitary person who doesn't easily trust other people. And it made me cynical.<br />
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I hope someone reads your post who decides to turn it around and get the needed help. Frankly, I doubt it because abuse is mainly about power and no one ever gives up power voluntarily. Of course, that could just be my cynicism talking.

Bravo Frito!!! For the work you do, for the person you are, for those you help and those you will help... Bravo!! You truly are an angel. Thank you.

Grey, I hate what I had to say also...I hated seeing it up close at my former job...I felt so powerless there and if I may borrow your words above, "...I find the same tears the same bitter shame at my own impotence to stop the outrage."<br />
Thanks for genuinely understanding.<br />
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And thank you everyone who commented on this story.

Thank you Emrldpeeps...for standing up to abusers and for your support. Hugs.

Thank you Lilsmokey for your kind words.<br />
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Bluebird777, thank you also for your support and naming child abuse what it is...a CRIME.

I have been on Ep for a good while now. I haven't read A story, that touched me in such a powerful way,Read so many comments, that was I beleive spoken from the heart....Child aburse,has harmed so many people...Mabey with GOD's help we will solve this horrible crime....Thanke you for your understanding...

Your very welcome & thank you also...your story was remarkable. I hope we find peace some day soon too! :)

Bythegirl, thank you for your kind words.:)<br />
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Lilsmokey, thank you also. I'm sorry that both you and your daughter suffered and continue to suffer this trauma, much of it from the system itself. You are both in my prayers that this will be resolved and light will come back into your lives once again.

One more thing, to Frito414 I would like to thank you for your story and for all you have done to help the children and people who suffered at the hands of abuse. I know there are some very good people like you out there still trying to help and I did have several ladies help me and my daughter through this horrible time. Although the system pushed them to the side as well. Very sad :( These women spend endless days and hours helping people like me and my daughter and some do it voluntarily. I admire you for all you have done, it is a very hard job to do, but very rewarding when you see how you have changed someone's life. I can certainly understand why you had to get out though, it's so emotionally draining to see this on a daily baises and also to feel helpless at times. Your an Angel on Earth, Bless you!

My daughter was molested by my ex-husband, I went through the proper channels when her doctor discovered what was going on, then DSS, the police or courts did nothing about it! We had physical evidence which in cases like this are very rare(the reason I took her to the doctor) and he still got away with it!! He hired an expensive attorney who was in with the good old boys club and bought his way out, it physically and emotionally has just made me sick for years!! To this day I still can not believe how the Justice system works, or Social Services for that matter! I spent almost $10,000 of my own money trying to protect my daughter only to end up broke, disgusted and then have the tables turned around on me by a judge who was obviously friends with my ex's attorney...I can just about guess they played golf together and did lunch atleast once a week. It's very ironic that when I had an attorney from another county who was one of the best, things where being done right, and fair, then when I lost him because I could not afford to keep him anymore, everything changed and all of a sudden I was made out to be the villan? Funny thing was the new lawyer I had to hire was from this county. It was amazing to watch what went on before my eyes! When I had my other lawyer, everything was done out in the open, in the courtroom, afterwards the three attorneys would retreat to the judges chambers most of the time, then come out with a decision without anyone taking the stand, or being asked any questions, it was absolute BS!! It's a shame my child and others are having to go through life now thinking that what these monsters did to them was ok! In my situation, my ex-husband got supervised visitation(by his finace' now) and I have to look at this piece of sh*t atleast every two weeks while I drop my daughter off for the weekend. What in the hell is wrong with this county?? I will never understand it, and never stop trying to have this man brought to justice. I just hope that karma will take care of him one day, because I am out of money and ideas. I know I'm not the only one out there who has been through this same scenerio, I have heard plently of other stories about similar situations that have happened to other women and children in this county. I just wish someone had the power and the money to stand up to these people, but it seems like most are too scared! & they do try the scare tactic when they think your going to cause a problem for them, I know, I had an assistant DA yell and scream at me like a dog, until I finally had to leave his office, because he thought I was not going to go away peacefully. What has this country come too?! & how much more should my daughter or myself have to withstand? The only thing I have to be thankful for is she has forgot most of what he did to her, but not all. When she goes to his house, she goes because she likes to play with his fiance's children basically, not for her dad really, she still feels something is not right and does still have fear in her heart of him, she just doesnt understand it all yet I guess, but amazingly she still loves him, which is something I will never understand! I just pray things will turn around for us one day, because I am not allowed to even leave the area right now, nor do I have the money to fight it in court to atleast be able to leave this area and not have to see this man every other weekend!

Thank you for all the hard work you have done with working with survivors of violence. I can only imagine the stories that you have heard and how heavy these must weigh on you. I work in the field as well but mostly with adult survivors . . . . its hard to go home and leave it behind. The world needs more individuals like you.

Faucon and MegJgeM, thank you both for your support!

*round of applause*<br />
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Its good to see someone else who is willing to be a fighter for the right side!!! Good job!!

C8lorraine thank you for your heartfelt support.<br />
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Bigtiger62 thank you. There are often hot line where people can call to report abuse and an investigation will follow.

anyone that knows or suspects someone of child abuse should call the authorities if they don't then they are as responsible as the person actually doing it. Then there is the law which is too lenient on the person or persons doing it so maybe it is time for tougher sentencing and doing things like putting offenders into normal population where other inmates can do the same to them on a daily basis and see how they like it, also stop the BS defense that it was a problem they have from their up-bringing movies etc because if they experienced it then surely the normal person would not do in like to others over-all the best way to prevent it is a bullet to the back of their heads

You have my support 1000% and if there is ANYTHING I can do to help you I am there, anytime !!!!

Salar, yes!<br />
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Luna, You're welcome.

thankyou...

Well said Frito ..... for evil to succeed good men need do nothing .

Ladee54, Pidgie, and Strangeland123 thank you all for your support against abuse.<br />
I believe we need to "stand up" in our home towns and cities, whereever you live. If you are being abused now I cannot stress safety enough! Get support from a trustworthy person you can speak with in person...a counselor, police officer, staff at Domestic Violence organization. Having that personal support can be a lifesaver. Again, never antagonize an abuser. Don't tell him/her that you are seeking help and support.<br />
I'd like to thank every person who responded to this story for your heartfelt comments. Your stories have touched me and I admire your strength!

Reading this made me cry. Your words are very powerful and so true. I pray that your message reaches where its needed. I am a childhood survivor of abuse. All of my relatives held their tongues the whole time. Thanks to a few very talented and compassionate counselors like yourself, I am pretty much a functional human being. I am missing some pieces I can't get back, and sometimes feel like I'm missing some limbs or internal organs. But this isn't about me. Its about all the kids out there that still need to be rescued from abusive situations. Its like you said, I don't care why they do it, whether they are condemned or redeemed, the bottom line is that no matter how you slice it, child abuse is a tragedy and it needs to stop.

Amen, frito!

Kim2009 thank you. You're wise beyond your 16 years.<br />
I admire your goal to be a social worker and help these kids.<br />
Jianermoto, PeedeeDog, and LV Thanks for the support.<br />
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Again, so many people on EP have either written prior stories or commented about this subject. Enough said. Thank you all.

Thank you, well spoken

Well written Frito! Perhaps, some will read your story today and STAND UP and help.

Thanks for This =)