Your NAASCA Newsletter: for survivors / activists | May 2018
a non profit 501(c)3

Because of you, more kids are being protected,
more adult survivors served!

NAASCA has a single purpose, to address issues related to childhood abuse and trauma including sexual assault, violent or physical abuse, emotional traumas and neglect .. and we do so from two specific perspectives :

  • educating the public, especially as related to getting society over the taboo of discussing childhood sexual abuse, presenting the facts that show child abuse to be a pandemic, worldwide problem that affects everyone

  • offering hope for healing through numerous paths, providing many services to adult survivors of child abuse and information for anyone interested in the many issues involving prevention, intervention and recovery

Building a survivor community ...
because together we can do what we cannot do alone .   
Welcome to the May 2018 Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing to NAASCA's newsletter mailing list!
Please encourage others to stay in touch too.

' Tending Your Garden: Self-Care '- this month's newsletter theme

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month in the US
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness) and the rest of the country are raising awareness of mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
  • In 2018, NAMI will promote the theme of "CureStigma." 
  • For more information on how to get involved visit

May is also National Foster Care Month in the US
A time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care.

Significant Dates in May:

May 25th is Interntional Missing Children's Day
  • The purpose of this day is honoring missing and abducted children while celebrating those who have been recovered.
  • It is the same day as the United States' National Missing Children's Day designated by Ronald Reagan in 1983
  • The Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN) Launched in 1998 is a network of 23 countries that connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and images of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations. 
  • To learn more visit The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children website.

Have You Used #metooCSA Yet?

CSA = Childhood Sexual Abuse

CEO Bill Murry started the #metooCSA to emphasize that childhood sexual assaults and abuse are being left out of the public conversation of the recent #metoo movement.

As activists working to break the taboo and bring awareness to this issue, NAASCA is encouraging everyone to use:   #metooCSA   to talk about childhood sexual abuse on all the social media platforms we engage in.

Whether you are sharing your personal story of childhood sexual abuse, or sharing statistics, resources, articles, memes, and videos, Let's work together to get the public talking about this problem.
Highlight on a Fabulous NAASCA Volunteer !!
In 2015 NAASCA officially became a non-profit charity. NAASCA relies solely on volunteer to offer our  30 Entirely FREE Services  , programs, tools, resources, and social media efforts available to anyone, anywhere in the world, anytime. 

We want to highlight our  Primary Volunteers  who offer their skills and creativity with ongoing commitment to specific tasks  This month we are delighted to introduce our Blue Ribbon Campaign Coordinator, Sherry DiFonzo!! We are lucky to have her!!
Meet Sherry DiFonzo
(Pennsylvania, USA)

Sherry is a survivor of physical, emotional, mental abuse and inappropriate touching. Regarding what has helped in her healing path, she says that Bill Murray has pushed her at times by giving her advice or a different perspective, and the members of her NAASCA family who talk with her on the radio show have helped her with their thoughts and prayers. Sherry's husband Ken has supported her through all the ups and downs, is a good listener, and doesn't judge her. She also says that her son, Christopher, is the most important person, " Christopher has given me the greatest gift. If it wasn't for him I might not have ever sought out counseling. "

Sherry admits that it is difficult for her to maintain interest in hobbies and activities, but she does enjoy scrap-booking and says looking at photos brings her a feeling of happiness. Other than her current volunteer work for NAASCA, she has worked many jobs from retail to warehouse. To increase her earning potential she attended night school while part-time while still working and graduated with a 4.0. Her schooling led her to office settings doing data entry. After marrying in 2005 Sherry has concentrated on her work as a homemaker and mother to her now 8 year old son.

