Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Thoughts Always: Let the beatings begin

As previously mentioned I am doing all this to raise awareness of child abuse. It's important that every child find someone who will fight for them and not against them. As I have stated in the previous post these are my life experiences. They aren't a soap opera or a TV show this is my real life.

After telling the guidance counselor things would only get worse, things did get worse. My brother and I were always arguing and fighting. We are siblings that's what siblings do, fight and fuss. After one such incident in which we were fighting dear 'ol dad yanked me away from my brother and proceeded to beat my brother.

I'm not talking a smack on the butt, that I don't consider abuse. The first thing dad grabbed was a man's dress shoe. He brought his arm back and slammed it into my brother. I tried to jump in front of my brother. I tried to make it stop. He was too strong and managed to beat my brother and hold my mom, grandmother, and myself back. The shoe I guess wasn't effective enough and he tossed it to the side and a book was the next object to slam against my brother's twelve year old body. The shoe and the book weren't effective enough. He unbuckled his belt and pulled it out of his blue work pants and whipped my brother like the stories you hear about slavery and the masters that were abusive. When it was all done my brother had welts all over his back and was covered in bruises.

God, why wasn't I able to stop this insanity? I think to this day I still blame myself for this incident. If I had just kept my mouth shut when my brother and I were fighting... Why was that nasty man created?

My mom knew she had to find a way to protect my brother but what. She also knew that I had reached a stage in my life at which I fight back and she didn't need to worry about me. I'm way too vocal and had he touched me I would have gone to school and told and he would have been arrested. Which I should have done to begin with hindsight sucks. My mom enrolled my brother into Karate. It worked my brother and I fought less and he could now defend himself.

The old man raised his fist to my brother and my brother kicked him in the crotch. This was the beginning of the end of the physical abuse for my brother. The fact that my little brother could now kick his butt was a dream come true and now the abuser learns what it is to have pay back.

The old man stopped beating my brother. I guess it's real easy to beat up someone smaller than yourself, someone who can't defend themselves. Once my brother could defend himself we became unstoppable me with my sassy tell you off attitude and my brother with his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pizza loving self.

After my eighteenth birthday I moved to Cleveland, Ohio to go to school. I knew my brother would have been fine. I was no longer worried that he would get beaten. The tables had turned.

I did not get help through all of this. There was no escape. I didn't know what to do especially since the only guidance counselor I ever spoke to practically ignored me. There are other children who don't know what to do or where to go. That's why everything I do or say is so important. If you know or suspect child abuse it is more than important to report it. Children can't speak for themselves sometimes. Adults need to do it for them. Children are told "Don't tell" or "It's your fault." They don't understand that it truly isn't their fault.

So, once more I will offer a few resources and the numbers to call if you or someone you know is a child of abuse.
OVC Office for victims of crime.
CAPP "Since its inception in 1986, the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP) has been at the forefront of arming children with the necessary tools to prevent and report child abuse. CAPP believes that every child receive their basic right to safety so that they can have the opportunity to grow and thrive. With their award-winning Child Safety Workshop, CAPP has found an effective and engaging way of teaching children the skills they need to recognize and resist abuse. Using life-sized Kids On The Block, Inc. puppets to provide school children with safety information, the workshops have reached over 300,000 children to date.CAPP aims to educate young children about their right to be safe. By doing so, CAPP sets a foundation for prevention; and if abuse is present, allows children to be heard. These children are assured that there is not something particular about them that caused the abuse to occur.CAPP actively combats the misconception that abuse will go away if we pretend it does not exist"

Prevent child abuse Texas "Prevent Child Abuse Texas (PCATX) is a statewide non-profit organization working to prevent child abuse and neglect in all its forms throughout Texas.The work of the organization depends solely on private grants and contributions.
We are led by a statewide Board of Directors who represent their regions through community agencies and organizations dealing with social issues affecting children."

Safe Child resources to keep children safe.

