Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Relationships #amsosa

Two essential keys in helping build Relationships. 1. Self Knowledge and 2. Self Love.
If you have a tendency to feel that time spent working on these areas is self-indulgent, just think of the following advantages you stand to gain if you become fully aware of yourselves and your potential.
You feel more in control - You are able to relax and are far less prone to getting nasty shocks about who you are. e.g. “I surprised myself. I didn’t think I could be so nasty/weak/frightened, etc.”
You can use your time effectively - e.g. you can choose to spend more time doing things you are good at, or learn to improve areas you which are not so strong.
You can protect yourselves - if you acknowledge that you have a particular weakness, whatever it may be, you can then begin to make allowances for them, and beginning to feel better able to defend yourself from both fair and unfair criticism.
What kind of person are you? -
Most people with addictive personalities, when asked to describe themselves, start by being negative, and take on the role they have playing recently, if you feel uncomfortable with this, begin by looking at your roles in life:
Jot down whatever comes into your head, you can always add to it later.

Your behaviour - looking after others, encouraging others, teaching, listening, learning, cooking, cleaning, etc....
Your feelings - warm, loving, protective, frustrating, angry, happy, excited, puzzled, satisfied, etc....
Your thoughts - planning, looking at different possibilities, wondering if you’re being effective, etc....
Why do this? What will you achieve?
1. Increased self-knowledge.
2. Increased self love.
· You feel more in control - You are able to relax and are far less prone to getting nasty shocks about who you are.
e.g. “I surprised myself. I didn’t think I could be so nasty/weak/frightened, etc.”
· You can use your time effectively - e.g. you can choose to spend more time doing things you are good at, or learn to improve areas you which are not so strong.
· You can protect yourselves - if you acknowledge that you have a particular weakness, whatever it may be, you can then begin to make allowances for them, and beginning to feel better able to defend yourself from both fair and unfair criticism.
IF you want to feel truly confident, you must break the habit of trying to please all people, all of the time, because you never will! 

ALL rights belong to Amsosa UK

Questions To Consider #amsosa

If a lack of being loved, respected, etc, is a problem, what could you do, in order to feel safer in yourself?
If loss of innocence is a problem, is it likely to prevent you from gaining a perspective that is kinder to you and to those you meet?
If nightmares and the fears attached to them are a problem, what could you do to ensure that you overcome those fears?
What fears do you have that seems to be preventing you from moving on?
What could you do in order those fears?

Do you think that the abuse you survived wasn't as bad as others suffered, therefore you dont need support and help?
Having started to wake up to the realisation that your life has been affected by the abuse you suffered, in every way imaginable, what are you going to do about it?
There are often deep rooted and hidden secrets that you wouldnt feel safe talking about, but those are the issues that you have to start talking about, and recover from, otherwise it will remain as a stumbling block to your recovery.
What consider what it is that you need to do in order to ensure you are free from the thoughts that haunt you.
What could you do to leave behind the negative thoughts, and move forward?
What are your immediate thoughts, and feelings, when faced with a memory of the abuse you suffered?
How hard do you find it to be honest with yourself, and others? Why is that, and where does it come from?
Why do you find it difficult to be free and honest in speech and manner?
Do you avoid having sex, or being intimate, because it reminds you of what happened to you when abused?
What could you do to regain control of your sexual life?
It's your life after all, and the memories that prevent you having or enjoying sex is your abusers way of stopping you live your life, but don't allow them to control you any longer. 

It's time for you to recover!

ALL rights to this artivle belong to Amsosa UK

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

More FACTS about Childhood Sexual Abuse

In the United States, approximately 1 out of every 4 girls and 1 out of every 6 boys is sexually abused.a

Seventy to 73% of child sexual abusers report experiencing sexual abuse in their own childhood.e

Approximately 60% of sexual abusers are known to the child but are not family members, such as family friends, babysitters, or neighbors.c

Approximately 30% of sexual abusers are family members, such as fathers, mothers, brothers, uncles, or cousins.d

It is estimated that less that half of all sexual assaults on children are reported to the police.g

According to the APA, women are the abusers in about 14% of cases reported among boys and 6% of cases reported among girls.g

A man in Melbourne, Australia, raped his daughter every day for 30 years from the 1970s until 2007. He fathered her four children, all who had severe birth defects. An Austrian man, Josef Fritz, kept his daughter imprisoned in a basement for 24 years and fathered seven children with her.b

The World Health Organization reports that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 experienced forced sexual intercourse and other forms of sexual violence globally in 2002.p

While the murder rate for minors is twice as high in low-income countries than in higher income countries, sexual abuse in the home is found in all countries. In many industrialized countries, as many as 36% of women and 20% of men said they have been the victim of sexual abuse as children, mostly within the family circle.p

According to WHO, 1.8 million children are involved in pornography and prostitution. Over 1.2 million children have been trafficked.p Males, especially children, are less likely to disclose abuse than females

Girls are more likely to disclose sexual abuse than boys.o

Francis Phillip Tullier, a 78-year-old convicted child molester who faced hundreds of molestation counts involving young girls, underwent surgical castration in order to be released from prison on parole. He had to pay for the surgery himself.b

The generally lower rate for male sex abuse may be largely inaccurate due to underreporting.

Because men are traditionally encouraged to be physically strong and competitive, male victims may be more hesitant to report sexual abuse because they feel they are “less of a man.”h

Child sex abuse includes body contact, such as kissing and oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Sex abuse can also include “flashing” or showing private parts, forcing children to watch pornography, voyeurism (trying to look at a child’s naked body), pressuring children for sex, having sex in front of children, and exploiting children for pornography or prostitution.q
“Child-on-child sexual abuse” occurs when a prepubescent child is abused sexually by another child or children. Often, the child perpetrator has been sexually victimized by an adult previously. “Inter-sibling abuse” occurs when one sibling molests his/her own sibling.g

Nineteen percent (375 million) of the world’s children live in India, which is the largest number of minors in a country. India also has the world’s largest number of sexually abused children, an astonishing 69%, or 276 million children.j

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 100-140 million women and girls around the world have been victims of female genital mutation, including 92 million in Africa.f

In his book Dirty Diplomacy, Craig Murray claims that the president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, tortured and raped children in front of prisoners to make them offer false confessions.e

Disabled children are at higher risk for sexual abuse than non-disabled children

Researchers note that some disabled children may not be able to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate touching of their body, which leaves them particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse.e

Children living with a single parent or a parent living with an unmarried partner are most at risk for child maltreatment, which is over eight times the rate of children living with married biological parents.g

South Africa has one of the highest rates of child abuse and baby rape. Researchers report that the belief that sexual intercourse with a virgin will cure a man of AIDS has lead to such high numbers. It is estimated that every one out of eight people in South Africa has AIDS. An estimated 40,000 children in South Africa are infected with HIV each year.h

