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My Letter to Michelle Obama by Amy J. Matthews…

October 28, 2012 1 comment

Dear Mrs. Obama:

I am writing to you today because I respect you very much, and I know how important both the issues of Domestic Violence and the right of everyone to have Affordable Health Care are to you.

I want to introduce you to an amazing woman and advocate Susan Murphy- Milano. Susan is currently dying of Cancer due to the lack of Health Insurance. Everywhere she applied for help turned her down and she was informed that she did not qualify for their services. I know you agree that there is something terribly wrong when a country as great as ours can let this happen to anyone, yet alone someone who has devoted her entire life to saving the  lives of others and without once thinking about what it could mean to her own.

Susan grew up in Chicago, the daughter of a 30-year veteran Chicago Police Detective and Violent Crimes Investigator Phillip Murphy. Susan’s father murdered her mother in 1989 and then turned the gun on himself committing suicide.  His intent was to kill his daughter as well. On the way to the house to try to save her mother something made her take an unexpected turn on the way. This decision is the only reason Susan is alive today. Had she taken her normal route Susan would not be with us now! Susan lived a life of trying to keep her mother alive her entire life and after her mother was murdered she devoted her entire life to saving others.

This most amazing woman is now on her last days after putting up a good fight. I am writing you today because I know you care. I know you care about the women and children in this country, the state of our health care, and every person’s God given human right. It is not just women and children that Susan has saved; there is no gender bias when it comes to abuses towards another.

Susan is the leading expert on Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence, and at the time when she discovered she had Cancer she was already in stage 4. This all happened just as her lifelong dreams were coming true. Susan is the women who mentored Rev. Neil Schori , Stacy Peterson’s Pastor and taught him everything he knows about Intimate Partner violence. Together they created The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit    which is a legal document that can be used in court as legal testimony even if the victim is murdered or missing.

This tragic news about Susan came just as her lifelong work was getting known. Susan was getting invitations from law enforcement agencies all over the country to come and train Law Enforcement and first responders what to look for when they answer a call, or respond to a crime scene.  She was preparing to start working at a University where she was given Carte Blanche and offered full use of the Universities resources to help her with her work. She did not apply to work at this University they came to her asking her to please come and head this project. Susan was offered her own Television Show which was scheduled to air this winter.  Again she was approached by the producers she did not seek them they sought Susan. These are just a few of the triumphs that have a major impact in the field of Intimate Partner Violence!  Susan was now in high demand all over the country. But her work was suddenly halted in its prime due to her health.

Susan had a good chance to recover had she had the treatment she needed. This is a disgrace and an embarrassment for this Country which I know you and the President both agree. I am so sorry that the President’s Health plan has been fought against and has not been put into place. This is something that may have saved not only the life of this amazing woman but could have saved countless other people both through Susan’s work and the health plan combined.

This is what Susan said when she made the announcement about her Cancer:

“My dreams and hard work are now becoming reality.
In early fall there will be a national announcement about the Intimate Partner Violence Institute with two major universities.

A national conference and training hosted by the Naperville Christian Church is scheduled for the first week of October on the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit for law enforcement, prosecutors and first responders.

The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit APP will be at the Apple Store on Monday July, 2, 2012.

Holding My Hand Through Hell will be released nationwide October 1, 2012.

Everything will still happen as scheduled”.

Susan Murphy Milano June 27 2012

Please check out these links and Google her name for more on Susan. I know you will love her as much as I do and as the countless women she has saved

Susan’s Cancer blog Conquering Cancer which she started to try to change the way society looks and Cancer treatment

Susan’s Main Blog  Susan Murphy Milano’s Journal to educate the public on Intimate Partner Violence

Document the Abuse website for the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit 

Susan’s latest book “Holding My Hand Through Hell” is about her life and what it was like for her growing up in an abusive home.  She wrote this book for the purpose of helping others who are living the same hell that Susan grew up living in.  After reading this book people will know why Susan is the who she is.

See Susan’s other books here

Chicago Tribune article and interview with The Rev. Neil Schori.

Listen here to Rev. Schori interview after the trial of Drew Peterson

Susan Murphy Milano and her work in Chicago. Please watch this video and you will see the great work she has done in the past!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and listen to the interviews.

I would like to invite you to the Facebook prayer page for Susan. You will be in awe of the outpouring of prayers and thoughts of people whose lives were changed just by knowing her.

God Bless you and The President for all the work that has been done and is being done to make our lives better.

Sincerely,

Amy J. Matthews

Book Release, Susan Murphy-Milano – Holding My Hand Through Hell…

October 24, 2012 Comments off

Susan Murphy-Milano once again has gone over and beyond the call of duty in her most recent released book, Holding My Hand Through Hell.

