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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Young Man Needs Help Getting Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign Off the Ground

I read something tonight and it really struck a chord. Matt Pipkin and his dad, Chet, a commercial pilot, plan to try to break the world record for non-stop flight, staying in the air for 65 days to help raise awareness of child sexual abuse. How cool is that, and we can help make it [...]

Are Mothers Held to a Higher Standard in Cases of Child Abuse?

I know we hold mothers to a higher standard of parenting in so many different and often irrational ways, and although I’m a proponent of shared parenting and hands-on fatherhood, I find I’m also a hypocrite.
Every time I read about a story of child abuse involving a man as the perpetrator and the news report [...]

What Are Your Sanity Saving Tips?

While perusing the news yesterday morning, I read about a woman who had set her 6-year-old on fire. I read about a mother who delivered a fatal punch to the head of her 7-month-old baby. I read about a mother who suffocated her newborn because he wouldn’t stop crying and I read about a mother [...]

Redefining Normal

Prompted by a conversation with a friend who was sharing some of her experiences when she worked with at-risk teens in a rural area of Georgia, I’ve realized more fully that our ability to live in denial is in many ways related to our individual sense of normal.
The hardest part of our work with these [...]

There’s a Pedophile at My Pool

Last night, without any grace or coordination, I was bouncing and flouncing my way through a water aerobics class in our neighborhood pool when I caught the eye of a man.
He was bare-chested, appropriately clad in swimming trunks and easily preying in 5 feet of water. He was surrounded by three prepubescent girls. Maybe the [...]

The Subject Makes People Itch and Click Because…Why?

I know I’ve been on a bit of an advocacy tangent related to child sexual abuse, and the subject matter can be difficult to engage with. Sometimes I’m angry. Sometimes I’m hopeful. Sometimes I ramble with no definitive direction. I want to thank each person who has commented or emailed me, each person who has [...]

Will You Join In?

I’m quite sure the realization of magnitude does not help with the isolation many victims of sexual abuse feel, but I wonder while these stats set my mind on fire, and I look into faces full of wide-eyed wonder in my son’s preschool classroom, why the hell aren’t we talking about this more?
Multiple children in [...]

Where Does the Shame Come From?

It’s not brave to talk about it. It’s not obscene disclosure or a cry for help. Could it be possible, plausible even, can we knock our minds to and fro to look at an issue from a different angle and create new dialogue?
Women and children who’ve endured men’s violence carry with them an internal shame [...]

Empowering a Child with Stories from Our Past

One of the most important things I can do as a parent is help my child to feel empowered.
Prompted by some recent preschool playground tomfoolery, I’ve been talking with Aaron about what it means to be a good friend and how important it is to stand up for ourselves and each other, not to be [...]

My Silly Dream

I have a silly dream. I blow out candles every year and make a silly wish. I read newspaper headlines and allow myself silly fantasies. I dream and wish and fantasize about a world where children are safe.
What would it take to identify monsters before they hurt a child instead of after the damage is [...]