Your NAASCA Newsletter: for survivors / activists | August 2020
see the message from Bill Murray, founder / CEO
August's Newsletter Theme:
' Take a Vacation*'
New! FOUR Helpful Articles! Look Inside!
* It might be a surprise to tell you to take a vacation when we can't travel.
But how about taking a virtual vacation, visiting family and friends from
across the the country? .. just to let them know you are thinking of them!
Thank you!!
a non profit 501(c)3

Because of you and our simple MISSION, 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 / activist / professional community ... because together we can do what we cannot do alone .
JOIN! NAASCA's daytime Recovery Meetings
- ZOOM series - 3 times/week, 2pm EST!
To all NAASCA members,

We're delighted to invite you to join our NAASCA daytime series on ZOOM.
No advanced registration is required !!

We're using a new ZOOM Meeting ID#:  769 832 8303
 
NAASCA's daytime Recovery Meetings, are now held Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays , coming to you virtually on ZOOM. They are hosted by volunteers who lead the meetings.
 
Please join us, if you wish! You can choose to appear on-camera or not, it's up to you. But no recording is allowed. Every adult is invited to participate. These will be Q&A discussion meetings.

Let's meet virtually – since we're all 'stuck' at home!
 
WHEN: Every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday – 2pm EST / 11am PAC

TOPIC: NAASCA's daytime Recovery Meetings

ZOOM.us  - Meeting ID#:  769 832 8303
 
PLEASE PASS IT ON!!!! Linda and I are looking forward to having you join us!

Yours in love and service,

Bill

Welcome to the August 2020 NAASCA Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter mailing list!
Please encourage others to get in touch by suggesting they


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This month's newsletter theme is:

'Take a Vacation'

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Upcoming August Dates

Family Fun Month
Get ready for Kindergarten Month
Happiness Happens Month
International Peace Month
National Back to School Month
National Wellness Month

August 9: National Women’s Day
August 11: National Son and Daughter Day
August 12: International Youth Day
August 19: World Humanitarian Day
August 26: Women’s Equality Day
August 29: Individual Rights Day
August 30: National Grief Awareness Day

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A NOTE FROM BILL

Exciting news !!! NAASCA has gone Spanish !!!

We've launched our first Spanish pages on the NAASCA web site.

To get there simply enter the word 'espanol' after the regular URL .. like this:


The CONTACT page identifies the volunteers who are helping get the Spanish portion of the NAASCA effort up and running.

You're familiar with the English site's tools, services, and resources, and we'll be duplicating many of them in Spanish.

If you encounter other bi-lingual or Spanish folks send them to our two new 'NAASCA en Español' Facebook groups, one PUBLICO , the other CERRADO .

Please share this info to our Latino NAASCA family members!

And remember, we now do THREE 'special guest' episodes each week .. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

We'll need additional guests to tell their stories in February .. so there are now several slots open that we want to fill in! Please send me an email if you'd like to participate: Bmurray3rd@aol.com

The 'Current Schedule' on the front page of our NAASCA.org web site accurately reflects the OPEN dates (clearly marked in GRAY).

Here's looking ahead for a wonderful New Year in 2020!!

In gratitude to each of you, I am .. yours in service,

Bill


Dedicate your birthday to supporting NAASCA 

by Bill Murray 

Recently, and all of a sudden, it was that time again .. my BIRTHDAY !!! .. (March 26, 1953)

It seems like this happens every year! LOL

There are numerous ways to support our truly unique organization.

Here's an annual one! The Birthday Campaign !!!
Join NAASCA's Public and/or Closed groups on Facebook!!

Or, if you prefer, join our LinkedIn group!

We're building a survivor / activist community!
NAASCA's SCAN Shows are Now on Three Platforms!
 
All our "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio shows are now available as 'on-demand' podcasts on three different platforms!
by Bill Murray
 
It's amazing, but NAASCA and our 'sister effort' LACP (Los Angeles Community Policing) have produced over 3000 "Stop Child Abuse Now" and "Community Matters This Week" talk radio shows!
 
We do our shows on BlogTalkRadio five-nights-a-week, all but Saturday and Sunday evenings, and each is recorded as it's being aired. It doesn't take long for the library to add up.
 