Child abusers often do not use physical force but instead “groom” or use manipulative tactics, such as buying gifts, arranging special activities, exposing children to pornography, and rough housing to keep a child engaged with and often confused about the abuser’s motives.g

Researchers report that the vast majority of sexually abused children do not grow up to be offenders and that the “cycle of sexual abuse” does not fully explain why a person would molest children.g

Only a fraction of abusers are caught and convicted for their crimes. Most of those who are caught are eventually released to back to the community, albeit under probation or parole supervision.e

Children who are victims of sexual abuses can suffer many serious health effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, somatization, neurosis, chronic pain, sexualized behavior, learning problems, animal cruelty, self-destructive behavior, suicide, antisocial behavior, sleeping difficulties and/or nightmares, angry outbursts, not wanting to be left alone, and further victimization into adulthood. However, not all victims show behavioral changes.c

Africa has the highest prevalence of child sexual abuse (34.4%). Europe has the lowest rate of abuse (9.2%). America and Asia have rates between 10.1% and 23.9%.h

Sexual abuse, or any kind of abuse, negatively and permanently affects the physical development of a child’s brain. These physical changes result in psychological and emotional problems in adulthood.q

Women who were sexually abused as children reported significantly lower SAT test scores than women who were not abused.g

Children may not reveal sexual abuse because they feel shame or guilt, they worry no one will believe them, they fear being removed from their home, and they or their family may have been threatened. Very young children may not have the language skills to report the abuse or may not understand they are being abused.g

Approximately 23% of reported cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by individuals under the age of 18.e

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, 63,527 children were sexually abused in the U.S in 2010, a drop from 150,000 in 1992. While some researchers were surprised that the recession did not cause more cases of sexual abuse, others note that the drop may reflect methodological changes of counting reports as well as lower levels of abuse.g

Most children do not tell anyone they have been abused, and those who do tell often have to tell several people before any action is taken.q

Not all pedophiles are child molesters, and some child molesters do not meet the clinical definition of pedophile. Pedophilia is a clinical term that describes a person who has had repeated arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors related to sexual activities with children for at least six months. Pedophiles do not necessarily have to act on their urges. Child molesters have the same attraction to children, but they act on their urges.g

Child pornography is one of the fastest growing Internet businesses, increasing at an average 150% per year for each of the last 10 years. The National Center for Missing and Exploited

Children (NCMEC) reports that it has reviewed more than 51 million child pornography images and videos.o

There is a clear link between possession of child pornography and the actual violation of children.

The NCMEC estimates that 40% or more of people who possess child pornography also sexually assault children.o

Of the arrests for the possession of child pornography during 2000-2001 in the U.S., 83% had pornographic materials of children between ages 6 and 12, 39% had material involving children between ages 3 and 5, and 19% had material of toddlers under the age of 3 or infants.g

Approximately 1.3 million children in America are sexually assaulted each year. There are an estimated 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America.e

Researchers estimate that 20 million Americans have been victims of parental incest as children.e

A 2004 study revealed that 9.6% of public school children, accounting for 4.5 million students, have experienced sexual misconduct, from being told sexual jokes to sexual intercourse by educators. Offenders include teachers (18%), coaches (15%), substitute teachers (13%), principles (6%), and student counselors (5%).g

Researchers stress that it is crucial to respond in a supportive manner if a child discloses abuse.

Children who disclose abuse and receive a negative reaction or no reaction at all suffer more from general trauma symptoms, dissociation, and PTSD than those who had supportive responses.e

Ninety-five percent of molested children know their molesters.k

The 1992 film The Boys of St. Vincent is a docudrama based on real events about sexual abuse at a Roman Catholic orphanage and its cover up.e

Most child sex abuse offenders are 10 or more years older than the victim. More than half of child molesters are under the age of 35.e

Between 250,000-500,000 child molesters reside in the U.S. today.n Pedophiles are often likable, friendly, engaging, and frequent events that children attend

Male offenders who abused girls have an average of 52 victims each. Men who molested boys had an average of 150 victims each.e

Child molesters come from all backgrounds and social classes. However, most molesters (1) are male, (2) work in an environment surrounded by children, (3) befriend the parents first and then gain the child’s trust, and (4) attend events such as sports, camping, and video arcades.e

Gerald Arthur “Jerry” Sandusky, famed Penn State football assistant coach, was arrested in November 2011 and charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of young boys. The choice of his attorney, Joe Amendola, has been questioned because Amendola himself impregnated a 16-year-old in the 90s.l

U.S. researchers have found that women who were sexually abused as girls repeatedly have a 62% percent higher risk of heart problems later in life compared with other women who were not abused. Much of the risk was related to coping strategies, such as alcohol abuse, overeating, and drug abuse.c

Up to 20,000 children were sexually abused by 800 Roman Catholic workers in the Netherlands since 1945.e
n November 2011, Christopher Jarvis, a Catholic Church pedophile abuse investigator, admitted to possessing, making, and distributing indecent images of children. Hired by the church as a child safety coordinator in 2002, he had more than 4,000 images of primarily boys, including rape, from ages 10-12 on his camera memory stick and laptop.g

The Society of Jesus’ Pacific Northwest unit and its insurers agreed to pay a record $166.1 million to about 470 people, mainly Native American children, who were sexually and psychologically abused as children by Jesuit priests from the 1940s to the 1990s. The settlement was the largest settlement by a religious order in the history of the world.g

The Catholic pedophile scandal in the U.S. broke in 2002 when it was reported that many leaders of the archdiocese had moved priests who had abused minors to new parishes rather than reporting them or defrocking them. The scandal has involved almost every US Catholic diocese, including 4,400 priests and 110,000 children who were abused between 1950 and 2002.g

The 2010 documentary Dancing Boys of Afghanistan reveals a custom prevalent in the area called bacha bazi (Boy for Play) where men buy young boys from impoverished families for sexual slavery. The young boys are forced to dress in women’s clothes and dance before being taken away by men for sex. One warlord reported having over 30,000 boys over 20 years, though he was married and had two sons. Some scholars note that repression of sexuality and widespread gender apartheid in the region contributes to homosexual pederasty.g

Child marriages are legal in several countries. For example, in Yemen, more than a quarter of girls are married before the age of 15. As recently as 2010, a 12-year-old child bride in Yemen died from internal bleeding following intercourse. Additionally, it is not uncommon in Saudi Arabia for a 12-year-old girl to be married to an 80-year-old man.i

According to the FBI, approximately 1 in 10 men have molested a child, with little chance of being caught (3%). Additionally, the FBI estimates that a child has almost a 25% chance of being molested.n

The FBI estimates that there is a sex offender living in every square mile in the United States.n
According to Dr. Herbert Wagemaker, an estimated 4% of the population suffers from sexual attraction toward children.g

The re-arrest rate for convicted child molesters is 52%.g

Prison inmates are more likely to assault fellow prisoners who have been convicted of sex crimes against children. Many inmates refer to molesters as “dirty” prisoners and that assaulting or killing them is doing a service to society. In the prison hierarchy, snitches and molesters are usually the most hated.m

Most sexual assaults are committed by the same race as the victim. An exception to this is Native Americans. Those who commit a sexual crime against Native Americans are usually not Native American.k

There is just a small subset of child sexual abusers who are exclusively attracted to just children.