Susan, a “Success Survivor” herself of victimization and a well known Advocate in the Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence arena takes you on the ride of her life.  Ladies and gentlemen……………HOLD ON! and get ready for the read that you will not be able to put down!

Susan has never been an open book.  She has seldom opened up, never allowing the women in crisis, her close friends nor others to see or hear the damning side of her life that existed from the time she could remember. 

It was nationally known that her father was a decorated detective in the Chicago Police Department.  He killed her mother and then himself after many years of dealing the many forms of abusive power at her mother, brother and herself.   Susan was hell bent that she was going to make a difference in our society and that she does.  Yes, her father was hidden behind the blue badge, everyone covered up for him and/or turned their cheek rather than to slap his ass in jail with charges that would have stuck.

Susan has made sure in her book, Holding My Hand Through Hell that no stone was left unturned.  This book is graphic and extremely detailed, but guess what…..domestic/intimate partner violence and child abuse is graphic, raw, ugly and nasty.  One never knows when it may rear it’s ugly head.  This book can be overwhelming at times but yet……there is inspiration throughout her life that is shared.

I have personally witnessed Susan in “crisis mode” with victims who reached out to her.  Susan is always twenty steps ahead of the assailant, compassionate but firm as she instructs the victim exactly what to do and how to get it done.  Keep in mind that no victim ever died on her watch.  When assisting in solving homicides she is always on target, she would sniff out the perp just like a K9.  Susan doesn’t ever back down, yes she walks the walk and most definitely talks the talk.  When a mission presents itself to Susan she immediately goes into survival mode.  Survival mode is what Susan has known all of her life all too well.  To witness her in this mode is simply breath taking.

Holding My Hand Through Hell also proves to us all that God is always present in our lives and Susan has proved this over and over.  God was with her through every trial and tribulation; God has a purpose for each and every one of us.  We may not understand at the time while in the pain but eventually when we realize the purpose we must act upon it and follow God’s plan.  

Susan’s Murphy-Milano‘s testimony proves that she never gave up on God, she could have but never turned her back on her spiritual Father.  In turn he has used her story to make a major difference in countless lives.

**********************************************************************

At this time Susan is slipping away from us after suffering from Stage IV cancer.

May you feel God’s loving embrace as He wraps His arms around you protecting and guiding you on your journey home.  Blessings my friend.  I love you.

**********************************************************************

Holding My Hand Through Hell is available at:

Ice Cube Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Take care and STAY SAFE!

HOLDING MY HAND THROUGH HELL by Susan Murphy Milano

October 7, 2012 Comments off

This poignant well-written book tells the story of a police officer’s family and a daughter’s quest for justice long after the heart-wrenching murder of her mother. Susan Murphy Milano embraces a legacy of unconditional love and faith to triumph over a life plagued with unspeakable abuse and pain.

Based on a true story, told with the flow of a novel, spiced with frank wisdom and with, Holding My Hand Through Hell encourages the reader to immerse themselves into this family s life and is an inspiration to become an advocate for change in this world we all share.

Holding My Hand Through Hell will incite discussion, debate, and heightened awareness about hope, survival, abuse, murder, and its impact on our society. In the end, it will leave readers both applauding this woman as well as wondering how she escaped, sometimes at the eleventh hour. Twenty years later, she has realized that God must have been holding her hand through hell, delivering her from the evils of her life in order to save others.

“Raw and riveting Holding My Hand Through Hell starts fast and never lets up. In this powerful memoir, author Susan Murphy Milano throws open her personal closet so that we see what drives this woman to tirelessly champion voiceless victims and the people who love them”…… Steve Jackson, NY Times best-selling author.

About Susan Murphy-Milano

SUSAN MURPHY MILANO is a specialist in intimate partner violence and works nationally with domestic violence programs, law enforcement and prosecutors providing technical and consulting services in “high risk” domestic violence and stalking related cases.  Her principal objective is to intervene before a victim is seriously injured or killed.  Utilizing a procedure which she devised, the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit© Murphy Milano’s clients are all still alive.

SUSAN MURPHY MILANO is the author of DEFENDING OUR LIVES (Doubleday 1996), MOVING OUT, MOVING ON (Kind Living Press 2008), and TIME’S UP (Dog Ear Publishing 2010) which guide those in abusive relationships to a place of freedom and safety.

Susan’s quest for justice was instrumental in the passage of the Illinois Stalking Law and the Lauternberg Act.  She has been prominently featured in newspapers, magazines, radio and television including: The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Radio, ABC’S 20/20, Justice Files, E-True Hollywood, CNN, Sunday Today Show Profile, Women’s Day, Family Circle, US News and World Report to name only a few.   She has frequently participated in guest media commentary panels on major news programs.