How did you first become a member of NAASCA?
" I was seeing a therapist and wanted to know more about how I could help myself heal and I came across the NAASCA website ,( ) , and spoke to Bill who added me to the group in June of 2016 and told my story on July 4th of 2016. "

What led you to become a NAASCA volunteer?
" One night I was listening to the broadcast during and Bill Murray was talking about the Blue Ribbon Campaign and how he was looking for some help. I thought, well I can do that from home. So Bill hooked me up with it and I have been doing it since then. "

What is your work week with NAASCA like and what tasks does it involve?
" In the morning I check the emails that come in requesting ribbons. But I do check the email throughout the day to make sure I don't miss anyone. I count out the quantity that is requested and then I pack and mail the kits. Some require me to go to the Post Office while others I can drop in the mail box. "
( Photo: Sherry DiFonzo )

 What do you enjoy most about being one of our volunteers?
" Some of the people requesting ribbons tell me a little about themselves and how they want to spread the word out. I have even responded to a grandmother who requested a pin for her 4 year old granddaughter to give her on the day her abuser was sentenced. They give me a sense of healing and giving of myself. "

This month's theme is "Tending Your Garden." What does self-care mean to you personally, and what ways do you find helpful to you as a survivor?
" To me it means to take care of myself inside and outside. Sometimes it is an uphill battle, but the only other option is giving up and that is not possible. I have a very good therapist that helps me, but I also journal my feelings out or just doodle. I volunteer at my son's school and the children are great to be around. God also is part of my life, so sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament gives me peace ."

What would you like people to know about the Blue Ribbon Campaign?
" That if they want a blue ribbon for themselves please ask. Don't be afraid to reach out even if you only want one for yourself. I would be happy to send them! "

Send Sherry a direct hello or ask a question about the Blue Ribbon Campaign and order your ribbons by contacting her via email at:

Want to see how you can give back to your NAASCA community? There is always a place for you!
Contact Bill Murray about offering your time to volunteer, or click on the button below!

Wearing a  Blue Ribbon  is
a symbol of child abuse
awareness / advocacy.
Get a few  FREE   Blue Ribbons  
NAASCA wants to increase the likelihood that the American public will eventually feel less of a taboo about discussing the four types of child abuse : childhood sexual abuse, violent abuse, emotional trauma, and neglect

We need to educate the public and arm ourselves about these issues in favor of saving our kids.

How can YOU assist?

You can simply agree to accept a few  FREE   Blue Ribbons  and promise to get them out to your friends, family and community.

We also provide ribbon kits in  larger quantities at less than what it costs NAASCA , ... to pass out to family, friends and neighbors or to distribute at local community events.

Please email Sherry DiFonzo, NAASCA's volunteer Blue Ribbon Campaign Coordinator, with any questions: 
Five Ways to Start Tending Your Garden !!
Satir's Self Mandala
Virginia Satir, a famous American therapist who is known as the "Mother of Family Therapy," identified 8 domains of a human being that all need to be fulfilled in order for us to be happy. These 8 equally important aspects of our self are physical, spiritual, nutritional, sensual, intellectual, emotional, relational and contextual. The key to self-care is finding balance in our lives by giving attention to all 8 of these areas.

You can use this Self Care Rating Scale as a self-assessment tool to visualize what areas of your garden need tending to.
According to trauma expert Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of “ The Body Keeps the Score ,” trauma lives in our bodies as well as our minds. He emphasizes that it’s important for survivors to find at least one form of physical outlet for the intense emotions of grief, rage, and hurt you are bound to feel in the aftermath of abuse and trauma.

Mindfulness and Meditation
For survivors struggling with symptoms of PTSD or Complex PTSD, mindful breathing exercises and meditation can be extremely helpful to deal with fight, flight, freeze responses to flashbacks and ruminating thoughts by managing emotions and non-judgmentally addressing painful triggers. Practicing Mindfulness and meditation exercises literally  rewire our brain so we are able to change any unhealthy responses to symptoms of our past trauma. Want an easy and free way to to try it? You can explore the  Stop, Breathe, and Think app or there are numerous videos available on Youtube .

