Shattering The Silence Tour and Documentary Project

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 I have been across the country and Canada, teaching communities, through free conferences, about the warning signs, solutions, and who to call if they suspect child abuse and human trafficking. Prevention and education are vital to our communities who would prefer to believe this does not happen in our community, and especially in our home; when we clearly know it does. Educating the parents, grandparents, and community is key. I am trained in Good Touch Bad Touch but feel like you do, that the burden should not be on the child. What this does is create awareness with them, where they have been taught in their home, that the sexual abuse is “normal” or a “game”, when it is not. We teach them to tell until someone listens, especially since most abuse happens from someone of close proximity. Adults from across the nation, rather they are young or old, still have two haunting questions, despite the trauma they endure, and they are, “Why did someone not believe me and protect me” and “Why did someone not stand up for me and say something’?
Until, we can break this multi-generational cycle of abuse, we will forever be failing our children, and selling out their future peace and happiness. It saddens me that while we work our hearts out to teach and to serve, we are still living in a culture which subjugates and sells women and children, while good people sit by in indifference and do nothing through the silence.

 

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Is it true love or do you just love the way they make you feel?

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I ran across a Facebook post about a woman continually going back to a bad relationship, and as a survivor, I understood her dilemma. Survivors are taught many dysfunctional ways to love someone, forgetting we matter, and we deserve to be loved, accepted, and not rejected. It takes a long time to muddle through the atrocities we endured, through the lies of those who say they loved us most, and the belittling words, and horrific lives some have had to live, just to survive.

 

I have traveled all across America and Canada this last year and can tell you the most haunting questions which plague survivors are, regardless if they are young to old, 0-102, they all want to know two things; Despite all the trauma they endured throughout their young lives, survivors want to know, “Why Did Someone Not Believe Me” and “Why Did No One Stand Up For Me”?  Survivors will hide behind many addictions to get through the pain, like food, drugs, work, and many other ways to avoid the pain. You finally reach a point where you realize, you can run but you can not hide. You eventually have to deal with the pain or you will never stop numbing the pain. Some go through counseling, different healing modalities, some use faith, or a combination of both, to help them understand all they endured was not their fault; nor was there anything they could have done to prevent what happened.

 

It takes survivors awhile, to find themselves, and the journey is not always a pleasant one. But, for some of us, we finally come to a place where we learn healthy boundaries; we learn we are worthy; we learn we deserve to be loved; but , most of all, we learn, we must fall in love with ourselves and find our own happiness, before we become involved in a relationship. We each come into a relationship with our own baggage, and if your partner does not love themself, then your partner can not fully love you. You can’t love enough for two and you can’t make it work by yourself. We all have flaws, so you can’t expect your partner to be perfect. You just have to ask yourself, if the flaws are something I can accept and live with. If not, this is not a healthy relationship for you, and your soul mate is waiting a little farther along your journey.

 

Sometimes, in our need for affection or to not be lonely, we have to ask ourselves this important question? Am I in love with my partner, or do I just love the way this person makes me feel not so lonely, and fills my need for affection and love. So, do I truly him/her or do  love the void he/she fills?

 

I wish you many blessings of love, joy, happiness, peace, and prosperity.

 

Please share with me your thoughts.

 

Connie Lee/FACSA Foundation/Founder/President

318.540.4464

FACSAFoundation.org

facsasavethechildren@hotmail.com

Every Time You or Your Children Open Your Computer, You Are Inviting Thousands of Online Predators To Interact With You

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Online predators are an increasing threat to families and children everywhere. As soon as you or your child opens their computer, it opens a window for thousands of predators, who work in conjunction with one another. They teach each other how to appease the parents; how to avoid the law; and how to groom children. They might make a child feel like they are special and the child can trust no one but the person on the other end of the screen, but in truth, they may be grooming over a 100’s of children at a time.

 

They target both boys and girls of all ages and use the Internet to assume any identity they want. They are master manipulators with skills that is too much for a child to combat alone, let alone be aware of their cunning ways. The predator targets children who have a lack of emotional and family support (Parents can be home and not involved with their children). They develop a relationship with your child and it progresses to the child is made to believe they can trust no one, but the other person on the screen. The perpetrator may coax the child to start showing them pics of themselves, maybe undressing in front of the computer screen, or doing sexually explicit acts. They will then record these instances, or use the information your child has given in confidence to shame or guilt the child into silence. The grooming process may take months, but since they are grooming several, they have plenty of time to invest in the grooming process. Then one fateful day, they will ask to meet your child at a mall, a park, or somewhere of interest to your child, still pretending to be someone of the child’s age range.