To learn more about Susan and her work, please visit the following sites:

SusanMurphy-Milano.Com

DocumentTheAbuse.Com

HoldingMyHandThroughHell.Com

Facebook….Twitter….LinkedIn

Holding My Hand Through Hell

Book Tour Stops:

Thursday, October 4: Official Launch from Heartland Fall Forum with Jillian Maas Backman and Ice Cube Press Publisher, Steve Semken on radio show, Change Already!  

LISTEN TO PODCAST

Friday, October 5:  Writing is a CrimeDiane Fanning (wrote the foreword)

Saturday, October 6: Shattered Lives with Donna R. Gore LISTEN LIVE

Monday, October 8: Truth, Justice, and All-American Allergen-Free Apple PieHeidi Hiatt

Tuesday, October 9: NeilSchori.Com Pastor Neil Schori

Wednesday, October 10: Losing Austin, Finding MyselfAnita Sullivan

Thursday, October 11: Safe Relationships MagazineSandra L. Brown, MA

Friday, October 12:  Statement AnalysisPeter Hyatt

Monday, October 15: HopeForHealing.Org and GayleCrabtree.ComGayle Crabtree

Tuesday, October 16: Crime Wire with Dennis Griffin LISTEN LIVE

Wednesday, October 17: Justice Cafe

Thursday, October 18: Danielle Pierre

Friday, October 19: Washington TimesPaula Carrasquillo

Monday, October 22: PamelaChapman.Biz Pamela Chapman

Tuesday, October 23: The Roth Show BlogDr. Laurie Roth

Wednesday, October 24: AnnyJacoby.ComAnny Jacoby

Thursday, October 25: Amy Elk, Voice Over Actress, and Justice for NiqueAmy Elk

Friday, October 26: Doc Bonn BlogDr. Scott Bonn

Monday, October 29: Cynthia Caron

Tuesday, October 30: DonnaGore.ComDonna R. Gore “LadyJustice”

Thursday, November 1: Crime, She WritesCathy Scott

Friday, November 2: BurlBarer.Net, Burl Barer

Monday, November 5: Survivors JusticePatricia McKnight

Via ImaginePublicity

1 is 2 Many

October 2, 2012 Comments off

 

Despite the significant progress made in reducing violence against women, young women continue to face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. In the last year, one in 10 teens has reported being physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend. One in five young women has been sexually assaulted while in college. In response to these alarming statistics, Vice President Biden launched the 1 is 2 many campaign last year. This campaign focuses his longstanding commitment to reducing violence against women specifically on teens and young women ages 16-24. By targeting the importance of changing attitudes that lead to violence, and educating the public on the realities of abuse, the Obama Administration is leading the way to stop violence against women before it begins.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden join with Eli Manning, Jeremy Lin, Jimmy Rollins, Evan Longoria, David Beckham, Joe Torre and Andy Katz in this PSA to raise awareness about dating violence.

Thank you to all of the participants in the video for sending a loud message that must be heard by all.
Take care and STAY SAFE!

YMCA’s Take Child Protection Very Seriously

November 28, 2011 Comments off

YMCAs take child protection very seriously.  Their extensive policies and attention to safety regarding every program and service make them a leader in “state of the art” child protection policy.  They also know that this alone does not keep children safe in their communities.  They instead recognize the need for leadership at every level to be involved and engaged in protecting children from sexual abuse.  With the health and well being of children and families at the heart of their mission and a long history of tackling tough community issues, Y’s across the country are stepping up to convene leaders and engage the entire community in prevention.

Teaming up to support these local Y efforts, D2L and The Redwoods Group Foundation are providing tools, resources and funding assistance to help YMCAs operationalize wide spread community awareness and education.  Our vision is that Ys, serving as the natural conveners, bring together community leaders, other local child-serving organizations, and policy makers as partners in prevention.  This exciting collaboration is empowering communities with a strategy and a model for creating and sustaining positive change in the protection of children from child sexual abuse.

YMCAs are helping lead a national effort to build community initiatives that increase awareness of the problem of child sexual abuse and bring prevention to the local level.  A key to their success with such initiatives is their ability to bring together the right people and resources to facilitate change in communities nationwide.  Locally, they do this every day generating solutions to challenges facing their communities.

