The feelings of an abused child

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An attempt to express the feelings that a child goes through during an abusive upbringing. This needs some editing, I wrote it while still semi-dissociaty after a flashback while the feelings were still there so the grammar and stuff needs looking at.

They claim that they love and care for you, but that you need to be taught about the horrors and evils of the world to be made stronger. They both protect and comfort you, but also place you in situations where you feel that you are going to die you experience pain so intense that you cannot think; your head spins; our insides burn; you can no longer remember who you are or why you are here.

All you know is pain, all you feel in desperation. You consider crying out for help, but no one will listen, you can’t stop nor change what is happening. No matter that you do or say the pain will never stop. You are told the pain and suffering, the fear and horror is for your own good. Told that you need discipline, that you asked for it with your misbehaviour. Betrayal seems like too simple a word to describe the feelings of pain, loneliness and isolation.

When you try to talk about the pain you are told that you must be crazy: “nothing bad has happened to you”, “stop looking for attention”, “shut up already”. Each day you begin to feel more and more like you no longer know what is real. You stop trusting your own feelings as no one else acknowledges them so you must be over-reacting.

You learn to do everything that you are told with the upmost compliance, you forget everything that you ever wanted or hoped for. The pain is still there, lurking beneath the surface, but it is easier to pretend it’s not there, to bury the horrors that are in the deepest darkest corners of the mind.
The pain grows to an unbearable level, until your feelings start to shut down, you become numb: lonely and desperate you begin to give up on the senses that make people feel alive. You feel dead, you wish you were dead, there is no way out and there is no hope.

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My Truth

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I’m very passionate about mental health and abuse awareness, mainly due to my own expieriances. I am very open about my past, which I know is something that many do not like, but I do not see why I should stay silent – afterall that’s what the abusers told me to do and I can’t let them win can I?

I don’t want nor do I expect pity or sympathy. I do not deserve it, and I do not want it, what happened happened and I am only who I am today because of it. I do not want hugs and people saying they are sorry, what I want, what I fight for every day, is for OTHERS to feel safe that they will not be judged. What I want is to make it so that those who currently suffer in silence scared of what may happen if they open up know that they are not alone, and maybe make it so that they no longer have to fear judgement and blame.

I know that my work and my speaking out will not end abuse, discrimination and suffering, but if I can just let people know that they are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence and maybe if I can make a few people stop and think then I am happy with that. I cannot stop abuse, I cannot change the world, but maybe I can help to plant the seeds of change, plant that idea in to the minds of others, and then they can help that idea to grow until one day change can and does occur. Maybe one day the things which I fight will no longer exist, but I doubt that I will see that day. I can do so little, but it’s the best I can do, I just have to hope that human nature is not as bad as I fear and that these seeds if change and the glimmer of hope will take root.

I tell my story, my truth, not for pity, but for the hope that I can help to ignite change in this world. I know most will not believe this, but I know my truth and I hope that a few of you know this truth too. This is why I spend so long creating websites, writting letters, speaking in schools, raising money and trying to spread awareness. It’s an inconvenient truth I know, but it’s a truth that needs to be known, I cannot just sweep it under the carpet when I know that it could help others. So I fight and strive with the hope of helping, of making the suffering of others that little bit better that bit more bearable.  I wish that this truth was not there, that it did not need to be spread, but it is and it does. And for this I am sorry

This is my truth

Mental health and the political parties pledges

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Many people, politicians included, assume that mental ill health is a medical issue that affects a small number of people. By many political parties mental health is seen as a security treat and a drain on the ecconomy, but the people behind the disorders are forgotten about.

In fact, one in four people experience mental health problems, and it costs the economy £77 billion per year in England alone – so mental health is very much a public health issue. We need candidates to understand that social factors – such as crime, debt, unemployment and poor housing – all affect our mental health and wellbeing, so there are things they can do to improve mental health in their constituency.