 

With social network profiles and smart phones ISP addresses, predators can easily find information about potential victims since many naive children list personal information with no regard for safety. Teens will post their jersey numbers, school photos, dance club photos, clubs they are in, school and church events, and things happening around the house, which makes it easy for a perpetrator to find their address of your home, their license plate number, where they hang out, if mom and dad are home, if they have siblings, and any information they need to fulfill they hidden agendas. Post placed on the internet travel fast worldwide, and may never be recovered, which will impact future jobs and college applications.

Parents must be on guard to protect their families. It is better to have your child mad at you for snooping through their internet profiles and postings, than for them to go missing and never return home. There are many organizations and government agencies designed to assist parents with issues such as these. Internet searching for information will also provide many links and web sites to help.

Predator Grooming • Chat Rooms (based on interest) • Look for child oriented screen names • Search through SN profiles • Strike up a conversation • Show interest and gain their trust • Build them up (be their friend)

Predator Warning Signs • Spends a lot of time online • Find porn on the computer • Receive phone calls, mail, gifts from people you do not know • Withdraws from normal activity • Switches screen quickly (Alt+Tab) • Uses other accounts for e-mail or Instant Messaging

Some Helpful Web Sites for More Information: http://www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguidee.htm http://www.ic3.gov http://www.missingkids.com http://www.netsmartz.org http://www.staysafe.org http://www.isafe.org/

Online predators: Help minimize the risk

How do online predators work?

How can parents minimize the risk of a child becoming a victim?

  • Talk to your kids about sexual predators and potential online dangers.
  • Use family safety settings that are built into Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
  • Follow age limits on social networking websites. Most social networking sites require that users be age 13 and over. If your children are under the recommended age for these sites, do not let them use them.
  • Young children should not use chat rooms—the dangers are too great. As children get older, direct them towards well-monitored kids’ chat rooms. Encourage even your teens to use monitored chat rooms.
  • If your children take part in chat rooms, make sure you know which ones they visit and with whom they talk. Monitor the chat areas yourself to see what kind of conversations take place.
  • Instruct your children to never leave the chat room’s public area. Many chat rooms offer private areas where users can have one-on-one chats with other users-chat monitors can’t read these conversations. These are often referred to as “whisper” areas.
  • Keep the Internet-connected computer in a common area of the house, never in a child’s bedroom. It is much more difficult for a predator to establish a relationship with your child if the computer screen is easily visible. Even when the computer is in a public area of your home, sit with your child when they are online.
  • When your children are young, they should share the family email address rather than have their own email accounts. As they get older, you can ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to set up a separate email address, but your children’s mail can still reside in your account.
  • Tell your children to never respond to instant messaging or emails from strangers. If your children use computers in places outside your supervision-public library, school, or friends’ homes-find out what computer safeguards are used.
  • If all precautions fail and your kids do meet an online predator, don’t blame them. The offender always bears full responsibility. Take decisive action to stop your child from any further contact with this person.

How can your kids reduce the risk of being victimized?

There are a number of precautions that kids can take, including:

  • Never downloading images from an unknown source-they could be sexually explicit.
  • Using email filters.
  • Telling an adult immediately if anything that happens online makes them feel uncomfortable or frightened.
  • Choosing a gender-neutral screen name that doesn’t contain sexually suggestive words or reveal personal information.
  • Never revealing personal information about themselves (including age and gender) or information about their family to anyone online and not filling out online personal profiles. For more specific rules, see How to help your kids use social websites more safely.
  • Stopping any email communication, instant messaging conversations, or chats if anyone starts to ask questions that are too personal or sexually suggestive.
  • Posting the family online agreement near the computer to remind them to protect their privacy on the Internet.

What can you do if your child is being targeted?

  • If your child receives sexually explicit photos from an online correspondent, or if she or he is solicited sexually in email, instant messaging, or some other way online, contact your local police. Save any documentation including email addresses, website addresses, and chat logs to share with the police.
  • Check your computer for pornographic files or any type of sexual communication—these are often warning signs.
  • Monitor your child’s access to all live electronic communications, such as chat rooms, instant messaging, and email.

Source: Some of the above information was adapted, with permission, from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation publication A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety.

 

Tiscali has announced a partnership with online safety firm Crisp to help parents monitor and protect children when online.

The Crisp software analyses the content of online conversations in an attempt to uncover predators wanting to groom, and potentially abuse, children.