While community prevention initiatives across the country are having an impact, Y’s have the ability to exponentially increase participation in the effort.  Serving over 9 million children and 12 million adults in 10,000 communities they can be the most effective and efficient pathway to reducing child sexual abuse.  In addition, one of the Y’s focus area is social responsibility, and their emphasis on youth development makes them a natural partner to address this issue.  As former Y CEO, Ralph Yohe stated, “Y’s are uniquely position to take a leadership role in prevention as we are often at the heart of a community, we have a long history of tackling community issues, and bottom line, the protection and well being of children is part of our mission.”

Thanks to the impact YMCAs have on kids, families and communities—and the sheer number of communities they serve—this “Y movement” will lead the way in engaging the largest group of citizens yet in child protection!

YMCA Background

In early 2009, The Redwoods Group, a commercial specialty insurance group based in NC and one of the largest insurers for YMCAs, contacted Darkness to Light to explore synergies between the two organizations.  Redwoods felt that they could provide benefit to their clients by adding Stewards of Children prevention curriculum to their training offerings, believing that the empowering and emotional elements of the program would augment the policy and procedure training components that were also necessary.

Kevin Trapani, founder and CEO of Redwoods, had a bigger vision.  The Redwoods Group is a privately‐held, Certified B Corps that takes their responsibility for the safety of children at Y’s across the country very seriously.  Not only that, social responsibility is at the core of everything Redwoods believes so it wasn’t enough to just address child safety within the 4 walls of a Y.

A collaboration begins…In 2010, the social enterprise’s Foundation made a commitment to facilitate community‐based child sexual abuse prevention through YMCA’sOver the past three years, the Redwoods Group Foundation has dedicated significant time, energy, and financial capitol to protect children from the trauma of sexual abuse. Collaborating with Darkness to Light, a Stewards of Children “seed fund” was created to assist YMCAs in starting community initiatives.  The Foundation has two staff members working to bring YMCAs together to propel the effort to scale.  Their goal is to help YMCA’s engage community partners in child sexual abuse prevention and intervention.  Ultimately, they hope the effort will be expanded to all YMCAs.

Via d2l

Anny is a Steward’s of Children Authorized Facilitator and Prevention Specialist who trains adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse through Darkness to Light’s certification programs.  Please contact Anny to bring Prevent Now! community meetings your area and to arrange Steward’s of Children trainings.  You may contact her via email, anny@annyjacoby.com or 919-225-1421.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

What Can We Learn From Penn State?

November 27, 2011 Comments off
It’s unfortunate that it takes national headlines to get people talking about a problem that is all too prevalent in our society but we can take advantage of this opportunity to shine the light on the issue of child sexual abuse and recognize that we all have a responsibility to protect children.
  • We’ve learned that this issue is not about big universities, celebrity, or the Catholic Church.  It’s not about reputations, or legacies or any one institution.  This issue is about children.
  • We’ve learned that we have to step into the reality that there are people in our midst that would rob children of their innocence and they are people we know and trust.  They will go out of their way to appear above reproach and they will infiltrate our families and organizations where they can have easy access to children.
  • We’ve learned that it takes tremendous courage for children and adults that have been abused to come forward.  We must support and honor this courage and work together to ensure their story is not handed down to other innocent children.
  • We’ve learned that child safety is the job of an adult.  Teaching children how to keep themselves safe from abuse is important, but adults bear the burden of stepping up and speaking out when something doesn’t look or feel right with respect to the wellbeing of a child.  We’ve learned that it may or may not be our legal responsibility as mandated reporters depending on where we live but morally it is the right thing to do.  If you see something or suspect abuse, call the police.
  • We’ve learned that the ramifications of not acting responsibly are clear.  More abuse occurs, more children are harmed, fewer children get the help they so deserve.  To be silent bystanders is to be complicit in its occurrance and wake. To intervene is to ensure that a child is treated and supported, that they are healed and better protected from potential lifelong hardships of trauma.
  • We’ve learned that child sexual abuse is preventable.  We can learn the facts, we can acknowledge the reality, we can talk to others adults, we can ensure youth serving organizations have comprehensive child protection policy, and we can talk to our children.  Awareness and education is the answer.
  • The fight against child abuse cannot be the job of one agency; it has to be a collaborative effort.  It will take all of us to change culture–to one where engaged adults offer no place for a perpetrator to commit their heinous acts and no access to children.
  • We can be stuck in the shock and horror of what happened at Penn State staying focused on who knew what and when or we can pledge right now to stay focused on the things we can do today that better protect children.  Let Penn State serve as a wake-up call.  Will we stay vigilant or will we again become complacent when the smoke clears?

Ways to Get Involved

Via d2l.org

Anny is a Steward’s of Children Authorized Facilitator and Prevention Specialist who trains adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse through Darkness to Light’s certification programs.  Please contact Anny to bring Prevent Now! community meetings your area and to arrange Steward’s of Children trainings.  You may contact her via email, anny@annyjacoby.com or 919-225-1421.

