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.

Media's Sex Education Campaign

Anyone that says the media has no role in sex education, that it is just “reflecting everyday life,” is either blind or doesn’t care to understand how powerful its messages of “anything goes” are to young children. To the tens of millions of American citizens like me who were raped and forced to live in a sexualized household as a child, I say they are dead wrong.

Child Abuse Data is Inaccurate

On February 2, 2010, the New York Times accurately quoted experts who put together the fourth installment of the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect. But, since the New York Times reporter is not an expert on these issues, and since there is a lack of journalistic investigation overall in reporting about child abuse, I have problems with this story.

Child Abuse Survivors Disserved by Media

One of the reasons I launched this blog was due to the media’s ineffective and ill-served use of their power to inform/persuade. I wrote to some of the top media companies in 2009 and said, “The Surgeon General has said that family violence is now at an epidemic level.1 The United States Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect has concluded that child abuse and neglect in the United States now represents a national emergency.”2

Child Abuse Runaways and Street Sex

On the front page of the New York Times on October 27, 2009 was a story about how runaways turn to sex to survive on the streets. It was a full-length article talking about the actions of pimps and the misfortunes of runaways. I wrote a blog Prostitution and Child Abuse Survivors, only I talked about the root causes of this problem: the despicable actions of abusive parents in the home.

Media Keeps Pushing Violence

Studies conducted for over 30 years all point to the same conclusion: exposure to media portrayals of violence increases aggressive behavior in children. The National Institute of Mental Health has reported, “In magnitude, exposure to television violence is as strongly correlated with aggressive behavior as any other behavioral variable that has been measured.”1 In addition to increased aggression, countless studies have demonstrated that exposure to depictions of violence causes desensitization and creates a climate of fear. So what do we continue to see on television? The most banal and despicable acts of violent behavior the media producers can drum up during their in-house brainstorming on new television programming.

Media Complicit In Fostering Abuse and Violence

Television, movies, music and interactive games are powerful learning tools and highly influential media. The average American child spends as much as 28 hours a week watching television and typically at least an hour a day playing video games or surfing the Internet. Several more hours each week are spent watching movies and listening to music. When these entertainment media showcase violence—and particularly in a context which glamorizes or trivializes it—the lessons can be destructive.

Television – The “Trash” Medium

One of the most powerful methods of communicating with Americans is the media. It can be used to inform, enlighten, encourage, and educate the millions of us who tune in every day. And yet, advertisers and producers, particularly in cable TV, have chosen to focus on the lowest common denominator in human behavior.

Media Violence And Abuse

Does media violence condition teenagers to “enjoy” the thrill of the chase, the annihilation of the “bad” guy, or is it becoming a conditioned method of desensitizing and glamorizing violence as an acceptable way to solve problems? Do violent media games reinforce to boys who are being sexually abused and physically beaten that violence is an appropriate method of expressing anger?

America’s Children’s Gitmo

Often you read newspaper articles and see TV commentaries about the treatment of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The silencing of their claims of abuse are big news stories. And yet, the same treatment of millions of children in the United States who grow up to be adult survivors of abuse is not “newsworthy” as many editors have told me – including the Washington Post and the New York Times. They give non-stop coverage as long as it is titillating and sensational but refuse to talk about the enormous issues affecting the daily lives of adult survivors of child abuse and neglect.

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