A majority of people who abuse children are or have been attracted to adults as well.k

Classic signs of sexual abuse include odd injuries, ripped clothes or underwear, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, hyper-sexuality, withdrawal, exceptional fear of a person or certain places, unreasonable fear of a physical exam, drawings that are scary or that use a lot of black and red, and attempts to get other children to perform sexual acts.q It is crucial to be nonjudgmental if a child discloses sexual abuse

If a child reveals that he or she has been sexually abused, it is crucial that adults listen nonjudgmentally to the child and report it immediately. If the abuse is within the family, report it to the local Child Protection Agency. If the abuse is outside the family, report it to the police or district attorney’s office. Parents should also consult a pediatrician and a child/adolescent psychiatrist. It is important the child understands that the abuse is not his or her fault. A child should never be blamed for the abuse.q

Parents can help prevent sexual abuse by educating themselves and their children about what sexual abuse is and by staying alert to the classic signs of sexual abuse. Parents also need to teach their children about the privacy of body parts, listen to their children, and to be aware of where and with whom their children are spending their time.q

a “Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics.” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 2011. Accessed: December 28, 2011.
b “Child Molester Undergoes Castration for Parole.” MSNBC. March 4, 2011. Accessed: December 28, 2011.
c “Child Sexual Abuse.” MedlinePlus. 2011. Accessed: December 28, 2011.
d “Child Sexual Abuse Fact Sheet.” NCTSN. Accessed: December 28, 2011.
e Doak, Melissa J. 2011. Child Abuse and Domestic Violence. New York, NY: Gale Cengage Learning.
f “Female Genital Mutilation.” World Health Organization. February 2010. Accessed: December 30, 2011.
g Floric, MaryLee and Matthew Broyles. 2012. Sexual Abuse. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
h “Global Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse.” Journalist’s Resource. November 15, 2011. Accessed: December 28, 2011.
i Gohir, Shaista. “The Hypocrisy of Child Abuse in Many Muslim Countries.” The Guardian. April 24, 2010. Accessed: December 28, 2011.
j Lal, Neeta. “Hidden Darkness: Child Sexual Abuse in India.” Asia Sentinel. May 2, 2007. Accessed: December 30, 2011.
k “Megan’s Law: Facts about Sex Offenders.” Office of the Attorney General. 2001. Accessed: December 28, 2011.
l “New U.S. Data Shows Continuing Drop in Child Abuse.” USA Today. December 13, 2011. Accessed: December 30, 2011.
m Palmer, Brian. “Are Child Molesters Really the Most Hated People in Prison?” Slate. November 15, 2011. Accessed: December 30, 2011.
n “Protect Children from Sexual Predators in Your Area.” National Alert Registry. 2011. Accessed: December 28, 2011.
o Smith, Lamar. Statement of Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith Full Committee Markup of H.R. 1981, “Protecting Children from Internet Pornography.” Committee on the Judiciary. July 27, 2011. Accessed: December 30, 2011.
p Usborne, David. “UN Report Uncovers Global Child Abuse.” The Independent. October 12, 2006. Accessed: December 28, 2011.q Vieth, Victor I, Bette L. Bottoms, and Alison Perona. 2006. Ending Child Abuse: New Efforts in Prevention, Investigation, and Training. New York, NY: The Haworth Maltreatment & Trauma Press.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Help me

I'm crying inside but no one can hear
I'm hurting inside but no one can see
I'm dying inside but no one cares
Help me break free from this pain that I feel
Give me the love that i've never felt
How can I survive with no love in my life?
How can I survive when i'm wanting to die?
Why can no one feel my pain?
Why doesn't anyone care?
Help me breathe
Help me live
Help me be who I really am
I don't want to feel this hurt anymore
I don't want this stake in my chest
Help me

A Men’s Project - Guest Post via @AMensProject

This week I'd like to introduce you to George Marx, co-founder of A Men's Project.

I met George through Twitter. Resources like his are few and far between.

It's time to make a difference!

Come on guys, step out of the shadows and stand tall. I know the pain and shame well enough. The thing is, it's not our shame! We were the innocent victims. There are people out there to help us. Reach out, change your lives. I did and I promise you life does get better. It's a painful journey, but pain well worth bearing as it brings a bright new future.

Over to George.

George with his son

I don’t recall being abused. Feeling alone has been common for much of my life. I’ve been lucky to be male, while becoming aware how it contributes to my emotional isolation.

Connecting with other men in my early 30’s helped a lot.

We co-founded a men’s anti-rape group which successfully reached a lot of men. I realized again how alone I was in 1987. My “male allies” had no interest in my new world as the father of a newborn son.

I’ve heard and felt a lot of anger from men.

P was assaulted in a men’s restroom as a boy.

J was fishing alone at age 22. Men who joined him left and returned to rape him.

Others have been assaulted by a parent, uncle, cousin or sibling.

I can accept anger from these men, though more commonly I hear muted cries of pieces of their pain.

I can see the importance of these men doing their best to find more peace in their lives.
I hear a lot of blaming. Most of what I hear seemingly isn’t coming from men similar to P and J.

Men are hurting. The problem most commonly seems to be verbalized as being caused by: “women” or “the system” or similar.

I would like to see more men recognizing their emotional isolation and doing something positive about it.

I would like to see men similar to myself reaching out and working with men like P and J.

I would like to see men becoming volunteers in our schools, helping struggling boys.

After I moved to Seattle I looked for a men’s support group to join, but didn’t find one. I then spent a fair amount of effort finding other men to start a men’s group. It’s helped me a lot over the past three years.

In October, 2010 – I started A Men’s Project (AMP) – at: (blog: .

Its web links help men and boys in North America find resources for our issues. Most of the links are useful to others. I hope that you will use AMP and tell others about it! Thanks! George

George with his Grandfather in 1952

A Men’s Project (AMP) - PLEASE - Add a Link to the Resource Section of Your Website (if appropriate) - Facebook Cause- Please - become a "Fan" - Facebook Page
@AMensProject - Twitter - Please become a "Follower"

Saturday, 24 March 2012


if i could live my life again
i'd live it
but only those few minutes
when i knew
you loved me
when i knew
you cared
but i can't
that's why i


I feel lost, scared, and confused.
I look around and realize I am alone.
Suddenly panic settles in:
Everyone I thought cared is gone.
No friends, no family, not even a stranger
Are close enough to hear my cries.
My life is a desolate desert
With tears flooding my eyes.
I scream but my voice echos back.
Life has lost all reason and rhyme.
Then suddenly I stop and realize
Throughout life, I've been alone the whole time.