Now there are three ways to access these podcasts:

1.  Directly through our NAASCA web site 's 'ARCHIVES' by simply clicking on the episode's name (a number)

2.  By using APPLE Podcasts for iPhone-style mobile devices – thanks to Dwight Hurych, North Carolina, for setting this up as a NAASCA volunteer!

3.  Through GOOGLE Podcasts for those who use Android phones – thanks to Charm Isom-Asenime for explaining how to hear our shows on the GOOGLE Podcast platform, too,
 
NAASCA's 'ARCHIVES' are accessed through the NAASCA website's HOME page where it says 'current schedule'. Each year is listed there.
 
Please see full details, including how to download the Apple and Google Podcast apps, on the NAASCA website page:

 
I am so pleased that NAASCA has increased its outreach through these two additional venues!
 
Please help us SHARE about these new platforms by spreading the word to as many survivors and advocates you can.
 
We hope this enhances our ability to execute our mission: educating the public about childhood abuse, and offering hope and healing to survivors.

Deb Ferguson
You Deserve to
Get Away:
Take a Vacation
from Your Mind

Vacation is a relative term. During the year of COVID, it must be a fluid term. Traveling is limited and comes with a ton of new restrictions. But a vacation does not need to include traveling anywhere outside of your home.
Vacations are a break. They are a break from the reality of day-to-day life. For some people that includes a tropical island and a drink with a little umbrella. For a survivor, it means a chance to forget for just a moment.

How Can We Forget What We Endured?
No one is asking a survivor of child abuse to forget the very things int heir lives that created a survivor. However, you can have moments in your life that the abuse is not in the forefront of your mind. Taking a break from focusing on the abuse and the hardships that defined your childhood is healthy and necessary. These thoughts eventually need to find their proper space in your head, in the back, away from the limelight.

Taking a vacation from your mind will help you find the sense of calm and sanity you need to continue with your life as a survivor. So, while you may not get to lay out on a beach and drink a Mai Tai, you can take a vacation and allow your mind a chance to relax and recuperate.

Whether you choose to take a small day trip to a quiet location in the woods, or set up a series of virtual tours to “visit’ your family for a few days, you have a chance to leave your daily thoughts and routine behind for a few days and just relax.

Take this much needed vacation to find a new meaning in your life. It’s time to let go of the guilt and anger that has been a part of your life. Instead, allow your idea of a better life to occupy your mind. Then, when vacation is over, begin your journey towards your best life, as a survivor, not a past victim.

And remember, your friends at NASCAA are here to help you when you need it. Do not be afraid to reach out to us and ask for help whenever you need a reminder that you deserve a good life and a vacation from your mind. 

Stay safe,

If you are the person in need of help, we are here for you. And remember, NAASCA has a ton of resources available to make sure you and those you love are safe, even during a worldwide pandemic.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay sane.


Deb Ferguson, NAASCA volunteer



Teachers, Your Students Need You More Than Ever



Covid-19 has produced a dual pandemic-disease and domestic violence. Global statistics vary, but domestic violence has increased by at least ten percent since the onset of the virus and accompanying lockdowns, school closures, and joblessness.

The hidden, unmeasurable statistic is that of abused children. Boys and girls, who often relied upon the routines and relationships at school to mitigate the abuse they suffered at home, have had little or no respite from their abusers.

As teachers prepare for a return to school, what can you do to support children from these abusive homes? Classroom instruction may or may not be online, could be held in cohorts, and will be less than traditional.

Research demonstrates that children with adverse childhood experiences such as abuse are less likely to engage in risky behaviors later in life if they have a safe, stable relationship with one caring adult. Reading, math, science, art, and music are all essential, but the teacher-child relationship has the potential to change a child’s life. 

With the dramatic changes our culture has experienced, many of our students may be experiencing some level of trauma as they return to the classroom. The following ideas will provide you with a place to start as you become more trauma-informed.

  • Recognize the Signs
Be aware of aggressive behavior, fearful responses, appetite issues, weight loss, depression, a lack of cleanliness, and difficulty with self-regulation. (For more information refer to  https://wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u57/2013/child-trauma-toolkit.pdf ) .

  • Create Classroom Routines
Routines, boundaries, and structure provide a sense of safety and predictability. While change may be inevitable this year due to the current health challenges, try to maintain as much normalcy as possible. Even posting the day’s schedule, continuing circle time, or featuring online field trips can provide comfort to students who feel as if their lives are out of control.

