October 29, 2009

Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse: October 30, 2009

Welcome to the October 30, 2009 edition of carnival against child abuse. As the Halloween holiday approaches, many of us will be welcoming costumed children to our door and passing out goodies. As we do so, let's remember that some of these children may be in trouble...we may never know the pain of some of the children that pass by our door. That's why its so important that each and every one of us do what we can, big or small, to help fight child abuse and to be the village of loving, caring, responsible adults that every child deserves (and to hold others in our community accountable to be that as well). Thanks to all who have dedicated their time to presenting ideas in this blog carnival.

Advocacy & Awareness

Surbhi Bhatia presents Will the Slumdogs ever become Millionaires? posted at The Viewspaper » The Viewspaper. The outrageous exploitation of the children of the film does not tell the whole story, there are many like them whose faces are not seen.

Carolyn Friedman presents 50 Things Your Child Should Never Know posted at Nurse Practitioner Schools, which provides a good jumping off point for important discussions with your children.

Patricia Singleton presents Lies Incest Perpretrators Tell Their Victims posted at Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker, describing it as "A list of lies that you may have been told if you grew up with incest in your family."

Pop Tart presents Preventing Sexual Child Abuse posted at MotherhoodMetamorphosis, discussing the book My Body Belongs to Me.

vjack presents Do Good Works Balance Clergy Sexual Abuse? posted at Atheist Revolution which responds to a common excuse for covering up clergy sex abuse.

Marj aka Thriver presents Take a Stand, Raise Your Hand! posted at Survivors Can Thrive!, saying, "I guess, over the years, I've decided that the best way to work to end child abuse--especially child sexual abuse--is to: Stop The Silence...to Silence The Shame...to Break The Cycle. Child abuse perpetuates in our silence and shame. We need to be talking about it! So, in this post, I'm raising my hand; I've got something to say!" And she says it in an inspiring poem.

Colleen Spiro presents How to Help A Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse posted at Surviving by Grace, saying, "Not sure if this is advocacy or awareness .. whet do you think?"

Dr. Kathleen Young presents Minimizing Trauma and the Damage it Does posted at Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Chicago which discusses the importance of using language that does not blame the victim of abuse.

Michael presents "It takes a village to raise a child.” posted at SELF-ISH, a reminder that it takes the work of community to save abused children.

On In The Best Interest, There She Is...Miss America...in Recovery discusses the book by Marilyn van Derbur and how to support a loved one recovering from abuse.


Rabbit White presents The Beauty of Personal Freedom (Or Why I don't talk to my Parents) posted at Rabbit Write, asking "Can you even begin to imagine a world where we drop all abusive people and work on having real honest relationships...?"

Healing & Therapy

Hope presents Past, Present and Future posted at Hope for Trauma, sharing her experiences overcoming abuse and disassociative identity disorder.

In The News

Lisa O'neill presents Mother campaigning for the control of camera phones in nurseries Whereforcare.com posted at Whereforcare.com, discussing an up and coming issue in child welfare.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
carnival against child abuse
using our
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Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

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October 21, 2009

There She Is...Miss America....in Recovery

Miss America By Day by Marilyn Van Derbur is not an easy thing to read. Van Derbur takes us on a frank, very painful journey through her recovery from incest by her well respected father, and how she struggled through the shame to reach the lives of many, many others suffering with recovery from sexual abuse.

Van Derbur has dedicated her life to public speaking to encourage youth and those who work with them to find the best ways of encouraging self esteem and routing out the pain of those living with a shocking secret.

It was my husband who first alerted me to this book. He is a CASA worker, and yet I think the thing that most shook him about this book was the tireless support of Van Derbur's husband Larry, who stood by her through an incredibly difficult and long recovery. He seemed perfect. I think it terrified my husband to think such perfect spouses were wandering the earth making him look bad! And this is sort of where the book has its major flaw for me...because I suspect that even though Larry is doubtless a wonderful guy, that he had moments of despair and wanting to give up. He either hid that from Marilyn Van Derbur, or she is hiding it from us..still trying to please the man in her life (though this time he is clearly more deserving than her wretched father).

Which begs the question, how should we support those in our lives who are struggling with recovery from incest or sexual abuse?

There have been endless books and articles written on that subject, but I think I can boil down what I think is most important from Van Derbur's book combined with what I know from other sources and my own experiences.

How Do I Support My Loved One Through Recovery from Sexual Abuse?

1. Believe them. They may say things that sound completely insane...but incest and sexual abuse IS insane...its an insanity they have had to wrestle with. Don't assume because it sounds implausable that it isn't true.

2. Listen to them. Sometimes, just listening to the story, sometimes over and over, is the best gift you can give.

3. Ask if you aren't sure. If you don't know what you can do to help, ask the person. They probably know. They may want to be held. They may not want to be touched. Everyone is different and in different parts of their journey. So ask.

4. Support them in finding professionals to help them through it, and don't be afraid to say so if you think one professional is not right for them (but respect it if they don't agree). Marilyn Van Derbur had some doozies of therapists and doctors...one who even sexually abused her and one who suggested she smoke pot! Sometimes a person in recovery may not be strong enough yet to say no to something even if they feel it isnt in their best interest, so don't be afraid to validate them if you see something is wrong.

5. Don't ask them to finish their recovery before they are ready. Don't ask when they are going to get over it, or suggest they should be done by now. Everyone's recovery is different. For Van Derbur, it took years. For some they are able to deal with it rather quickly....but everyone has to go through their process.

6. Do get support for yourself. You need to find somewhere you can safely blow off steam and get help too. Especially if its a long journey. This can be a therapist, trusted friend, support group, church...whatever helps YOU.

7. Keep their secrets until they are ready. Don't tell other people what your loved one is going through without their permission. As they deal with the shame and learn that what happened wasn't their fault, they need to be the ones in charge of deciding who knows and how they find out.

8. Love them. And when its appropriate, protect them and help them protect themselves until they are able to do it alone.

October 19, 2009

Carnival Against Child Abuse for October 2009

In the Best Interest is excited to host the Carnival Against Child Abuse for October 2009. The theme is: Beginner's Guide to Saving a Child. We are seeking submissions on volunteer opportunities, ways to help work to end child abuse and organizations that focus their efforts on this important work.

Nevertheless, we are also accepting generalist posts on child abuse as well in the categories of Advocacy & Awareness, Aftermath, Healing & Therapy,
In the News, and Poetry & Survivor Stories.

To submit, fill out the form here. Submissions are due by midnight on October 28.

Thank you for your commitment to the children!