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/1975703/tiscali-offers-anti-grooming-software

http://www.familysafecomputers.org/predators.htm

http://www.microsoft.com/security/family-safety/predators.aspx

FACSAFoundation.org

 

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Teen Dating Violence Prevention

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Teen Dating Violence Preventio

                                                

 

How many of you are familiar with the Chris Brown assault upon his girlfriend Rhianna? Chris Brown and Rhianna are two pop stars, who made national headlines when Chris beat Rhianna after they fought over a text message from another girl. Regardless of how angry he got her, he had no right to hit her; and he should have walked away when he got that angry. How do you think he should have responded to this situation?  Since this was not the first time he had beaten her, why do you think she stayed? What do you think she could have done to prevent the abuse from her partner? According to some teens they feel this is common in relationships, and unfortunately, this has become there comfort zone. Statistics show that one in three teenagers has experienced violence in a dating relationship. In dating violence, one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse.

If you will look around your classroom, church, auditorium, or any public setting and think of these statistics, as you take a mental snapshot of your classmates. One in three girls are sexually assaulted before the age 18 and one of six boys; and that is only the ones who have reported it. 90% of sexually assaulted children never report it. They don’t report being raped by an abuser, a family member, their partner, or a stranger because of shame, feeling dirty, wondering what they did to deserve it, they don’t want to break up the family, feel like no one will believe them, or does not want to get the abuser in trouble. This also allows the perpetrator to hurt someone else because they don’t stop, seldom change w/o counseling, and you can’t fix them.

Regardless of age, Teen and adult abusive partners will demonstrate some of the following classic abusive behaviors:

At first they shower you with a lot of affection, gifts, and love. Then they become very

  • Controlling what you say; who you talk to; where you go; and how you dress
  • excessively texts you
  • belittling you in front of friends and family
  • Hitting you; leaving bruises and cuts
  • verbally abusing you
  • isolating you from friends and family
  • emotional outburst
  • uses force in arguments
  • always blames others for their mistakes and faults
  • sexually assaults you
  • ·believe their partners are their possession; then they become obsessed with them, which can lead to stalking:

 

  • ·Stalking is the willful and repeated following, watching, and / or harassing of another person. Most of the time, the purpose of stalking is to attempt to force a relationship with someone who is unwilling or otherwise unavailable. Unlike other crimes, which usually involve one act, stalking is a series of actions that occur over a period of time. Although stalking is illegal, the actions that contribute to stalking are legal, such as gathering information, calling someone on the phone, sending gifts, emailing or instant messaging. Such actions by themselves are not usually abusive, but can become abusive when frequently repeated over time. http://law.findlaw.com/state-laws/stalking/louisiana/

Willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassing with   intent to place in fear of death or bodily injury.

Punishment/Classification

Maximum 1 year jail and $1000 fine. If had dangerous weapon:   fine $1,000 and/or jail 1 year. If stalking and protective order for same   victim, or criminal proceeding for stalking victim or injunction: jail 90   days minimum and 2 years maximum and/or fined maximum $5,000. If victim under   18, maximum 1 year and/or $2000 fine. Note: anyone over 13 who stalks a child   12 and under and is found to have placed child in reasonable fear of death or   bodily injury of family member shall be punished by 1 year minimum, 3 years   maximum in jail and/or $1,500 minimum, $5,000 maximum fine

Penalty for Repeat Offense

If 2nd within 7 years: jail minimum 180 days and maximum 3   years and/or fined maximum $5,000. If 3rd or subsequent within 7 years: jail   minimum 2 years and maximum 5 years and/or fined maximum $5,000

 

 

Abusers will try to isolate you from your family, do not let them. If you find yourself or someone you know in an abusive relationship talk to a teacher, family member, pastor, counselor, or call the FACSA Foundation. The important thing is to tell.

 

So how do young men and young women get involved partner, when they should know better and leave? Out of 6 billion people in the world, why do we fall in love with the partners we choose? You can walk into a room of people and may find many attractive, but there will be one who captivates your interest more than the others because of pheromones. Your nose emits odorless chemicals called pheromones that peeks your interest around a certain individual. Guys like to impress girls with their status, wit, charm, physical appearance, humor, and talents. While ladies like to impress the guys by twirling their fingers in their hair, batting their eyes, acting sweet and charming, or pretending to be interested in something they could care less about. Now guys, this does not mean you can put your sweaty armpits in the girl’s faces to make them fall madly in love with; this will probably get you hit a few times.