Take care and stay safe.

Child Sexual Abuse Community Awareness Meetings Being Planned…

November 19, 2011 Comments off

The Darkness to Light’s child sexual abuse program(s) are trainings across the United States.

Have you taken a stance again CSA?  If not, why not?  Call or email me to plan Darkness to Light’s Child Sexual Abuse Community Meetings, Prevent Now! (45 mins) and/or “Stewards of Children”, two-and-a-half training sessions for adults.  Darkness to Lights program seeks “to empower adults through awarness and educational programs to PREVENT, RECOGNIZE AND REACT RESPONSIBLY to childhood sexual abuse. 

“The only public good thing that came out of the horrible Penn State situation is it’s brough major attention to Child Sexual Abuse.”  Take a stance, NOW!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Sandusky case triggers pain well beyond campus…

November 16, 2011 1 comment

As adults, victims suffer nightmares, anger, anxiety from childhood abuse.

By Kari Huus, Reporter msnbc.com

As the Penn State sex abuse scandal unfolds — ghastly detail by detail — on front pages, the airwaves and Twitter accounts, the news can be especially devastating for one group in particular: former victims of sexual abuse.

“Another night of triggers and flashbacks,” writes a forum member on MaleSurvivor.org, a website devoted to healing male victims of sexual abuse. “… I felt him all over me and my arms are scratched as I try to get the feeling of his hands off me. … I think all the (Penn State) news set the triggers off, and now I am like a zombie, trying to recover and move forward today.”

“I never met Jerry Sandusky, but feel I know him all too well,” writes another member of the forum, referring to the university’s former defensive coordinator who stands accused of sexually molesting at least eight young boys. “I dealt with my own ‘Jerry’ when I was 12 or 13. … Now that he is sated and I am long forgotten, I’m still picking up the pieces.”

“This whole thing is devastating me. These boys are lost in the details … just as most of us here were,” the member added.

Psychologists say that any sex abuse victim — man or woman — may find that news of the Penn State case sparks painful memories. But the way this case is unfolding strikes an especially deep chord with men.

“It can be very triggering of either their own memories — they may get flashbacks — or they may get angry again,” said Richard Gartner, a psychologist and psychoanalyst in New York, and spokesman for Malesurvivor.org. Some men may have to limit their news consumption, and maybe avoid watching football to avoid a panic attack or bout of depression, he said.

“It is re-traumatizing for them — more so to the extent that they believe that this is being handled wrong … and ignoring the needs of the victims.”

Different experience for boys
Sexual abuse has a different impact on boys than on girls, and they deal with it differently because of socialization, experts say.

“Men aren’t supposed to be victims. Men are supposed to be strong,” said Jim Hopper, clinical instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. “A man says I’m not a real man, because I let someone do this to me. I should have been tougher. Even after years of therapy they say this.”

Girls who are abused by men are psychologically damaged, to be sure, experts say, but boys abused by men often come to question their sexual identity and orientation.

“If they were sexually abused by a man, there’s this whole stigma — does that mean I’m gay, or did he do it to me because I look gay?” says Hopper.

Another difference: Boys who forced into sexual acts may have an erection — a physiological response which makes them all the more confused and ashamed of the encounter, Gartner says.

The women’s movement helped bring sexual assault of females into the public eye — and led to tougher penalties against attackers, more policy aimed at prevention and better access to care for victims. The focus on sexual abuse of boys came nearly 20 years later, when hundreds of childhood victims went public with stories of abuse by Catholic priests, according to Gartner.

Shame, silence, secrecy
Still, the shame and stigma makes it less common for boys to report abuse and seek help than girls, studies show.

“Men tend to come into treatment much later in life,” said Gartner. “Usually they are in their 30s, 40s or 50s — occasionally in their 70s — never having spoken about this.”

Their reluctance to talk about abuse is partly to blame for the perception that sexual abuse of boys is rare, Gartner said.

Research shows that about one in six boys are sexually abused before they are 16 years old, according to Hopper, a founding board member of the nonprofit organization OneInSix, which aims to help men deal with abuse they experienced as children.

The number for girls is one in four. The statistics do not include verbal harassment or other forms of non-physical sexual abuse, such as forcing a child to watch a sexual act.

Reports of sexual abuse by boys are still more likely to be dismissed, researchers say, which can intensify the victim’s pain and difficulty later in life.

“Boys who are sexually abused are mostly disbelieved, or it is minimized,” said Gartner. “They’re told, ‘just get over it’.”