Of being alone in a crowd,
Of eating food,
Of body twitches,
Of nightmares and day dreams,
Of not belonging,
Of being touched,
Of remembering,
Of pain I too caused,
Of vomiting,
Of emasculation,
Of just being.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Beyond Survivor - Rising from the ashes of childhood sexual abuse

Why "Beyond Survivor" ?

I have survived much in the last four decades. From abuse in all forms, ill health, living on the streets, to business bankruptcy and personal financial ruin. I have found my way through and out of all these. In the process I found my voice!

Due to the way society views abuse very few men feel able to speak about what happened to them and many live a life in the shadows of the abuse they endured. I hope to be able to make these men see that they can speak out and seek help. There is life after abuse. Being a survivor is one heck of an achievment. Getting beyond surviving to the point of thriving is within the grasp of every survivor, male or female. We should all get to "Beyond Survivor".
After much encouragement I decided to publish my first book. The book is a mix of poetry, prose and advice, some of which has been previously published on this website. Much is new work not released before.
Without the support and encouragement of my online friends I would not be doing any of this. I dedicate this first book to you all. Thank you!
This is the first book in what will become the "Beyond Survivor" series.
I am in the middle of the next two books. One will be a self help guide for male survivors of sexual abuse and the other will be a novel based on my own life and experiences.
About Me
I am a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). I love words, written, spoken, and unspoken. For so many years my voice was not heard, I expressed myself through my writing.
As soon as I was able to read and write, I immersed myself in books. I was able to escape through the writings of others and eventually through my own attempts. Writing enabled me to express the pain, and the shame, of what I experienced. It later helped me to cleanse myself, to heal through the medium of writing.

I seem to have lived an early life surrounded by abuse of some sort. At a very early age, I was sexually abused by my grandfather. This went on for about twelve years. Others were invited to use me as they wished. There was also mental, emotional, and physical abuse from other family members. My body was almost broken, my mind fractured, but no one seemed to notice. I grew up thinking it was my fault, I deserved it.

Male survivors live within a society where a stigma surrounds the abuse of boys. It took me a long time to find my voice, to be able to share the horrors that tormented me for over three decades. I hope my words help you to understand.

Available to order now through

AuthorHouse U.K and AuthorHouse U.S.A

Amazon UK and Amazon U.S.A

Interview by Dr Nicola Davies Health Psychology Consultancy

Facebook Page "Beyond Survivor"


  • Having and using the ability to express your ideas and feelings, be they positive or negative, in a open, honest, direct manner.

  • Developing the ability to stand up for your rights, whilst respecting the rights of others.

  • Having the ability to take responsibility for yourself and your actions, without pre judging or blaming others around you.

  • Developing the ability to find a compromise where conflict may exist. Rather than expecting others to change their behaviours, it's worth looking at whether you need to change your's and in doing so, become clearer in what you want and need, stating those needs and wants more assertively.
    If your normal mode of behaviour is to act aggressively, then it's time to learn how to be more assertive, and achieve far more in doing so.
    The primary key to assetive behaviour is feeling good about yourself, taking full responsibilty for your actions, feeling and thoughts, and not blaming others for making you feel bad, low, or sad. You have control of how you feel and react, and it's far safer to act than to react to a situation.


    1. You have the RIGHT to be treated with respect, as an equal human being.
    2. You have the RIGHT to acknowledge your needs as being equal to those of others around you.
    3. You have the RIGHT express your opinions, thoughts and feelings.
    4. You have the RIGHT to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them
    5. You have the RIGHT to choose not to take responsibility for other people.
    6. You have the RIGHT to be you, without being dependent on the approval of others.

    1. RESPECTING YOURSELF. That means respecting who you are and what you do.
    That is how you feel and what you think and do. For example; "I feel angry when you put me down" is more assertive than "You make feel angry when you put me down"

    3. RECOGNISING YOUR NEEDS AND WANTS INDEPENDENTLY OF OTHERS. Needs and wants are very different from each other, and are separate from what is expected of you in particular roles, such as partner, husband, lover, son, etc. It's about your needs and wants, which are very important.
    4. MAKE CLEAR 'I' STATEMENT'S About how feel and what you think. Example, 'I feel uncomfortable with this decision' or ' I know that it's right to not do that'
    5.ALLOWING YOURSELF TO MAKE MISTAKES Recognise and accept that sometimes you WILL make mistakes and that despite what you may have been told or learnt, that it is OK to make mistakes, like everyone else does.
    6.ALLOWING YOURSELF TO ENJOY YOUR SUCCESSES By validating yourself and what you have managed to achieve, and increase that by sharing that achievement with others so that they can also enjoy your success.
    7. CHANGING YOUR MIND WHEN YOU WANT TO If and when you choose to do so, and when you do, know that you are allowed to change YOUR mind.
    8. ASKING FOR 'THINKING IT OVER' TIME Example; When someone asks you to do something and you need some time to think it over, try saying something along the lines of ' I will think it over and will get back to you shortly' and then end the conversation at that point.
    9. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT Instead of waiting for someone to notice what you want, and then moaning later that you didn't get what you wanted.
    10. SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES Example; ' I know that you want me to do that, but I do not want to do so at the moment'
    11. RECOGNISE THAT YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO OTHERS That doesn't mean you are responsible FOR others. As adults, we have a responsibility for and towards our children, which is very different from having a responsibility towards each other as adults.

    All rights to this post belong to AMSOSA. Please do not copy without their permission. This and other very usefull information can be found on WWW.AMSOSA.COM All rights to this post belong to AMSOSA. Please do not copy without their permission. 12. RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE AND THEIR RIGHT TO BE ASSERTIVE TOO

  • I Embraced Death

    When the salty air
    and the moist beach breeze
    and the moonlight
    all dripped through
    the cracked window
    and the hushing of the fan
    whispered to me
    that everything really was
    just fine...
    told me that
    there was no other place
    I wanted to be.

    Dark dreams
    still upon me,
    I felt a calm
    so thorough
    and a peace
    so profound

    Outside the night air
    had a chill, but
    It's touched
    warmed me
    I stepped into
    The silvery sea
    I embraced


    Wednesday, 21 March 2012

    Facts not Fiction

    Childhood Sexual Abuse is an abuse of power. It involves sexual activity forced upon a child by either an adult or an older, more powerful child. Because the victims are powerless to stop the abuse and aren’t old enough to understand what is happening, they frequently suffer deep emotional damage even if there’s no physical damage. There doesn’t have to be intercourse or sexual "touching" for abuse to have occured. Children who are forced to watch sexual activity, listen to sexual language, or view pornographic material may be damaged by the experience. Abusers come from all races, economic classes, male, female, family member, religious figure, teacher, youth worker, medical worker, etc, etc and cannot otherwise be identified except by those they have abused.