The Conservative party are committed to repealing the Human Rights Act (HRA). In their manifesto they state: “To protect our freedoms from state encroachment and encourage greater social responsibility, we will replace the Human Rights Act with a UK Bill of Rights”. The Labour party and the Loiberal Democrats both oppose the repeal of the HRA.

There is widespread opposition to the repeal of the HRA among leading voluntary and community organisations. The HRA represents a clear statement of the fundamental rights of British citizens and is a vital tool for holding government to account and protecting our civil liberties. It defines the relationship between parliament, citizens and the courts. As the alliance of leading voluntary organisations co-ordinated by the British Institute of Human Rights has pointed out that the HRA can provide a lifeline to individuals from all walks of life, from elderly people in care homes to disabled children and those who struggle with mental illness. It is a protection for us all and in particular for the marginalised and vulnerable in our society. If the Conservatives did repeal the HRA then this suggests that a Conservative government intend to water down our rights and would be less accountable to the courts.

In their election manifestos, Labour has promised more than 8,000 new psychological therapists, the Conservatives have pledged to increase access to “talking therapies”, and the Liberal Democrats say they would improve access to counselling and protect mental health services. Yet despite such promises, Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, sent out a letter to the organisations it oversees this month warning UK mental health providers to prepare this year for extra cuts, which mental health charity Rethink estimates could amount to £50m.

Mental illness could almost be called the invisible killer, which is why it is the first to be neglected when there are cuts to be made. However, the current downturn has created a greater demand for mental health services, as Roehampton University in south London found this month. Its study with children’s charity Elizabeth Finn Care showed that 71% of people who lost their jobs last year displayed symptoms of depression.

Upon closer inspection of the parties manifestos though some disturbing things can e seen. The Conservatives, for example, mainly only mention mental health in relation to “a threat to society” and in terms of “financial cost” even going as far as to insist that everyone with a mental health disorder should get back to work within 3 months and then implying that anyone who cannot should essentially be on an in-patient programme… Now this may just be me, but does that not sound a bit like “contribute to society or be instritusionalised”? The Conservatives seem to completely fail to relise two fundermental facts: 1) for some sufferers of mental illness employment is not a practical option, and 2) studies have shown that many people with mental illnesses do better and recover mre easily when they remain in the community with support rather than being put into hospital.

Other than Labours promice to add 8,000 new psychological therapists mental health isn’t really mentioned in their manifesto, and they also fail to explain where these 8,000 therapists are coming from, how they will be paid for, nor how this will help the mental health system.

Out of the main 3 paties the Liberal Democrats are the only ones who have pledged to protect the mental health services from cuts, which to me implies that the other 2 parties may be planning to make said cuts.

Out of all the parties the best policies on mental health and disability in general are defantly set down by the Green Party, but they were never really likely to win the election, though they did gt one seat which I was impressed by 🙂 .

So anyway… This election has been a complex affair and as yet we can’t predict much. But one thing I think we can say is that improvements in the mental health service are unlikely and unless we get a hung parliment which gives the Liberal Democrats some degree of infuance then we are likely to face cut in the near future.

What is PTSD ?

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PTSD has a unique position as the only psychiatric diagnosis (along with acute stress disorder ) that depends on a factor outside the individual, namely, a traumatic stressor. A patient cannot be given a diagnosis of PTSD unless he or she has been exposed to an event that is considered traumatic. These events include such obvious traumas as rape, military combat, torture, genocide, natural disasters, and transportation or workplace disasters. In addition, it is now recognized that repeated traumas or such traumas of long duration as child abuse , domestic violence, stalking, cult membership, and hostage situations may also produce the symptoms of PTSD in survivors.

A person suffering from PTSD experiences flashbacks, nightmares, or daydreams in which the traumatic event is experienced again. The person may also experience abnormally intense startle responses (hypervigilance) , insomnia , and may have difficulty concentrating. Trauma survivors with PTSD have been effectively treated with group therapy or individual psychological therapy, and other therapies have helped individuals, as well. Some affected individuals have found support groups or peer counseling groups helpful. Treatment may require several years, and in some cases, PTSD may affect a person for the rest of his or her life.