Ten ways to prevent child abuse

Reporting abuse numbers:
Child Help USA 8004-A-CHILD 800422-4453 (this is the number you would use if you reside in Mexico.)
Alaska (AK)800-478-4444
Arizona (AZ)888-SOS-CHILD(888-767-2445)
Arkansas (AR)800-482-5964
Connecticut (CT)800-842-2288800-624-5518 (TDD/hearing impaired)
Delaware (DE)800-292-9582
Florida (FL)800-96-ABUSE(800-962-2873)
Illinois (IL)800-252-2873
Indiana (IN)800-562-2407
Iowa (IA)800-362-2178
Kansas (KS)800-922-5330
Kentucky (KY)800-752-6200
Maine (ME)800-452-1999
Maryland (MD)800-332-6347
Massachusetts (MA)800-792-5200
Michigan (MI)800-942-4357
Mississippi (MS)800-222-8000
Missouri (MO)800-392-3738
Montana (MT)800-332-6100
Nebraska (NE)800-652-1999
Nevada (NV)800-992-5757
New Hampshire (NH)800-894-Jersey (NJ)800-792-8610800-835-5510 (TDD/hearing impaired)
New Mexico (NM)800-432-2075
New York (NY)800-342-3720
North Dakota (ND)800-245-3736
Oklahoma (OK)800-522-3511
Oregon (OR)800-854-3508
Pennsylvania (PA)800-932-0313
Rhode Island (RI)800-RI-CHILD(800-742-4453)
Texas (TX)800-252-5400
Utah (UT)800-678-9399
Virginia (VA)800-552-7096
Washington (WA)800-562-5624
West Virginia (WV)800-352-6513
Wyoming (WY)800-457-3659
Canadian directory this has a list of numbers and places to go to in Canada to get help.

5 comments:

  1. My dear Shirley,

    All I can say is that knowing this makes me see even more how strong, brave and determined you are. You have taken dark painful times and built something solid, powerful and positive from it, and continue to do every single day. You are remarkable. You are a truly dynamic and loving woman.

    My went out to those two little kids (you and your brother), so deserving of gentle warm love. It made me wish I'd been there to love you both. It is why I feel SO strongly about a child's rights, human right for that matter, but especially children who have no one to protect them.

    I am go proud of you for sharing this and continuing to create this awareness. It is desperately needed. All over the world it is needed. The abuse has to stop. You are a great gift to the world. A real blessing in my life and the lives of so many others. Your voice is solid and powerful.

    Hugs and love,
    Robin

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  2. You're brave to share this Shirley for the rights of those who come after you, for the rights of children to be children.

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  3. @Robin I've waited this long to comment because I don't know what to say. There were so many times I sat in my room crying and daydreaming for it to end. I used to daydream that my brother and I had a real daddy. I came to accept that that would never happen. My mom doesn't trust any man. There will never be wedding bells for her. She has blocked out in her mind a good portion of it but she can't block out my brother and I and even if she could she wouldn't want to. We kept her from commiting suicide.


    @cooper It's not bravery. My abuser died. I've always written about in my journals as a kid. The thing I face is ridicule from family (not my mom or brother). No big deal we've been out of touch since his death. My mom made it possible for me to do this. For years she built my self esteem in a way that I felt comfortable telling people. I will and have spoken of this It's not just words that I type. I've gone to rallies and shelters. It has made a huge difference my openess about it all. My best friend told someone off because they told a joke about incest. My husband told me a joke about incest when we were dating. Then, he realise it's not funny.

    Children need a voice if we don't talk then no one will know. If we don't listen no one will know. If we don't tell the abuse will continue.

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  4. I found this such a difficult post to read. As someone who has faced physical violence this was so triggering to me. It did however make me marvel at your courage. Though you said that it was not courageous to speak about your experience I beg to differ. Even if your abuser is dead that does not mean that you are still not harmed and hurt by the memories. Hopefully in sharing your story children will learn that whatever abuse they are suffering that it is not their fault. No one deserves to be emotionally or physically abused. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. See, this is where I must thank you because of you linking to my posts we have already helped two people. I won't get in to it for privacy issues but this is worth losing my stumble account over if need be. It's true that to this day I still have my issues but I am a better person for facing it head on. I am not scared when I write. I feel that life gives us lessons it what we do with those lessons that count. Because of the response here I am now working on a domestic violence directory. Good is coming from this.

    ReplyDelete

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