    Most abusers tell their victim that whatever happened should be kept secret. They may say that no one else will believe the story, that the child will be blamed for causing the sexual activity, or give threats (fabricated, such as threatening to harm the child's pet; or, semi-realistic: "You'll be taken away and put in a foster home if you tell.") Especially when the abuser is someone the child/teen trusted, that trust doesn't die immediately; love or loyalty brings a desire not to get their abuser in trouble. Sexual abuse may have gone on for years before a victim decides to disclose what is happening, or they may not tell until after it ends, if ever. Parents and others working with children and teens need to be open to hearing, or they will not be trusted with the child's feelings. It is also fairly common to avoid thinking about the abuse because it is too painful, especially when it goes on for a long time; people really do forget that they were abused, but it is forgetting on purpose, a defense mechanism. Even while abuse is taking place, some people are able to dissociate and go into a near-trance or pretend that they are somewhere else. This dissociation can remain with the victin for many years in one form or another. It is an escape. There are cases where the abuse was so traumatic that the victim will almost dissapear and dissociated "alters" will take their place.

    Of course, some effects happen whether there was a trust bond to break or not. Physical harm can certainly result from sexual abuse, especially if it involved penetration of a small child (with genitals or objects), but the emotional harm is longer-lasting. The feelings of discomfort, confusion, shame etc associated with those abusive sexual acts don't just go away because one has grown older and found a non-abusive sexual partner; as I write this it's been thirty two years since "the grandfather" last molested me and I still flinch from touches that remind me of his. Having sexual acts forced onto you at a young age can teach many unhealthy lessons: that you are only good for sex and don't deserve to be treated well; that sex is the only way to get attention or affection, that people are not be trusted; that it's OK to use people as you were used; that sex is dirty and secret and shame over being involved in it; that you are powerless and cannot stop being used by others; that you are not safe unless you purposely make yourself unattractive; that the only thing that you have control over is the way your body looks; guilt from feeling as if you didn't do enough to stop the abuse or for any parts that were physically enjoyable; and other items. It's not surprising that people who go into therapy for what seem to be unrelated issues end up dealing with past sexual abuse; it can affect all of one's relationships with people. My most recent memories and problems only came to light after seeking therapy for depression caused by the affect of the global recession and ill health on my life. Nothing to do with abuse at all. Being in a safe environment allowed the abuse memoreis to surface.

    More attention is usually given to abused females, but as these statistics show, males are also sexually abused. Whilst 80% to 90% of abusers are male, but there are female abusers of both boys and girls; those who are abused by women often are even more reluctant to disclose the abuse because it does not fit the stereotypes. However, this does not mean that abused boys do not show aftereffects, and until recently they have had substantially more difficulty finding resources to help themselves than those abused as girls have. Male victims of male abusers also have the added difficulty of society's homophobia to deal with; they worry that being abused by a member of the same sex has made them gay (even if they aren't now and have never been attracted to the same sex). This sometimes leads to their becoming homophobic as a way of trying to prove to themselves and others that they aren't gay. (In fact, most male abusers of males consider themselves to be heterosexual.)

    Sexually abused children frequently show changes in behaviour, including: apparent personality changes (happy child is suddenly depressed); physical complaints such as stomachaches; nightmares; reluctance to go to certain places or have certain people around; regressive behavior (acting younger than they are); and playing sexually with dolls or playmates. Teens who are being abused often run away. Of course, physical signs such as injury to the genitalia are even more obvious, but the behavioral changes are definitely prompting for a parent or other authority figure to ask the child about the possibility of abuse. If abuse of any kind is reported to you, believe what you are hearing. It is extremely rare for children to lie about having been sexually abused (why would a child make up something so painful and difficult to deal with?) Reassure the child that it is not their fault, thank them for their trust in you, and explain that the abuse needs to be reported to authorities to stop the abuser from hurting others. Sometimes the story is retracted under pressure from the abuser (or family) or to avoid the difficulties of a formal investigation -- this does not generally mean that it was originally a lie, merely that the child/adolescent wants to keep things from getting worse than just the abuse by itself.

    It is estimated that for every reported incident of abuse that 10 more go unreported....

    The following is "borrowed" from the NSPCC website.

    A significant minority of children suffer serious abuse or neglect, according to NSPCC research:

    •Three-quarters (72%) of sexually abused children did not tell anyone about the abuse at the time. 27% told someone later. Around a third (31%) still had not told anyone about their experience(s) by early adulthood.

    •In 2008/09, police in England and Wales recorded more than 21,000 sex offences against children.

    •In 2009/10, ChildLine counsellors dealt with over 500,000 contacts from children calling about various problems including, bullying, sex abuse, violence and mental health issues.


    Statistics only come from reporting, so we don’t have accurate, objective numbers. But based on the reports available, it’s believed that 1 in 3 girls have been sexually abused , and a general consensus of 1 in 5 to 1 in 7 boys ARE sexually abused.


    32% of ALL reported sexual crimes (54,982 sexual crimes in total) in Eng and Wales in 10/11 were sexual crimes against children under 16.



    I feel no pleasure
    I feel no pain
    All I feel is the rain
    The rain of confusion descending upon me

    "I deserve nothing" I say to myself
    As the darkness closes in
    Now, feeling doubt
    But still firm in my belief
    The last shred I have left

    Who are my friends?
    Who are my enemies?
    My life, what should it be used for?

    I want to please, want to make happy
    But find it hard, find it impossible
    Impossible to be of use
    Why couldn't it be easier?

    Want to reach out, to touch, to help
    Want to be a part
    A part of something, anything
    Whatever I can sacrifice myself to

    Running in the darkness
    The cold embraces me, I embrace the fear
    Fear of what to come, what to not come
    Fear of the world, fear of myself

    I no longer cry, but why?
    The world seems less frightening, more familiar
    Still, confusing it is
    Sad it is
    But not as sad as yesterday
    Lonely it is
    But not as lonely as yesterday

    I slow down, face the mirror
    The mirrior in the horizon of darkness
    Do I really hate what I see so much?

    I smile
    I see a sparkle in my eye
    The possible fire of the danger that will be born
    Within me

    I break the mirror
    And run away
    What was I thinking of?!
    Things don't change
    They only get worse
    The doubt is there

    I've been alone the whole time

    I feel lost, scared, and confused.
    I look around and realize I am alone.
    Suddenly panic settles in:
    Everyone I thought cared is gone.
    No friends, no family, not even a stranger
    Are close enough to hear my cries.
    My life is a desolate desert
    With tears flooding my eyes.
    I scream but my voice echos back.
    Life has lost all reason and rhyme.
    Then suddenly I stop and realize
    Throughout life, I've been alone the whole time.