Causes

When PTSD was first suggested as a diagnostic category for DSM-III in 1980, it was controversial precisely because of the central role of outside stressors as causes of the disorder. Psychiatry has generally emphasised the internal weaknesses or deficiencies of individuals as the source of mental disorders; prior to the 1970s, war veterans, rape victims, and other trauma survivors were often blamed for their symptoms and regarded as cowards, moral weaklings, or masochists. The high rate of psychiatric casualties among Vietnam veterans, however, led to studies conducted by the Veterans Administration. These studies helped to establish PTSD as a legitimate diagnostic entity with a complex set of causes.

BIOCHEMICAL/PHYSIOLOGICAL CAUSES. Present neurobiological research indicates that traumatic events cause lasting changes in the human nervous system, including abnormal secretions of stress hormones. In addition, in PTSD patients, researchers have found changes in the amygdala and the hippocampus—the parts of the brain that form links between fear and memory. Experiments with ketamine, a drug that inactivates one of the neurotransmitter chemicals in the central nervous system, suggest that trauma works in a similar way to damage associative pathways in the brain. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans of PTSD patients suggest that trauma affects the parts of the brain that govern speech and language.

SOCIOCULTURAL CAUSES. Studies of specific populations of PTSD patients (combat veterans, survivors of rape or genocide, former political hostages or prisoners, etc.) have shed light on the social and cultural causes of PTSD. In general, societies that are highly authoritarian, glorify violence, or sexualize violence have high rates of PTSD even among civilians.

OCCUPATIONAL FACTORS. Persons whose work exposes them to traumatic events or who treat trauma survivors may develop secondary PTSD (also known as compassion fatigue or burnout). These occupations include specialists in emergency medicine, police officers, firefighters, search-and-rescue personnel, psychotherapists, disaster investigators, etc. The degree of risk for PTSD is related to three factors: the amount and intensity of exposure to the suffering of trauma victims; the worker’s degree of empathy and sensitivity; and unresolved issues from the worker’s personal history.

PERSONAL VARIABLES. Although the most important causal factor in PTSD is the traumatic event itself, individuals differ in the intensity of their cognitive and emotional responses to trauma; some persons appear to be more vulnerable than others. In some cases, this greater vulnerability is related to temperament or natural disposition, with shy or introverted people being at greater risk. In other cases, the person’s vulnerability results from chronic illness, a physical disability, or previous traumatization—particularly abuse in childhood. As of 2001, researchers have not found any correlation between race and biological vulnerability to PTSD.

Symptoms

  • Traumatic stressor: The patient has been exposed to a catastrophic event involving actual or threatened death or injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of the self or others. During exposure to the trauma, the person’s emotional response was marked by intense fear, feelings of helplessness, or horror. In general, stressors caused intentionally by human beings (genocide, rape, torture, abuse, etc.) are experienced as more traumatic than accidents, natural disasters, or “acts of God.”
  • Intrusive symptoms: The patient experiences flashbacks, traumatic daydreams, or nightmares, in which he or she relives the trauma as if it were recurring in the present. Intrusive symptoms result from an abnormal process of memory formation. Traumatic memories have two distinctive characteristics: 1) they can be triggered by stimuli that remind the patient of the traumatic event; 2) they have a “frozen” or wordless quality, consisting of images and sensations rather than verbal descriptions.
  • Avoidant symptoms: The patient attempts to reduce the possibility of exposure to anything that might trigger memories of the trauma, and to minimize his or her reactions to such memories. This cluster of symptoms includes feeling disconnected from other people, psychic numbing, and avoidance of places, persons, or things associated with the trauma. Patients with PTSD are at increased risk of substance abuse as a form of self-medication to numb painful memories.
  • Hyperarousal: Hyperarousal is a condition in which the patient’s nervous system is always on “red alert” for the return of danger. This symptom cluster includes hypervigilance, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, general irritability, and an extreme startle response. Some clinicians think that this abnormally intense startle response may be the most characteristic symptom of PTSD.
  • Duration of symptoms: The symptoms must persist for at least one month.
  • Significance: The patient suffers from significant social, interpersonal, or work-related problems as a result of the PTSD symptoms. A common social symptom of PTSD is a feeling of disconnection from other people (including loved ones), from the larger society, and from spiritual or other significant sources of meaning.