Finding a Creative Outlet
Trauma and the dissociation that comes with it can be difficult to process into words. In her article, " Expressive Arts As Means to Heal Trauma ,"   Andrea Schneider , LCSW explains how art therapy can help people heal from child abuse by allowing them " to transcend their emotional pain, create a narrative through image of their trauma/loss, and subsequently “master” the trauma, thereby releasing the painful memory from its grip in the brain." For those of you who may think "but I'm not artistic", creative expression comes in infinite forms! Music, painting, fashion design, collage, dance, poetry, crafting, photography, cake decorating, blogging, adult coloring books, ceramics, scrapbooking, film making... every one of us is creative and it is just about finding something that works for you. Don't be afraid to try something new!

Unplug and Get Out In Nature
In the past, people could “switch off” from stress by simply going home or not picking up the phone. But smartphones, social media, and the expectation that everyone should be available all of the time have made taking a breather much more difficult. Without totally unstructured free time it’s impossible to fully learn new skills and keep the brain at its cognitive best. "Unplugging”, or ditching technology for regular periods of time and simply spending time out of doors benefits the brain. Research suggests  that being outside in nature also makes help us heal our past trauma. Researcher is flooding in all on the benefits and healing power of "Ecotherapy"over such as from at Stanford, the University of Essex , and the Major Depression Research Center.

Self-Help and Seeking Help
The NAASCA Recovery Self-Help Page of our website offers resources for survivors wanting to work on healing their trauma and seeking direction in ways to start. There are many paths to recovering from child abuse, and some of them cost little or no money. There are also benefits from getting assistance from the professional community trained to assist us.   The website also offers NAASCA's Professional Help Page where you will find assistance from the professional community, government and non profit groups survivors can turn to for help.

Have You Called-In to NAASCA's Radio Show Lately ?
Phone number to call to listen to the show.
Press an additional "1" to let the host know you want to participate in the show.

Live Shows Air Six Nights a Week at 8 PM EST / 5 PM PAC

Sunday - Community Matters : open mike discussion of child abuse related articles from the News of the Week page on NAASCA's website

Monday - Public Safety : open mike discussion of current event articles listed on NAASCA's sister website (Los Angeles Community Policing)

Tuesday - Q & A Night with Dr. Debra Warner: anyone can call in to the show and ask a question or suggest a topic related to public safety, violence prevention, or child abuse and trauma and Dr. Debra Warner, a Forensic Psychologist and Professor of Psychology, will give her perspective and help lead the discussion.

Wednesda y - Special Guest Night : a different speaker is interviewed each week discussing their personal stories of child abuse trauma, recovery, and activism. Listeners are invited to call in at the start of the show to participate in a panel that will offer feedback and questions throughout the show.

Thursday - **NEW** Professional Co-Host Night : a survivor of abuse who is in a professional field will be available to answer questions and discuss topics suggested by those who call in to the show. Each week features a rotating schedule of professionals including: Chaplain, Sexologist, LMSW-MS, Trauma-Informed Recovery Coach, and 12-Step-Based.
(See the show listing page for more detailed information about these co-hosts by clicking here .)

Friday - Special Guest Night : a different speaker is interviewed each week discussing their personal stories of child abuse trauma, recovery, and activism. Listeners are invited to call in at the start of the show to participate in a panel that will offer feedback and questions throughout the show.
A Note from Our Founder and CEO:
Healing from child abuse and trauma can be a very lonely journey .. but you'll never be alone again, a day at a time, if you don't want to be !!
NAASCA belongs to no other group and receives no outside funding. We're self-supporting through our own members' voluntary contributions.
Please consider a one time
or recurring donation .
Thanking you for all you do in the fight against child abuse and trauma and welcoming you to engage with your NAASCA family, I remain, as always,

Yours in service,

Bill Murray , Founder and CEO
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse.   
NAASCA | a 501(c3 | 323 / 552-6150 | |