    Take The Time

    Each of us has come here
    With a story of our own
    But we wait in restless silence
    So no one ever knows
    There is one who sits in loneliness
    On the edge of dispair
    While another person longs to love
    With so much life to share

    Someone cannot feel the warmth of love
    Through a wall that's built with time
    Being burned so often
    Makes the heart as cold as ice
    There's somebody hurting
    From a wound that doesn't heal
    And the touch of human hands
    Could bring a comfort that is real

    Which one are you
    Which one are you near
    Can you reach across the emptiness
    Can you touch the heart of someone here

    Take the time
    To love somebody
    Oh take the time
    To show someone you care
    Will you have another chance to be
    The answer to a prayer
    Take the time

    We come from different places
    And the pain has different names
    With different circumstances
    But the feelings are the same
    If we let down our defenses
    And we tear down all the walls
    In the center of our souls we find
    No differences at all

    Which one are you
    Which one are you near
    Can you reach across the emptiness
    Can you touch the heart of someone here

    Take the time
    To love somebody
    Oh take the time
    To show someone you care
    Will you have another chance to be
    The answer to a prayer
    Take the time

    There's a time when only you will know
    When the Spirit speaks within your soul
    Dare to reach beyond yourself
    And let love go

    Take the time
    To love somebody
    Come on and take the time
    To show someone you care
    Will you have another chance to be
    The answer to a prayer
    Take the time

    Michael English

    Monday, 19 March 2012


    A slimy, slithery snake of ill regret
    slides into the head, like a dropped glass
    the illusion shatters, jagged edges
    tearing confidence to tiny, tearful shreds.
    Vengeful recollections flood back with melancholy
    dancing in delight upon unwanted memories
    of each and every stupidity, each misplaced word
    like posioned barbs made of lead, their weight
    crushing, collapsing self-respect into a ball
    to be kicked clumsily about, shouting.
    Telling the sorry tale of inadequacy primed
    like a hair trigger, always sensitive
    to the slightest touching on a dismal past,
    bewildered by an unclear, shapeless self-given
    rebuke which never tires of its own voice
    ...screaming loudly, remaining unheard by all.

    Sunday, 18 March 2012

    The Living Tree

    I've always liked Dame Shirley Bassey. This song is one of my favourites and I can really relate to it at the moment.

    I hope you enjoy it.

    Let me breathe
    Cause I'm drowning in your shadow
    Let me leave
    Respect me do not follow me believe
    I can make me own tomorrow
    Let me breathe
    Does it make
    You feel good cause you own me
    Does it take
    Your puppet strings to hold me
    How I ache
    As you're trying to control me
    Let me breathe

    Let me dance 'till my shoes cry
    Let me laugh let me be
    Let me dance
    Let me choose my life
    Let me climb the living tree

    Picture this
    When you wake up in the morning
    And I kiss
    Your sorry ass goodbye
    What will I miss
    There's nothing I can think of as I leave

    Let me dance 'till my shoes cry
    Let me laugh let me be
    Let me dance
    Let me choose my life
    Let me climb the living tree

    Whole Again

    As the sun caresses my cheek
    With it's gentle rays of warmth.
    A cool breeze of summer night eve,
    Ruffles my hair in playful delight.
    I lift my face to the teasing rain
    That it may wash the tears of an earlier time.
    So are the thoughts that come
    Not demanding.but requesting
    Entrance to the cautious spirit.
    With the warmth that suggests comfort
    As a blanket would the cold.
    A gentleness that teases at the senses
    With a healing promise.
    A sweetness that dare my emotions
    To awaken from its' sleep.
    To shut this mighty door of fear
    Is but a brief reflection of old ideals
    The newness of it
    Challenges my every instinct.
    So I dare to welcome what is unknown
    With a soft embrace,
    That I may experience
    That which I am free to trust.
    And I hear on the breeze,
    Like an echo in the wind
    A voice...
    "I will make you whole again.."

    Mothering Sunday - Mothers Day

    Mothers Day... My mother died when I was nine years old. That was back in 1977 and she was thirty five at the time.

    My family had decided it was best if I was kept out of the way in the last week of her life. I was carted off to neighbours and relatives. The same happened the week after she died and I was not allowed to go to her funeral either.

    Her body was kept in the house until her funeral and one night I snuck into the room where she was to say my own goodbye.

    My Mum and I were very close. She was the only person who loved me unconditionally. I loved her the same way. I was angry for a very long time that I had been kept away from her and denied the right to say goodbye at her funeral.

    On Mothers Day I always take some time to remember my Mum. It can be by playing some of her favourite songs, having her favourite flowers in the house, looking at old photos. Unfortunately proper memories of her are still fuzzy in my head. There are certain things I recall, but everyday life with her evades me most of the time.

    Although she died when I was nine, her influence has continued over the decades. At times of crisis she has been there for me, lifting me out of darkest despair and putting me back on the path of light.

    She was a good woman, much loved by her neighbours, family and friends. She used to run a gift shop and cafe near the beach and was fondly known by most local children as "Auntie Val"

    So Happy Mothers Day Mum. I hope I'm doing you proud.

    What we would give if we could say,
    Hello, Mum, in the same old way;
    To hear your voice, and see your smile,
    To sit with you and chat awhile,
    So if you who have a mother,
    Cherish her with care,
    For you'll never know the heartache,
    Till you see her vacant chair.

    Friday, 16 March 2012

    St.Patrick was a Welshman...

    On March 17th, when St. Patrick's Day is widely celebrated in Ireland and so many Irish communities around the world, most assume that St. Patrick was an Irishman. It is not so.

    Though Patrick's birthplace is debatable, most scholars seem to agree that he was born in the area of southeastern Scotland known as Strathclyde, a former Celtic kingdom and Welsh-speaking at the time. (However, a few scholars continue to regard St. David's in Pembrokeshire as the saint's birthplace; the tiny city was formerly directly in the path of missionary and trade routes to Ireland).

    When the city of Rome fell to the invading Goths under Alaric, Roman Britain, which had experienced hundreds of years of comparative peace and prosperity, was left to its own defenses under its local Romano-British leaders. One of these may have been a tribal chieftain named Arthur, who seems to have held off the invaders for a while. Centuries of constant warfare, however, meant that the majority of the British kingdoms eventually crumbled under the onslaught of Germanic tribes.

    More than two hundred years of fighting between the native Celts, brave but always completely disorganized, and the ever-increasing number of highly organized and disciplined German settlers eventually resulted in Britain sorting itself out into three distinct areas: the Britonic West, the Teutonic East and the Gaelic North. These areas later came to be identified as Wales, England and Scotland, all with their very separate cultural and linguistic characteristics. (Ireland, of course, remained Gaelic: many of its peoples migrated to Scotland, taking their language with them to replace the native Pictish).

    Many scholars believe that Patrick (Patricius or Padrig) was born in the still Welsh-speaking Northern Kingdom of Strathclyde of Romano-Brythonic stock around 385 AD at a place called Bannavem Taberniae (Banwen). His father was a deacon, Calpurnius. Not much is known of Patrick's early life, but it is believed he was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland. Escaping to Gaul, he then underwent religious instruction under Germanus and returned to Ireland to join other early missionaries, probably settling in Armagh. In his Confessio, a spiritual biography, Patrick describes his early adventures. His seventh century biographers claimed that he converted all of Ireland to Christianity. Other Information concerning his life comes from the Latin, "The Life of St. David", written in the late 11th century by Rhigfarch (Rhygyfarch) but supplemented by Geraldus Cambrensis around 1200.