Information about sexual predators

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So who are these sexual predators?

  • Males and Females
  • Young Adults, Middle-Aged Adults, and Seniors
  • Upper Class, Middle Class, and Disadvantaged
  • All Races & Ethnicities
  • Vocationally Diverse

In short, paedophilia, or adult sexual attraction to children, does not discriminate by race, gender, class, or age.

One child pornography sting operation by the U.S. Justice Department and Customs Postal Inspectors resulted in well over two hundred arrests. The occupations of those arrested was a virtual rainbow of American life, representing 44% of all occupations listed by the U.S. Department of Labour.

How many victims does a child molester average?

Interviews guaranteeing complete confidentiality and immunity from prosecution, conducted by Emory University psychiatrist Dr. Gene Abel, uncovered that:

  • Male offenders who abused girls had an average of 52 victims each.
  • Men who molested boys had an astonishing average of 150 victims each.
  • Only 3% of these crimes had ever been detected.

How do child molesters get into situations where they can exploit children?

Due to the nature of their sexual addiction, few paedophiles are able to resist their powerful urges to initiate contact with children and will go to great lengths to do so. Common strategies include:

  • Befriending parents, particularly single parents, to gain access to their children.
  • Offering babysitting services to overextended parents or caregivers.
  • Taking jobs and participating in community events that involve children.
  • Attending sporting events for children and/or offering to coach children’s sports.
  • Volunteering in youth organizations, offering to chaperone overnight trips.
  • Loitering in places children frequent – playgrounds, malls, game arcades, etc.
  • Spending time in Internet gaming and social communities, learning the online interests and lingo of youngsters.
  • Becoming foster parents.

What is the most common method used by child molesters?

The Affection Lure – Most victims of abuse are “groomed” over a period of weeks, months, or years. The Affection Lure is used both offline and online to seduce unsuspecting youngsters in need of love and attention. As child molesters have repeatedly said: When there’s a physically or emotionally absent parent in the picture, it makes the child more vulnerable than ever.

Which age group is most often targeted by child molesters?

In the interviews I conducted, the majority of molesters cited a preference for children on the brink of puberty. This is the age of sexual awakening, making it easy for molesters to prey on the sexual curiosity and ignorance of youngsters. To quote one of the predators I interviewed, “Give me a kid who knows nothing about sex, and you’ve given me my next victim.”

While parents are inclined to give pre-teen children more freedom and less supervision, this age group is actually the most vulnerable to abuse and abduction. One way to reduce the risk is to talk frankly and often to children about “the birds and the bees” and not allow child molesters to educate children for us.

Wouldn’t a vigilant parent be able to detect a child molester, just by their actions?

Not necessarily. Always remember:

  • Paedophiles are notoriously friendly, nice, kind, engaging and likeable.
  • Paedophiles target their victims, often insinuating themselves into that child’s life – their family, school, house of worship, sports, and hobbies.
  • Paedophiles are professional con artists and are expert at getting children and families to trust them.
  • Paedophiles will smile at you, look you right in the eye and make you believe they are trustworthy.

Do kids and teens ever sexually abuse other children?

Sadly, yes – and many of these juvenile offenders are victims of sexual abuse themselves. A U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics report found that:

  • 23% of all sexual offenders were under the age of 18.
  • 40% of offenders of victims under age 6 were themselves juveniles
  • 13% were 7-11 years old; 27% were 12-17 years old.
  • 39% of the offenders of victims ages 7-11 were juveniles.
  • 27% of the offenders of victims ages 12 -17 were juveniles.

What types of assaults were these?