  • Teach Students to Self-Regulate
Help children begin to identify their emotions, how their bodies feel when they experience those emotions, and ways they can effectively manage them. You can introduce one or two simple breathing exercises, invite them to get a drink, or create a quiet space in the classroom where students might choose to sit undisturbed for a few minutes.

  • Two by Ten
If a child is exhibiting challenging behavior, try to engage in conversation with him or her two minutes each day for ten consecutive days about topics unrelated to school. The relationship will flourish as he or she realizes you are interested in who s/he is as a person.

  • Be Calm and Predictable
Maintain a warm, welcoming demeanor. Traumatized children are acutely aware of body language, tone of voice, and sudden movements.

While Coronavirus may alter the approach to learning, students will still rely on teachers, staff, and administrators to listen for their silent cries for help. Your students need you more than ever. Watch….and listen.


Tammy Kennington, NAASCA Volunteer 

Emotional Slavery

I looked up the word slave and this is what Wikipedia has to say about it-“Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation.”
There are many types of slavery. One form is emotional slavery. You’re probably thinking, how can we be emotional slaves? How can we be emotionally sold? How can we have emotions against our will? I hear many times we have control over our emotions; no one can make us feel something we don’t want to. That is simply not true, folks. We have control over how we react to our emotions, but we don’t have control over feeling them.

Stuffing something back doesn’t count as having control, because it still comes out in other forms. When we are hurt, we have emotions such as feeling angry, sad, hurt, and so on. When we are involved in abusive relationships, we become emotional slaves. After a period of time, our emotions begin to control our daily lives such as our work, social life, parenting, faith and more. We are in full blown emotional slavery.

The good news is, things can be turned around; the bad news is, It’s going to take a lot of hard work and difficult decisions. We have to decide that we have worth and create a plan to remove the negative emotions out of our lives, which means removing negative people who work to tear us down. Those who truly love us will understand this and want what is best. It is no easy task if this has been your only way of life.

Some people may not even realize their actions are creating negative emotions in you. That is why it’s so important to talk about your feelings. Set up guidelines and boundaries for each relationship in the beginning. The relationship will have a better chance of being lasting and healthy, and it’s a lot easier to start off healthy, rather than changing the rules in the middle.

When we are survivors of physical, emotional, sexual, neglect, and/or verbal abuse, we have to go back to ground zero and take back our worth. If people have run over us our whole life, they will continue to do so until we say “enough!” People will do what we will allow them to get away with.

When you put two abuse victims together, it’s like a game of dodge ball and they don’t even realize the harm their causing each other. That’s why communication skills are a must in every relationship. Emotional slavery doesn’t have to be a way of life, but it may require walking out a door and closing it and opening new ones. If you want freedom, you will do the work it takes, when given the necessary tools. Which brings me to another part of healthy living: helping others.

If you see someone trying to be freed and you have the tools, reach down and give them a gentle hand to hold on to. Realize they are like newborns at this, and you wouldn’t be forceful with a baby, so gently feed them the healthy mental food they need to grow. 

© Malisia McKinney (Mia)
 
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NAASCA’s "Stop Child Abuse Now" (SCAN) shows are broadcast live 5 nights a week, Monday through Friday, LIVE at 8pm EST (so 5pm PST) for 90 minutes, at this link: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/NAASCA

The dedicated call-in number is: 646-595-2118
 



How to Stop the Cycle of Abuse
Have you heard the saying that if you want to find out what your wife will be like in 20 years, look at her mother? Whereas that might result in a chuckle for some people, that thought was terrifying for me. As an adult survivor of child abuse at the hands of my mother, the possibility of turning out like her, of abusing my child the way she abused me, stopped me dead in my tracks.

I promised myself at an incredibly young age that the cycle of abuse would stop with me. My mother had been abused by her mother, and in turn my mother abused me. Today I am the mother of a rambunctious, loving, caring, energetic, sweet 7-year-old daughter. She keeps me on my toes every day, and I am proud to say, I kept the promise I made to myself and to my child.
How did I do it? There are 6 strategies that I have implemented that allowed me to be the mother I am today:

1 - As a scared new mom, and even after all these years of parenthood, I often have NO idea what I am doing. If someone tells you they have all the answers, I have a bridge to sell you. Each day it is my first time being a mother to my daughter at that age. Children do not come with a “how to” manual, and each child is different. What I do know is what NOT to do. I have a list of things that I will NEVER, ever do because those were horrific things that happened to me.
Awareness is key in implementing change. If you do not know what not to do, then how are you supposed to make sure you don’t do it? How can you stop the cycle of abuse unless you are willing to confront what was done to you head-on?