“They learn that nobody’s safe,” said Hopper. “That’s really devastating. … that people who were supposed to protect me are not going to help me, they are blaming me!”

That perception by a child can lead to a wide array of problems as they grow older, including depression, anxiety, emotional numbing, substance abuse, and difficulty forming healthy relationships.

PTSD in high gear
Robert Brown, 51, who is now open about his story, was repeatedly sexually assaulted over the course of seven years when he was a child. He says the perpetrators were older boys who were favored because they were top athletes in his small New Hampshire town, while his plight was ignored by adults.

Brown did not acknowledge the problem to anyone until four years ago, when he was blindsided by a severe bout of post-traumatic stress.

Now he is a child protection activist, and shares his story on the MaleSurvivor.org forum, many of whom keep their abuse secret.

“In my lifetime and in my time with all other survivors that I know, the Penn State case is the most earth-shattering one for us to face,” Brown said in an interview.

“Probably because of the authority abused and the trust abused by the sports program and by Jerry Sandusky. It gets worse when we see that it’s underprivileged kids being so badly abused as if they are throwaway people,” he added.

“We identify very, very strongly with these boys. And we identify with the poor handling of this. To think there are 15-year-old cases that have never been dealt with,” Brown said. “It kicks off the (post-traumatic stress) into high gear — nightmares, flashbacks, extreme depression. It’s been some of the worst few days of my life emotionally.”

Gartner said that while the Penn State case has clearly caused pain and anguish for men struggling with the aftermath of abuse, it does demonstrate that perceptions have changed since the 1980s, when he started treating sexually abused men.

“Before the (Catholic) church scandal, even in professional meetings, people rolled their eyes, feeling that (sexual abuse of boys) happened rarely,” said Gartner. “Now, nobody seems to be saying it doesn’t happen. It does give people courage to come forward and disclose and get help, and that’s positive.”

Take care and STAY SAFE!

 

Penn State Tradegy by Erin Merryn

November 14, 2011 2 comments

By now we all have heard about Penn State. All you need to do is turn on the television and whether you are watching the news or sports they are talking about it.

Jerry Sandusky doesn’t have many free days left before he is locked away for the rest of his life. He is a perfect example of why we need Erin’s Law in every state. Adults in charge witnessed children being molested by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and while they reported it they did not take it to the police which they should have reported immediately when they saw it happen. No ifs, ands, buts, about it. They witnessed a horrific act take place or were told about these horrific acts being done to children and they turned a blind eye.

The Board of Trustees did exactly what needed to be done and that was firing the President of the University and head coach Joe Paterno. Joe started off doing the right thing by taking it to the President but when the President did not go to police with the matter this is when it was Joe Paterno’s moral duty to report it to police. Instead more children’s innocence would be stolen all in the sake of protecting the Universities reputation. A school’s image is more important in the mind of a University President then innocent children who fell into the hands of a very dangerous sick individual who used his authority to groom and rape children. Reports have said Sandusky gave the children he abused many gifts. Often sexual predators use gifts as a way to silence children on top of threats. Several adults over a fifteen year time period were aware of Jerry Sandusky’s actions yet Jerry continued to be around children and abusing several more.

If these children had learned in school the same way they are educated on tornado drills, bus drills, fire drills, DARE, Stranger Danger, Internet Safety, Bully Intervention, etc. on safe touch, unsafe touch, safe secrets, unsafe secrets, how to get away and tell today then these children would have had the courage to speak up and keep telling an adult until someone put an end to their horror. Instead they were never educated because we fail to educate kids on sexual abuse which is why I went after Erin’s law. The law that would have empowered these children with the power to use their voice and tell someone. So many more children could have been saved from the hands of Jerry Sandusky had they been educated. Parents would have been educated through Erin’s law on what to talk about with their kids and the warning signs to look for in a child that has been abused. One parent whose child was abused spoke openly without her identity being revealed and she shared how her son’s behavior changed, he began acting out, showed lots of anger, and did not want to be around Sandusky. She went to the school guidance counselor about it and the guidance counselor brushed it off saying it is a phase he is going through. Had this mother been educated on the biggest silent epidemic in this world, that being sexual abuse of children, then she would have known to talk to her son and her son would have known to talk and not keep these secrets.

