Saturday, April 8, 2017

April is Child Abuse Awareness and Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

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As you know ( or maybe don't) this month is child abuse awareness month and sexual assault awareness month. For many who know me they ask why I do the work I do. Some tell me to go back to a 9-5pm paying job. Tell me I can't save the world. In response I tell them that everyone needs to have someone in their life that listens, sees them, supports them, helps them to find truth and more.Image result for PTSD
I know first hand what it is like to be sitting on the floor in a bathroom having a flashback, waking up from nightmares where you are that child all over again, avoiding crowds or being uncomfortable in situations that most would have no problem with. I know the deafening silence of telling someone you were abused and having no one to sit with you in that pain. I know the pain of being told to " get over it" or " you shouldn't be airing your dirty laundry" or " some things you just don't talk about".I know the pain of feeling like there's no way you are going to make it through the process of healing, living minute by minute afraid you will have a melt down at the store, with a co-worker or at the dinner table in front of your kids.
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Thankfully I also know the relief of having a person stand with you in your pain, help you to see truth , aid you in undoing all the pain and lies and understanding that healing is a process and not a destination, that you cannot fix what you do not acknowledge. I also know what healing looks like, feels like and and that it is attainable. We never forget the pain, we may still have our hurdles but the pain lessens, light enters and healthy coping measures are learned. Life gets better.
Over the last several years I have spoke to thousands of survivors that reach out to me to tell me stories of their childhood sexual abuse that they have never told anyone. They look to be seen, heard, supported and undue all the trauma that is still in their systems today.I have spoke with survivors from Minnesota , nationally and even internationally .
It is an honor to stand with those who are giving voice and breaking the silence of the molestation and rape they suffered as a child.
Child abuse and child sexual abuse ( child rape and molestation) is a problem that has gone on since the beginning of time. One that is hard to speak of for most. This is true whether you are a community member or survivor.
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This April my heart goes out to survivors who are still out there keeping the " secret" that they are too shamed and scared to tell, my heart goes out those who have found the strength to break their silences and face the demons of the past. My heart goes out to those children who are being abused at this moment as you are reading this post. My heart also goes out to those that support survivors, aid in recovery, use their voice to help others to break their silences and all of those that believe that we need to reduce the statistics that say 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18 by people they know, trust or care for.

Please support survivors, learn ways to prevent, learn the signs and symptoms of child abuse ,how to properly report, and talk to you kids. Kids look to us adults to keep them safe. Be a hero to your children and keep them safe.
If a child or adult tells you of their abuse, believe them, tell them you are sorry that this happened to them and that no child deserves to be abused by an adult. Help them to find resources that will aid them in recovery. Do not place judgement on them. Help them.

Let's all work together- Go!
Elizabeth Sullivan
Founder and Director of EmpowerSurvivors
Online support for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse:
Upcoming " Cheers and Beers" fundraiser at the Lift Bridge Brewery ( all are invited) on
Tuesday , November 25, 2017. Click on link below and find out how you can support our programs and survivors

Giving Voice - EmpowerSurvivors- 

Our November 11, 2017 Conference in Stillwater,MN for survivors of childhood abuse and community members wanting to learn and prevent.
Giving Voice -EmpowerSurvivors 2017 at The Grand Banquet Hall in Stillwater,MN
***Tickets only $40.00 through April******

Support my efforts by donating monthly as little as $5.00! / Donations can also be sent by mail