We Are Survivors 

This blog is dedicated to the tens of millions of adult survivors of child abuse and neglect who get up every day and try to work and function in a world that seems to not care about us.

We Are Survivors

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Over the past 10 years, many survivors have posted comments on blogs I have written (We Are Survivors Blog).  I have taken many of the survivors’ public comments and am sharing them with you. Both their pain and hope for a better future are common threads.

Over the past 10 years, many survivors have posted comments on blogs I have written (We Are Survivors Blog).  I have taken many of the survivors’ public comments and am sharing them with you. Both their pain and hope for a better future are common threads.

Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diane says #
    I know you are being sarcastic, but unfortunately, that is what a lot of people think - rich or poor - "It doesn't happen in our n
  • Ptperez says #
    Behind closed door. . . Incest!? . . . Maybe in Applachia. Not here!

Over the past 10 years, many survivors have posted comments on blogs I have written (We Are Survivors Blog).  I have taken many of the survivors’ public comments and am sharing them with you. Both their pain and hope for a better future are common threads.

Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diane says #
    My next set of blogs will be a continuation of survivors voices. I am thankful they were able to talk about their concerns openly.
  • Ptperez says #
    Thank you Diane. It is so important to hear these voices

On December 2, 2011, I met with Senator Bob Casey’s office in Washington, DC to provide input into his pending legislation. He had named it the “Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid (Speak Up) Act of 2011.” His objective was to make it mandatory that all adults be held responsible in reporting any child abuse they witness.

Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diane says #
    Alita, what you have described is common to tens of millions of survivors all over America. Society plays its part by sticking the
  • alita says #
    I have only begun to realize the issues I have been dealing with, because of the family violence and addictions that I lived throu
  • Diane says #
    Just like they always have. I walked the halls of Congress for 10 years trying to get SOMEONE to pay attention to the plight of ad
  • Ptperez says #
    So sad. How can the entire Senate ignore this bill?
  • alita says #
    They can ignore the bill, because they don't see that this type of advocacy is going to get them any votes or supporters.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diane says #
    They already know but do not intend to do anything about it.
  • Ptperez says #
    Yeah. Please notify the U.S. Senate!

When children are abused, they begin to question themselves and their world because it destroys two essential beliefs:

  • Their sense of trust, and
  • Their sense of control over their lives.
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diane says #
    Sadly, what you described happens all over America. People refuse to look at reality and perpetrators go on their merry way. It is
  • Diane says #
    I appreciate your comments. This is the most insidious behavior of anything I've ever read about. The statistics are published yea
  • Secretary45 says #
    When my daughter was born I refused to let my dad anywhere near her. When she was three I told my mum why and that my dad had inte
  • Shannyshans says #
    This is a true but sad point you make Diane, I am happy to join your fight in speaking up for Child abuse Survivors. For too long
  • Diane says #
    I'm happy that you are aware of those feelings (a lot of survivors aren't) as that is the beginning of recovery. Also, that you sa
  • Diane says #
    After 10 years of work, I am beginning to see the Brick Wall of Denial start to crumble a little, and that is a good sign. All of
  • Louiserands says #
    I have been pretending that I'm ok and participating in this world when I haven't. I pretend to trust when I don't . The impact th
  • Ptperez says #
    Dear Diane, Thank you for continuing to chip away at the brick. The wall is thick, but little by little it can break.

The capacity for emotional regulation is one of the major causalities of significant early trauma. Traumatized individuals often suffer significant mood swings, anger, irritability, and profound depression. Numerous studies have established that a history of child abuse increases major depression approximately three-fold compared with non-abused individuals.

While children experience many types of trauma, the most common forms typically occur at the hands of their parents and caregivers. Neglect, physical and sexual abuse are often combined with emotional abuse and exposure to domestic violence. Researchers seeking to understand the effects of trauma on child development often draw distinctions between acute or single incident trauma and chronic trauma, sometimes referred to as Type I and Type II trauma, respectively.