So, I did. I faced every horrific thing my mother did to me. I allowed myself to feel the helplessness, the sadness and the pain by admitting to myself that what she did was abusive. If I allowed myself to stay in denial, or to convince myself that it was somehow justified, then how could I stop it from happening at my own hands?

I used my own childhood as a roadmap of where I would never allow myself to go. With awareness, I will not always make the right choices, but I have never made an abusive one.

2 - For many of us, abuse is all we know. Do not take that lack of knowledge for granted. It is crucial that we learn new and healthy ways of parenting. Don’t be afraid to get help! Read those parenting books (and roll your eyes at the things you know wouldn’t work for your child), phone a friend (or two, or three) when you are having a bad day or you need some advice on how to proceed. Read that self-help book (or two, or three) that you’ve read so many times that it is hard to make out the words. Reach out to your spouse and your therapist. It is okay to ask for help. It is not okay to continue the cycle of abuse.

3 - Take time for yourself. No, really! Kids will trigger the daylights out of you, and when you are stressed, it is only natural to turn to the familiar. The familiar in our case is not an option, so do not take your well-being for granted. I repeat, do not take your well-being for granted.

On particularly stressful days I make sure my daughter is safely occupied, and then I go into my bedroom, lock the door, and vent (sometimes to my husband, and sometimes I am a frazzled woman talking to myself). My daughter knows that sometimes Mommy needs a time-out too. We openly talk about our feelings, and she knows that feeling overwhelmed or frustrated is not something that only kids have to deal with.

As parents we are juggling a ton of responsibilities and pressure, and sometimes that might mean giving your child an extra few minutes of TV or iPad so you can engage in some relaxation exercises (for example, deep breathing or meditation). You might feel guilty about taking time for yourself, but the repercussions that can come with not giving yourself that time are a lot worse. Parenting is hard for anyone, but we have it even harder because of the hand we were dealt. Scream into a pillow. Write in your journal. Talk to yourself in the mirror. Be your greatest friend and ally. Take that time to work on healthy coping mechanisms, and cheer yourself on for all the progress you have made. Remember, it is a marathon, not a sprint.

4 - We will all make mistakes. As long as we are not abusing our children, mistakes are natural, normal, and par for the course. Accept responsibility for your mistakes, learn from them, and grow from them. Be willing to apologize to your children and recognize when you have done something wrong.

Many of us grew up feeling that we had to be perfect or had a caregiver who never admitted any wrongdoing. I am definitely a work-in-progress when it comes to expecting perfection from myself. I associated saying or doing the wrong thing with shame, because I was often shamed for my mistakes. I realized that if I don’t want my daughter to expect perfection from herself, I needed to set the right example that nobody (myself included) is perfect, and that there is no shame in making mistakes. I can be a great mom and still mess up. I can be the parent and still apologize if I do something that I regret.
Our children look to us to provide them with guidance and teach them how to treat others. Be humble and show your children that is safe to make mistakes.  Be open and honest about your feelings and emotions so that they feel safe to do the same. If your child feels hurt about something you said or did, do not minimize their feelings. We grew up not being seen and heard, and we know how important it is to get validation. The greatest gift you can give your child is the willingness to hear their feelings and make space for them. Model accountability for your actions while also showing yourself kindness and forgiveness and teach them to do the same when they do something wrong.

5 - Just as our children need a parent, so do we. Many of us did not get the love and compassion we needed as children from our parents. If we did not receive love and kindness from our own parents, we need to be our own parents.

How do we do that? Talk to that little child inside of you. Think about what they need and try to honor those feelings. Tell your inner child everything you wish you had heard from your parents and validate your inner child’s feelings and experiences. 

We must show ourselves the same love and compassion that we show our children. As you parent your child, think about yourself as a child, and send that same love to yourself. In order to love our children in healthy ways, we need to learn how to love ourselves.