    In "The Life", Patrick is told of coming to Wales as a bishop and vowing to serve God at Glyn Rhosyn (now St. David's). But, he was warned in a dream that the place was reserved for someone who would arrive thirty years later. He was then shown Ireland in the distance by an angel as he stood on a rock called "the seat of St. Patrick." Patrick's mission was to evangelize the distant land, a task that he carried out in a remarkably short period.

    St Patrick's statue at Saul, County Down

    Rhigfarch is also responsible for what little we know of St. David, adopted as the patron saint of Wales in the 18th century. David died about 590 AD with March 1st, the reputed day of his death, celebrated by a holiday in Wales. St. Patrick's Day is much better known. It has become an American national festival celebrated with monstrous parades silly green hats, fake shamrocks and prodigious amounts of alcoholic beverages, including -- horror of horrors -- green beer.

    Wednesday, 14 March 2012


    I was sent this by a new twitter friend, @tjacinto Thank you for sharing!

    The common myth is that the Desiderata poem was found in a Baltimore church in 1692 and is centuries old, of unknown origin. Desiderata was in fact written around 1920 (although some say as early as 1906), and certainly copyrighted in 1927, by lawyer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) based in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Desiderata myth began after Reverend Frederick Kates reproduced the Desiderata poem in a collection of inspirational works for his congregation in 1959 on church notepaper, headed: 'The Old St Paul's Church, Baltimore, AD 1692' (the year the church was founded). Copies of the Desiderata page were circulated among friends, and the myth grew, accelerated particularly when a copy of the erroneously attributed Desiderata was found at the bedside of deceased Democratic politician Aidlai Stevenson in 1965.
    Whatever the history of Desiderata, the Ehrmann's prose is inspirational, and offers a simple positive credo for life.

    Tuesday, 13 March 2012

    Who Abused You? #Amsosa

    Who Abused You? Does it really matter?

    I am often asked why male survivors take so long to come forward and break the silence imposed upon them and one answer is simply that adult men, which is what they are now, dont acknowledge sexual abuse as abuse, because sexual experience per se is acceptable to the male culture!

    If a male discloses that he was sexually abused by a female, most people say he was lucky, but the damage done is immense and it is not luck!

    There is also the guilt, shame and embarresment felt by male survivors, in having to talk about an issue that is personal and painful, so they avoid acknowledging that they have been sexually abused.

    Another common theme amongst survivors of child sexual abuse is to grow up believing that our abusers were gay, despite the abusers often being fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins and family friends who were, or who went on to get married.

    I have heard statements such as:

    "I was in a pub, a man kept looking at me, he wouldn't stop looking at me, so I went over to him and hit him, hard!."

    "A man kept looking at me, so I had to leave, just in case he thought I was gay too"

    "Men keep coming onto me, wherever I go, whatever I do, but I'm not gay, so why do they do it?"

    "It was my fault, for being there, for being a pretty boy, for going back again…etc, etc. etc"

    Just some of the things we say and do to ourselves, whilst the abusers walk away.

    It doesn't matter if you were sexually abused once or over a period of years, it causes the same amount of personal damage to us all, and has the same devastating effect upon us all.

    It can prevent you from forming close loving relationships, stops you from living your life, stops you from being who you want to be, as opposed to who you believe you should be, and in general, stops you from living your life.

    Survivors are often hyper vigilant (watching everyone just in case) to all that goes on around them, which reaches into all aspects of daily life.

    One common thread is....

    You're out in a club or pub, and see someone staring at you. This leads you to think that the other person, often male, is gay, and is looking at you for some reason, usually sexual, and your normal reaction to this is to be violent towards the other person.

    What is really happening is that you look at all people around you, see someone looking back at you, and you then go into panic mode

    All that's happening is that the other person is watching you watching them, wondering what you're looking at!

    No wonder both of you end with confused messages.

    An even worse scenario is if the other man is gay, is perhaps looking for a potential partner, and ends up meeting you, through no fault of his own!

    So, lets stop the pretence that sexual abuse is committed by gay men, they are not the people who sexually abused you, nor to blame for sexual abuse occurring.

    If we continue to blame gay men, how do we explain that females sexually abuse children?

    How do we explain away the abuse inflicted upon male survivors by fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbours?

    They are no more likely to be gay or be seen as gay

    Almost all abusers are people who would state that they are straight, or find it difficult to maintain adult relationships with others of the same or similar age

    Gay men and women are NOT guilty nor responsible for the sexual crimes committed against children or adults, and are just as likely to be a survivor of sexual abuse of sexual abuse themselves, so lets stop blaming the wrong people.

    Lets stop the myth spreading that abusers are from one stereotype alone, they are our fathers, brothers, uncles, aunts' sisters, neighbours, etc.

    As in all cases, sex abusers are from all walks of life, sexuality is not the issue for those who sexually abuse children. It is NOT a gender issue, its an abuse issue.

    It is the abusers, male and female, who are the scum of the earth and do not warrant you allowing them to continue to ruin your life anymore

    The title of this page said "Who Abused You? Does it really matter?

    All that does matter is your recovery and healing.

    Be brave, strong, loud and proud to have survived, which is what you have done so far, now move on to being a thriver and live the life you want and deserve.

    It's yours for the taking, take it!

    All rights to this article belong to Steve at Amsosa UK. The original work can be found here Who Abused You? along with many other articles and advice for male survivors of sexual abuse or adult rape.

    Sunday, 11 March 2012

    The Sound Of Breaking Dreams via @Das_UK

    Last week I was contacted via Twitter by a very nice guy called Dave. He volunteered to write out some of my poetry in his very special handwriting. I think the result is very cool as you can see above. Thanks again Dave. If you'd like to follow him on Twitter he is known as @das_uk

    Thanks again!

    The original poem can be found here The Sound Of Breaking Dreams

    A Sad and Lonely Man

    So gently flows the breeze
    The streetlamp lights the sky
    I whisper in the dark
    a saddened lullaby

    For now I'm left alone
    with nothing else to share
    A sad and lonely man
    in need of loving care

    Beneath the distant plains
    of somewhere long ago
    lie memories and dreams
    and thoughts that lost their glow

    Is this that all could be
    A silent lonesome prayer
    of destiny foretold
    and covered with despair

    Video by my good friend Roan.

    Saturday, 10 March 2012

    No Dark Black Enough

    No sea deep enough,
    no dark black enough,
    no death painless enough,
    no ressurection coming.
    Open myself up,
    I see twisted yesterdays.
    What has happened,
    what will happen,
    down to the end,
    and down deeper.
    No sea deep enough,
    no dark black enough.
    Sleep not final,
    dreams to awake.
    To this terrible life.
    I know.
    Nothing but pain,
    darkness and pain.
    I know.
    On and on it remains,
    it's all so simple,
    nothing but a grim heart.