The consequences of childhood trauma constitute a major public health problem. For many children, unaddressed consequences of trauma will adversely affect their entire lives and the lives of those around them. The effects of trauma can be pervasive, impacting on school readiness and performance, diminishing cognitive abilities, and leading to substance abuse, crippling mental disorders and costly physical health problems. Rapid identification of traumatized children could lead to early interventions which can diminish the negative sequelae and save enormous sums of money relative to the cost to society of the consequences in adulthood.

The need to address the long-term effects of child abuse and interpersonal violence by NIH (National Institutes of Health) is critical for the wellbeing of a large percentage of Americans. About 10 years ago, just such a request was made in the April 22, 2005 issue of the journal Science by Jennifer Freyd who is the editor of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation. She called for the creation of a new National Institute on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence – but her call for this Institute was ignored.

Posted by on in Healing

One of the most difficult issues to deal with in therapy is dependency – a state of mind where we are supposed to rely on someone for aid and support – our therapist. Our deepest wounds, though, were inflicted upon us when we were the most vulnerable: when we were loving, trusting, and emotionally available children. As adults, we tell ourselves at some level that that will never happen again.

There is an unusual degree of consensus among child welfare workers, researchers, politicians, criminal justice professionals and the public that the current systems for safeguarding abused and neglected children are hobbled by fragmentation of services and policies.[1] Key problems include:

Just as childhood incest is underreported, so is sibling incest. It occurs far more frequently than many want to believe although many of the same reasons for father-daughter incest (the most prominent) are the same. In fact, sibling incest is estimated to occur 3-5 times as often as father-daughter incest.[1] Once again, the root causes lie with faulty/uninformed parenting skills.

Posted by on in Healing

Many survivors have an ongoing problem with regulating their feelings and the self-harm that follows. This includes everything from eating disorders, substance abuse, self-mutilation, and, at times, thoughts of suicide. It might be helpful to understand the cycle that occurs that works to perpetuate these destructive patterns so that changes can be made.

Within this series that I have been writing, I have been trying to connect the dots to show the contrast between:

With the large number of child abuse and neglect victims and caretakers to be served, large case worker loads, high volume of criminal justice referrals, and limited programs available, resources are rationed. Victims of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse are the most frequently referred for criminal justice action and program services. In general, neglect cases—especially those involving chronic low-level neglect – receive few or no services.[1] However, experts emphasize that sexual abuse, physical violence, emotional and psychological abuse, and neglect often co-occur, so these children are many times not being served.

Posted by on in Abuse and Neglect

Child prostitution is another difficult result of child abuse, but it needs to be discussed. General psychological and emotional problems, housing instability, substance abuse, educational and vocational failure, and major problems at home have all been cited as common precipitating factors in the lives of prostituted children. The homes children run away from are often marked by emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, neglect, and regular violence between the parents.

I have shown throughout this series documented, scientific research of reported incidents of multiple personalities, the causes, and the need for effective therapy. As a child abuse survivor, I had about 20 personalities/alters that I integrated into one during 11 of my 23 years in therapy. Thank God, I had a trauma therapist who knew what she was doing.

Child victims of physical or sexual abuse very often have complicated histories of multiple victimization and trauma, and exhibit a variety of disorders, problems, and difficulties that may or may not be the direct result of abuse. Although the following list of treatment guidelines pertains to children in treatment for abuse,[1]it is helpful for adults as well. Some of the work that needs to be done in therapy is described below such as:

Posted by on in Brick Wall of Denial

Millions of adult survivors of child abuse and neglect isolate because of society’s refusal to lend support when they finally have enough courage to tell someone about their past trauma. After being brainwashed as young children that they were the cause of their own abuse and that if they said anything, they would endure more harm, adult survivors are usually left with the need to summon up enormous courage, if they want to confront their abuser’s criminal acts, with little or no support from the public. It is an almost impossible task, so many never reach that level of defiance.