Another factor, besides being a hormonal teenager, is the fact that, as we grow up, we watch our parents every day. We see them laugh together, love each other, or we see them argue with one another, cheat on one another, lie to each other, or be abusive to each other; and this imprint becomes our comfort zone and the model of our future relationships. We say I will never be like my mother or I will never be like my dad, but subconsciously we choose our first loves that have tendencies like our parents because this is our comfort zone. It isn’t until we get older, with more experience, for us to realize what kind of relationship is a healthy relationship and find a person who loves us, as we are, with flaws and all. Because when it comes down to it, you will never change them, you cannot fix them, they will not get better, and abuse only escalates. You cannot love enough for two; nor can you make it work by yourself.  You deserve to be loved and accepted as you are; and you have to pass on others until you find a partner who can do that. Not everyone will fit into the mold you fantasize as your soul mate; and trying to make them into what you want will only lead to a lot of heart of ache. If you are dating an abusive partner, regardless of how much you love them, you have to ask yourself, is this someone I would want to have children with. Would I want my children to be yelled at and belittled for every little thing they do wrong? Your children deserve better than that; you deserve better than that.  If you have someone in your life that is physically and verbally abusive to you, you need to tell your family, a teacher, a counselor, the FACSA Foundation, or an adult who will listen; and keep telling until someone listens. Abused friends and family will demonstrate the following behaviors:

  • Their partner controls what they say; who they talk to; where they go; and how they dress
  • They may/will be manipulated with money by their abuser
  • Their partner will make them fearful by actions or looks
  • Hitting them; leaving bruises and cuts
  • verbally abusing them
  • be isolated from friends and family
  • will take up for abuser; and may mention their abuse but laugh it off as a joke
  • they will try to please the abuser in anyway, but nothing will ever please them
  • believe they are their partners possession
  • Is always blamed for their partners mistakes and faults
  • Has been sexually assaults by their partner
  • Know the facts about relationship abuse.
  • Give assurance that you believe your friend’s story.
  • Listen and let her share her feelings.
  • Do not judge or give advice. Talk about available options and resources.
  • Physical safety is the first priority. If you believe a friend is in danger, voice that concern. Help create a safety plan.
  • Respect your friend’s right to confidentiality.
  • Say that you care and want to help.
  • Don’t be upset if your friend doesn’t react the way you think she should. Let her talk about the caring aspects of the      relationship as well. People who are being controlled by their partner’s      behavior must consider many factors before coming to a conclusion about how to access safety. Let her make her own decisions and support her throughout the process.
  • Give clear messages, including:
    • Your actions do not cause the abuse.
    • You are not to blame for your partner’s behavior.
    • You cannot change her partner’s behavior.
    • Apologies and promises are a form of manipulation.
    • You are not alone.
    • Abuse is not loss of control; it is a means of control.
  • It is helpful to provide support to survivors. However, there are some forms of advice that are not useful and even dangerous for them to hear:
    • Don’t tell them what to do, when to leave or when not to leave.
    • Don’t tell them to go back to the situation and try a little harder.
    • Don’t rescue them by trying to find quick solutions.
    • Don’t suggest you try to talk to the abusive partner to straighten things out.
    • Don’t place yourself in danger by confronting the abuser.
    • Don’t tell them they should stay for the sake of the children.
  • Never recommend couples counseling in situations of emotional or physical abuse. It is dangerous for the victim and will not lead to a resolution. 
  • Encourage separate counseling for the individuals, if they want counseling.

Adapted from EWA, Canada

How to Help a Friend Who is a Sexual Assault Survivor

When talking to a survivor of sexual assault, here are some key ideas to keep in mind:

  • Validation: Accept what you hear. Many survivors fear they will not be believed. They are afraid that their experience will be minimized as “not important” or made into a catastrophe. Let the survivor state her or his views,  feelings, beliefs, and opinions. Do not be judgmental.
  • Empowerment: Allow survivors to direct their own course of action, no matter how much      you think your idea would help them. An assault takes away the victim’s power and control over their self and situation; regaining that sense of control helps the survivor in the recovery process.
  • Information: Present survivors with resources and available options. Initially, the victim may be so overwhelmed that it is impossible for them to hear everything. Be patient and willing to repeat yourself. Respect the person’s decision as to what to do.
  • Privacy: Assure survivors that you will keep the matter private. Explain that you may need to consult with resources to understand how to help her. If total anonymity is necessary, you and/or the survivor may get information and support without revealing your names.
  • Listen: Let survivors disclose as much about the assault as they are comfortable with. Do not press for details, as this can feel intrusive and controlling.

In responding to the survivor use the same words she or he does in describing the event. If the survivor uses the word “rape,” then use it in reflective listening. If the survivor uses the expression “something bad happened,” stay with that. Be empathetic, non-judgmental, and help the survivor feel safe. Avoid labeling the experience for them. Remember, survivors may feel guilty and responsible. You can reassure them that no one deserves to be assaulted and it was not their fault. Be particularly sensitive if a survivor has special needs based on ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and/or disability.