    Friday, 9 March 2012

    The Lonely Road

    I have walked down this road

    countless times before

    The path is still the same

    for what I'm searching for

    Familiarly I walk

    this road that I am bound

    Upon this haggard trail

    perpetually I'm found

    This tired weary path

    which always draws me near

    holds all the emptiness

    of loneliness and fear

    Onto to this lonesome road

    forever I will be

    As it is carved in stone

    Eternal destiny

    Alone as it may seem

    but this is all I see

    So as my life goes on

    this road is where I'll be

    Thursday, 8 March 2012

    I Love You - I Hate You


    The great love that I have for you

    is gone, and I find my dislike for you

    grows every day. When I see you,

    I do not even like your face;

    the one thing that I want to do is to

    look at other girls\guys. I never wanted to

    marry you. Our last conversation

    was very boring and has not

    made me look forward to seeing you again..

    You think only of yourself..

    If we were married, I know that I would find

    life very difficult, and I would have no

    pleasure in living with you. I have a heart

    to give, but it is not something that

    I want to give to you. No one is more

    foolish and selfish than you, and you are not

    able to care for me and help me..

    I sincerely want you to understand that

    I speak the truth . You will do me a favor

    if you think this is the end. Do not try to

    answer this. Your letters are full of

    things that do not interest me. You have no

    true love for me. Good-bye!! Believe me,

    I do not care for you. Please do not think that

    I still love you..


    Okay, now that you're done reading, don't you think that it sounds cool..



    Wednesday, 7 March 2012

    April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

    Increasing public awareness of the need to ensure the safety and welfare of children led to the passage of the first Federal child protection legislation, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), in 1974. While CAPTA has been amended many times over the years, most recently with the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, the purpose of the original legislation remains intact. Today, the Children's Bureau, within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the Federal agency charged with supporting States, Tribes, and communities in providing programs and services to protect children and strengthen families.

    In the early 1980s, Congress made a further commitment to identifying and implementing solutions to end child abuse. Recognizing the alarming rate at which children continued to be abused and neglected and the need for innovative programs to prevent child abuse and assist parents and families affected by maltreatment, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives resolved that the week of June 6-12, 1982, should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week. Members of Congress requested the President issue a proclamation calling upon Government agencies and the public to observe the week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities promoting the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

    The following year, in 1983, April was proclaimed the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As a result, child abuse and neglect awareness activities are promoted across the country during April of each year. The Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) within the Children's Bureau coordinates Child Abuse Prevention Month activities at the Federal level, providing information and releasing updated national statistics about child abuse and neglect. Many governors also issue proclamations to encourage initiatives and events in their States.

    In 1989, the Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse began as a Virginia grandmother's tribute to her grandson who died as a result of abuse. She tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a way to remember him and to alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse. The Blue Ribbon Campaign has since expanded across the country; many people wear blue ribbons each April in memory of those who have died as a result of child abuse and in support of efforts to prevent abuse. Based on Prevent Child Abuse America's (PCAA) Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign, some communities distribute pinwheels and coordinate outdoor pinwheel displays representing children affected by abuse or neglect. Regardless of the type of activity, the focus has shifted to a positive message of supporting families and strengthening communities to prevent child abuse and neglect.

    In Title II of the CAPTA amendments of 1996, the Children's Bureau was charged with identifying a lead agency in each State for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) grants. These grants support the development, operation, and expansion of initiatives to prevent child abuse and neglect, as well as the coordination of resources and activities to strengthen and support families to reduce the likelihood of child maltreatment. CBCAP grantees within each State often take leadership roles in coordinating special events and preparing materials to support Child Abuse Prevention Month, and they are required to report annually on their activities.

    In 2003, as part of the 20th anniversary of the original Presidential Proclamation designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, OCAN launched the National Child Abuse Prevention Initiative as a year-long effort. The theme of the 14th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect was devoted to prevention; at that time, a press conference was held to launch the initiative and release the publication, Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. In addition, OCAN and Child Welfare Information Gateway partnered with PCAA and the child abuse prevention community to produce a variety of tools and resources to support national, State, and local public awareness activities.

    As momentum grew among national organizations and Federal agencies, an emerging consensus determined that building public will for child abuse prevention required engaging the public in efforts to support families and enhance parenting skills. When the U.S. Surgeon General named 2005 the Year of the Healthy Child, there was renewed commitment to make child abuse prevention a national priority. As a result, OCAN focused on making safe children and healthy families a shared responsibility, a theme that was also incorporated into the 15th National Conference. The theme expanded in 2007 when OCAN's resource guide and the 16th National Conference encouraged communities to join the effort to promote healthy families and work collaboratively to provide responsive child abuse prevention and family support services. At the same time, OCAN invited 26 national organizations to be national child abuse prevention partners so the message could reach a wider audience.

    Support for child abuse prevention efforts has expanded due in part to the growing body of evidence that suggests home visitation programs for pregnant mothers and families with young children can reduce the incidence of maltreatment and improve child and family outcomes. In 2007, the Children's Bureau funded three grantees to implement and evaluate nurse home visitation services, and in 2008, it funded 17 cooperative agreements to generate knowledge about the use of evidence-based home visiting programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, including obstacles and opportunities for their wider implementation. Recently, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 included a provision to create the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. The Health Resources and Services Administration has partnered with ACF to implement this program to fund States and Tribes as they provide evidence-based home visitation services to improve outcomes for children and families in at-risk communities.

    OCAN continues to revise and expand the mission of the Child Abuse Prevention Initiative. The goal of strengthening families and communities was the theme for OCAN's most recent resource guide and the 17th National Conference, where the National Child Abuse Prevention Partners, now grown to more than 30 organizations, met in person for the first time. The Children's Bureau's Centennial Celebration in 2012 will be an opportunity to celebrate the initiative's accomplishments while also envisioning future possibilities in child abuse prevention.

    Today, the Child Abuse Prevention Initiative continues to be an opportunity to create strong communities to support families and keep children safe. Visit the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website for more information on the most current resources and national efforts.

    Tuesday, 6 March 2012

    The sound of breaking dreams

    Fallen from above
    My head is out of the clouds
    Waking up from a dream,
    I dreamt I could fly

    My ears can't stand the sound
    Of dreams breaking in my hands
    My eyes can't stand the sight
    Of the wreckage of my soul

    Waking up from a life in dreams
    Is harder than you'd think
    The truth came knocking on my door
    Slapped my face and placed me here
    In this burned down soul of mine

    Everything I once believed in
    Has been crashed to the ground
    And all my friends I took for granted
    Turned to faded memories
    Of a life lived long ago

    So now I'm laying in the ground
    With my lost pride spread all around
    I guess I'm running out of time
    It slips away like sand, right through my hands
    And I suppose I'll rise again..
    Yes, Sometime I will..


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