I would advise any parent never to let your kids stay the night with their coach. Invites to overnights by a coach, youth group leader, etc. is a red flag right there. That should be a strict boundary in every household. I don’t care how well you think you know the person. Is the risk really worth it knowing your child could fall hands to a predator you never imagined would do such a thing. It is time for the world to take off their blinders and wake up. What has happened at Penn State as I have been saying for years is happening in our own backyards. Just take a look in your own community. These sex offenders  live in your communities and you don’t even know it because many have not been caught. Not until we educate children through Erin’s Law in schools will more children break their silence. My law will prevent what happened at Penn State from ever happening again because children won’t spend years in silence because they will be educated to know this is wrong and not to keep it a secret. Children will be turning these sexual predators in the first time it happens because they will be getting the other end of the message. The first message is to stay silent, this is our secret, don’t tell anyone, I will hurt you, your family, no one will believe you, etc. The message that is missing throughout society is the educational piece. Don’t keep this a secret, tell someone, we will believe you, keep telling until someone takes action, who are safe people in your life you can tell if this happened to you, etc.” Sexual predators don’t just take children’s innocence they take their voice when they are being abused. We have to empower children to use their voice and not fall into the trap of silence.

Penn State needs to use what happened in their community and take action against this silent epidemic. They now have the reputation that won’t be going away. This scandal will be one talked about decades from now so they now have the power to make change happen in society. Addressing the silence around sexual abuse and demanding change. Being a voice for the 39 million survivors that exist in America alone. Urging their lawmakers and Governor to pass Erin’s Law in their state.

I turned the painful events of sexual abuse and rape in my childhood into putting a face and voice on this silent epidemic in my two books Stolen Innocence and Living For Today, passing Erin’s Law in Illinois and Missouri and eventually will get it passed in all 50 states, and flying the country speaking before thousands of people the past 7 1/2 years to shatter the silence, stigma, and shame around sexual abuse. The same way I turned the tragic events in my life into triumph the same is possible for the reputation of Penn State. They can do something positive about this unlike the riots that broke out this week. They can raise awareness and become a campus that is a face and voice on child sexual abuse for educational institutes around this country and world.

With an estimated 39 million survivors of sexual abuse in America 3 million of those are children right now living in our country. That 3 million could fill 46 national football stadiums. Imagine that for a moment 46 national football stadiums of children that have been sexually abused. Joe Paterno was Penn State head football coach for 46 years.  For every year he was head coach the entire football stadium could be the 3 million children in America who were sexually abused. These children are real and the life long challenges they face because of sexual abuse can be life altering. Shame and pain that you could never imagine if you have never been abused. These children often grow up to be adults many carrying their silence into adulthood because the shame is too great. Because of the silence around sexual abuse they often feel so alone in this world. Alone in a world where a past comes back to haunt them in nightmares and flashbacks. Pulling them right back into reliving the trauma they suffered. Many survivors of sexual abuse as children will spend years in therapy trying to come to terms with what happened and learn how to go on living a life and not be defined by this.

I was interviewed by a Penn State writer for the college paper today for a story that will run in the next day or two. As I tried to explain to her that I wanted her to get across to her study body is the fact that this isn’t about college football. We are talking about innocent children who were raped at the hands of a very sick individual who preyed on them while they were doing something they loved, playing football. I would not be surprised if several of these children turned away from ever playing football again after what happened because of the painful reminder it brings back. I spoke back in April at a child abuse conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania not very far at all from Penn State. I had just come from speaking the day before at a New Jersey child abuse conference and drove two hours into Pennsylvania in my rental car. I was driving into a town that was known for being chocolate capital of the country. The light posts in the downtown were Hershey kisses, they have chocolate businesses every where and the biggest attraction is chocolate world where children go for school field trips and parents take kids. If you like chocolate you were in the right town and you would think it would be hard to pass through this town without stopping for chocolate. Well as I explained in my speech I don’t eat chocolate. I actually hate it. I won’t eat chocolate cake, brownies, frosting, ice cream, etc. How is it possible to hate chocolate? Well if you have read my books I explain clearly in them why I don’t eat chocolate you see I use to love chocolate as a kid. It took one night celebrating my grandfather’s birthday with all my other relatives in 1998 for me to find myself locked in a dark bedroom with a cousin on top of me, molesting me, begging him to let me go, hearing the sounds of happy birthday being sung downstairs to my grandfather, and eventually being told by my cousin to go get cake with him. I sat at a table in the kitchen in silence with a chocolate piece on cake and my cousin taking a seat right across from me with his piece of cake and just smiling at me with that grin I will never be able to erase from my mind. I felt my stomach turn and with the rich taste of chocolate in my mouth  and I just wanted to throw up. He often gave me something called a Star Crunch after abusing me at his house. Star Crunch was chocolate coated with caramel and rice crispy. Anytime I put any form of chocolate in my mouth it became triggering and the rich taste of it would immediately bring me back to memories of abuse. I have tested myself and have learned the only way chocolate doesn’t do that to me is chocolate with peanut butter in it. Here is one example how someone even like myself that is so outspoken on sexual abuse can also continue to be affected by actions of someone who abused me.