Juvenile offenders under the age of 12 were responsible for:

  • 23% of forcible sodomies
  • 19% of forcible fondlings
  • 17% of sexual assaults with an object
  • 7% of forcible rapes

Juvenile offenders ages 12 – 18 were responsible for:

  • 36% of forcible sodomies
  • 27% of forcible fondlings
  • 23% of sexual assaults with an object
  • 17% of forcible rapes

When and where do these assaults usually happen?

The peak time for juvenile assaults was 3 pm, after school. Other spikes in the number of incidents were at the traditional meal times of 8 am, noon and 6 pm. Most of these assaults happened in the home of the victim, the home of the offender, or another residence.

How many of these assaults were by family members?

  • 49% of offenders of victims under age 6 were family members.
  • 42% of offenders of victims ages 7-11 were family members.
  • 24% of offenders of victims ages 12 – 17 were family members.

Are there groups of organized paedophiles that prey on children?

Yes. Small groups of militant and highly organized child molesters operate worldwide through paedophile organisations, whose members claim genuine concern for the welfare of children. The actual number of members in these organisations is unknown, though their power is evident. One paedophile organisation’s newsletter correctly identified ten sting operations in five different states. Another exposed and compromised four federal sting operations. Clearly, these organisations have connections.

What are their beliefs and goals?

In general, these groups believe that sex with children is harmless; some even claim that sexual relations are healthy for children. Their goals include decriminalising child molestation and lowering the age of consent.

Where do they meet?

In addition to attending paedophile conferences and conventions, members now meet primarily via the Internet where they may swap methods, success stories, even names, descriptions, and images of children. Since the early 1980’s, they have exploited the Internet to communicate with one another, spreading their propaganda to anyone who will listen.

Aren’t their activities illegal?

Most paedophile groups and members are careful to keep their public activities within the realm of protected civil liberties.

In 2006, a new political party (PNVD) was established in the Netherlands. Commonly referred to as “the Paedophile Party,” it seeks to lower the age of consent from 16 to 12. Opponents had asked The Hague District Court to bar the party from registering for national elections, but Judge H. Hofhuis ruled: “Freedom of expression, freedom … of association, including the freedom to set up a political party, can be seen as the basis for a democratic society.”

Are these paedophile groups a real threat?

While the average child molester does not belong to a paedophile organization, but we would be foolish not to take seriously any group whose members are committed to sexual activity with children.

Sarah Kruzan

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For those unfamiliar with the case, at age 16 Sarah Kruzan murdered her pimp G.G. She had been a runaway, put into the atrocious cycle of child prostitution.

Sarah Kruzan spent a very unfortunate childhood with her drug addicted mother in Riverside California. Sarah’s mother was not only addicted to drugs but also abusive. It is only natural for a child in such conditions to seek protection outside of his or her home and the sad fact is that predators are all around looking for such children. As the fate would have it, Sarah met a man named G.G when she was 11. G.G became a pseudo father for Sarah. He would give her things to play with and would take her for rides. As Sarah turned 13, it was pay back time. G.G put Sarah up for prostitution. Sarah’s work would start at 6.00 in the evening and would work till 5.30 or 6.00 in the morning.

After 3 years of life as a prostitute Sarah had enough of it. She killed G.G, her pimp. Judge sentenced Sarah for a life in prison without giving a consideration to the background and the hell of life she was forced to live.

The murder was pre-meditated and so by law a life-sentence would apply, but there are many mtagating circumstances which I feel SHOULD be taken into account:

  • The pimp-prostitute relationship: abuse, exploitation,mental anguish. Was the murder committed under severe mental distress? He was 31 when he met her, at age 11…
  • Did Sarah have the capacity to understand the gravity of her actions? She was still a child without a moral compass, prejudiced by a harsh need to survive – most people reading this will never fight to survive.
  • Did Sarah actually commit the murder in Cold Blood or did she see a moral justification?
  • Was Sarah’s new pimp forcing her to commit this crime?
  • Was Sarah’s prior history sufficiently unique to give rise to a narrative that explains this murder in a mitigating light?
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