 

 

Even though it should never occur, the fact is dating violence and abuse happens every day, regardless of education or the lack thereof, rich or poor, race, or religion. People do not leave because they are afraid to; they are mentally and physically beaten down; or feel they have nowhere to turn.

  • If you have been abused by your partner, or you know someone who has you can call for resources:

 

  •  the FACSA Foundation (318) 540-4464 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (318) 532-0703 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting; or email us at facsasavethechildren@hotmail.com

 

  • the National Dating Abuse Hotline 1 (866) 331-9474 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1 (866) 331-9474 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting

 

  • loveisrespect.org is a new 24 hour resource that utilizes telephone and web-based interactive technology to reach teens and young adults experiencing dating abuse. The Helpline numbers are: (866) 331-9474 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (866) 331-9474 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting and TTY (866) 331-8453. The peer to peer online individual chat function is available from 4 p.m. to midnight and can be accessed from the website.

 

  • Local Springhill Police (318) 539-2511 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (318) 539-2511 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting

 

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1(800) 799-7233 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1(800) 799-7233 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting

      

If you plan on leaving, make a safe exit:

  • Know the phone number of a safe house or a local women’s battered shelter
  • Tell someone you trust and develop a plan; use code words if you are in trouble. A visual sign could be if the light is on it is safe; if the light is off you are in trouble
  • Go to a doctor if you are injured and report the incident
  • Do not go back to the abuser; your life could be at risk and no love is worth that.
  • File a report and let the charges stick; regardless of the partner’s threats
  • Reassure children of a safe place and their job is not to protect you.
  • Keep the car fueled, money hidden, cell charged, and evacuation plan ready
  • Pack a bag and hide it if necessary, with important documents, like social security numbers, birth certificates, medical information, marriage license, extra car keys, car title, banking information, important phone numbers, shoes, clothes, and toiletry items; maybe the kids favorite toy, to calm them.
  • Know abusers schedule and a safe time to leave
  • Erase you internet search history and be careful who you reach out to
  • If you call for help, immediately dial another number right after that, so the abuser will not know who you called last.

If you leave:

  • Change your routine
  • keep your doors locked

  keep a certified copy of your restraining order with you at all times. (6 months max; can get a $500 fine or imprisonment)

  • Install security systems in your new place
  • Get a P O Box
  • Get caller id
  • Avoid going to where the abuser is, when possible. If necessary, carry protectors with you like law enforcement.

 

You don’t deserve to be treated this way;  you do deserve to be valued as a person, listened to without being yelled at, criticized, or judged; and you deserve to be loved. Despite what you think that person is bringing to your life, they are actually taking more than they offer. You can’t afford to trade yourself, your self -esteem, or possibly, your life for what you have them?  You have to learn to value yourself as a person, respect yourself despite your mistakes; and know today is a new day to start fresh. Learn to protect yourself and make better choices for your life; because every choice you make, regardless of how small, will affect the rest of your life. Every action becomes a behavior; and a behavior becomes who you are. There will be times in your life where you will have to take a good hard look at your life; and change what you don’t like about it.

I will close with a quote from Jim Rohn, “If you don’t make a plan for your life, chances are, you will fall into someone else’s; and guess what they have planned for you; not much!”

Connie Lee/FACSA Foundation/Founder/President

FACSAFoundation.org

facsasavethechildren@hotmail.com

 http://facsafoundationvirtualexpo.ning.com/ 

 

 

The  Dating Bill of Rights according to the ACADV http://www.acadv.org/dating.html

 

         

   

   

The Dating Bill of Rights

   

I Have The Right To:

   
  •     Ask for a date
  •     Refuse a date
  •     Suggest Activities
  •     Refuse any activities,

            Even if my date is   

            Excited about them 

  •     Have my own feelings   

           And be able to express   

           Them  

  •     Say, “I think my friend   

            Is wrong and their    

            Actions are inappropriate.  

  •     Tell Someone Not To   

            Interrupt Me  

  •     Have my limits and   

            Values respected  

  •     Tell my partner when  

            I need affection  

  •     Refuse affection
  •     Be heard
  •     Refuse to lend money
  •     Refuse sex anytime,              

            For any reason   

  •     Have friends and   

            Space aside from    

            My partner 

____________________________________________________________________   

I     Have The Responsibility Too

   

  •     Determine my limits and   

            Values  

  •     Respect the limits of others
  •     Communicate clearly and       

            Honestly  

  •     Not violate limits of others
  •     Ask for help when I need it
  •     Be considerate
  •     Check my actions and decisions               

            To determine whether they are   

            Good or bad for me  

  •     Set High Goals For Myself