Penn State is a national tragedy and many lives have been hurt. It is time to raise up and tackle this issue that needs to be addressed in every state, educated in every school, every home, and survivors need to know they have nothing to be ashamed of. I have no doubt that more boys will come forward and that number of 8 will get higher. If you know someone or are someone that has been abused and never told anyone or did tell someone and nothing was done then tell someone today. You have nothing to be ashamed of and you could be helping others come forward and find their voice. You find a new sense of peace finding your voice.

God Bless the survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of Jerry Sandusky. Justice will come I promise!

PENN STATE be an example for others, start to educate, raise awareness, go after Erin’s Law. The country is watching. Make us proud.

About Erin Merryn

Erin Merryn is the author of Stolen Innocence and Living for Today,  memoirs about incest and rape.  She graduated in May 2009 with a Master’s degree in Social Work from Aurora University. A leading participant in Take Back the Night, her goal is to raise awareness of abuse in order to end the stigma and silence. Since 2004 she has been traveling across America giving inspirational and motivational speeches at national conferences, community events, Children’s Advocacy Centers, colleges, and high schools. She has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America and Montel Williams.  Her writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, Daily Herald, and Teen Voices, among others. Erin spends her time between the suburbs of Chicago and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Visit Erin at www.erinmerryn.net.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Back By Popular Demand, Anny Jacoby and Crime Time with Vito Colucci, Part 2

September 9, 2011 Comments off

Sunday Night, September 11, 11pm ET

on Business Talk Radio

Listen LIVE: http://businesstalkradio.net/weekend_host/ctvc.shtml

Back for another run!  Vito Colucci invites Anny Jacoby back to the show to continue the conversation.  On this show they will discuss the importance of college campus safety, street smarts, carjacking and safety, stranger asking for directions, and knowing your surroundings.  Everyone will want to listen to the information on this show to know how to stay safe in a dangerous world!

Crime Time with Vito Colucci, P.I.  features anything crime related. Current high profile cases or trials are discussed in detail with commentary from experts in law  enforcement, investigators and lawyers.

Vito Colucci, Jr.

Vito Colucci, Jr., owner of Colucci Investigations LLC, is a former member of the Stamford, CT Police Department where he worked as a Narcotic’s Detective and Undercover Organized Crime Investigator. One of the main investigations Vito spearheaded during that time was uncovering the organized crime ties within his own police department.

Vito has been a private investigator for the past 22 years, working many high profile cases; Michael Skakel/Martha Moxley case, Jayson William’s case, and honeymooner, George Smith’s case .

Vito Colucci is a regular commentator on various news programs including: Fox News MSNBC, Catherine Crier/Court TV, Star Jones, Glenn Beck, Nancy Grace, Larry King, CNN Headline News, and The Bill O’Reilly Show, as well as being a featured speaker at the first World Investigator’s Conference in LasVegas in 2005.

Anny’s mission is to reach out to every avenue available to teach these skills at the corporate level, to emergency services, victim support groups and agencies, schools, colleges and health service providers.  Her professional programs are designed for every age group from children to seniors, as well as a program designed specifically for the disabled.

Recently, Anny has developed a new division to her company, Project Safe Girls, which is designed specifically for girls and is used in after school programs, girl’s organizations and YWCAs, to name a few of the target areas.  Specific curriculum and training is developed for age appropriate

Anny’s program is not traditional “self-defense” nor martial arts or weapons.  She has developed her training specifically for females and teaches them to use their bodies as their weapon to diffuse a violent situation.

Anny’s style is serious, with compassion and empathy, yet fun and empowering. Her training classes and seminars leave her students with a sense of confidence and an understanding of their intuitions regarding safety. Anny has authored a comprehensive training manual for each student to take with them as reference.

Anny Jacoby is available for speaking engagements, lectures, individual consultations and presentations. She is a Certified PDR (Personal Defense Readiness) Instructor and has a team of male Certified PDR instructors and coaches with The Realistic Female Self-Defense Company who are dedicated to teaching and training only females.

Anny is also an independent contractor as a Certified Prevention Specialist and an Authorized Stewards of Children Facilitator through the Darkness to Light prevention program.  She has developed a passion for educating parents and communities about the issue of child sexual abuse and prevention. She is available to travel throughout the US bringing this important and vital information to all.

For media appearances and inquires or speaking engagements please contact: ImaginePublicity, contact@imaginepublicity.com; 843-808-0859

 

Release produced by ImaginePublicity

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