6 - Unconditional love. The two most beautiful words in the world (in my opinion). What so many of us craved, but never received, was unconditional love. Give your children that love. Love them on the good days, and love them and support them on the difficult ones. Give your children everything you needed, and you stop abuse dead in its tracks.

My daughter never doubts the love I have for her. She knows that no matter how I am feeling and no matter what she says or does, that nothing can ever change the love I have for her. She knows that to the point where she rolls her eyes when I say it to her. She knows that no matter where life takes her, I will always be waiting for her with open arms and an open heart.

Giving that kind of love to another person is powerful in ways that cannot be described. Loving my daughter unconditionally has healed me in ways that I did not know was possible. It helped me realize that the lack of love that I received was not my fault. As a parent, how can you not love your child unconditionally? What happened to me was a reflection of my abuser, not me.

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Ian S. Thomas wrote, “Before your children came, they were told that you would love them, so whatever you do, however you treat them…to them, it is love.” Being a parent is the greatest responsibility one will ever have. We know better than anyone how significant our role is in our child’s life. It is the greatest challenge and the greatest joy to be a parent. Remember to honor both, and you will be able to navigate the bumpy road of parenting and end the cycle of abuse.


Randi B. Latzman

NAASCA's Grateful to All Our Members & Volunteers !

We Need YOU!

We Need Each Other!

Fighting For Kids,
Serving Adult Survivors
Did you know that NAASCA is entirely staffed by non-paid volunteers including the Board of Directors?

All the services, programs, tools, resources, and social media efforts that we offer entirely  FREE  to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world are staffed by volunteers from our NAASCA family!

It literally would not be possible without YOU .

There are many ways you can volunteer with NAASCA. If you have a little time or a lot, your help is greatly appreciated and needed. Check out our list of available positions here:


FREE:  ...   NAASCA PowerPoint Presentation Tool !!!  ...   NEW !!!

A gift to NAASCA, created for us by Terri Lanahan of Butte, Montana, author of " Hear My Voice ".

This is a tool anyone can download and use as a help whenever making a presentation on child abuse and trauma. It's a set of some two dozen PowerPoint slides that one can show on a laptop, send in an email, or can project on a screen for a larger group. Activist members of the NAASCA family might want to use it to explain any number of aspects of child abuse and trauma recovery.

Terri's wonderful PowerPoint presentation is located on NAASCA web site's ' Promotional Tools ' page and in our social media groups.

Show off NAASCA -- our mission, services and tools !

REMEMBER .. On the NAASCA web page you'll find links to how to get even more great help when making presentations or during fundraising:

Have You Listened to Our Talk Radio Show Lately ?

Monday through Friday evenings we broadcast an internet-based live streaming talk show. This is one of the best FREE SERVICES we offer to our NAASCA members!

All shows start at 8pm EST (so that's
7pm CEN , 6pm MTN & 5pm PAC )


We really want to hear from you!


Anyone can participate or just listen to the show by calling:

(646) 595-2118

Are You a Survivor of Child Abuse Looking for Support?

In need of support in your local community?

NAASCA provides listings for your local area in our Recovery Groups and Services page. We have gathered ALL the English speaking recovery groups and services we can find, not only in North America but from around the world. This list can connect you with numerous agencies, therapy, support groups and other resources in your local area.

Looking for support after hours or from home?

Can't find a group you can get to easily or want to connect when it is after business hours? Needing a way to talk about your story but want to stay anonymous? We also provide a link to another separate listing for Online Groups and Services , for Internet-based recovery groups.

As you can imagine, keeping this listing current and updated is a huge task. You can help other survivors find the support they need.

Submit updates for the ' Recovery Groups List ' to Carolin O'Hara:

Submit any updates for the ' Online Resource List ' to Valerie:

You are not alone, and never have to be, a day at a time!


All members of NAASCA are part of our 'NAASCA family', and that's not just something we say. We care about each other and that includes YOU.

We want you to feel comfortable reaching out to any of our volunteers, with any of your questions about what NAASCA offers, or for help navigating the website.

Even if you simply want someone to talk to when you are dealing with a difficult moment in your recovery as a survivor... we are here for you.

Some are listed as night owls, some as available 24/7, others are part of our International community, still others are young or helping some specific types of survivors. Try it!
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(c)(3) | 323 / 552-6150 |  Bmurray3d@aol.com  | NAASCA.org