Your NAASCA Newsletter: for survivors / activists | Oct 2020
see the message from Bill Murray, founder / CEO
October's Newsletter Theme:
"Children Trapped in DV Homes"
New! FOUR Helpful Articles! Look Inside!

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.

Welcome to the Oct 2020 NAASCA Newsletter

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This month's newsletter theme is:

'Children Trapped in DV Homes'

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Upcoming October Dates



Oct 2 - Sukkot (Start)
Oct 12 - Columbus Day
Oct 18 - St Luke
Oct 31 - Halloween

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!
Deb Ferguson
"Run, Don’t Walk, to Save the Children"

Child Victims of Domestic Violence Need More Than Just a New Home
The story us not pretty. It is difficult to hear. It invokes more emotions than most of us think we have. But, it is a story heard over and over again with a new cast each time.

The story is that of a a child caught up in domestic violence within the home. The child may not be the intended victim with each abusive word or action. However, that child is victimized every time he witnesses a new act of violence against his parent or sibling.

And often times we look on. Maybe we feel helpless. Maybe we are overwhelmed. Maybe we are deer in headlights because it brings up our own repressed memories of the domestic violence we lived through.

Victims of domestic violence, especially children, need much more than our sympathy and prayers. They need action.

Some of the things that can help a child victim of domestic violence include:

  • Removal from the home

  • Age appropriate therapy

  • Positive role models

  • Play groups of children in different living situations

When we step up and really help our children, we break the cycle of violence, anger, and hate. As a result, they will not become abusers or broken and injured adults.

Together, we can help change the world, one child at a time. And remember, your friends at NAASCA are here to help. We are never in this life alone.

~~~~

Deb Ferguson, NAASCA volunteer
"Domestic Violence and Kids"

In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control reported that
1 of 7 women and 1 of 25 have been injured by an intimate partner. Even more startling, “45.4% of female rape victims and 29% of male rape victims were [assaulted] by an intimate partner”.

Are you alarmed? Disturbed?

Consider for a moment the number of children being raised in homes where domestic violence is commonplace. Unwelcome witnesses, children from violent homes may observe emotional, spiritual, financial, and/or physical abuse. Psychiatrists and other experts now know that when a child witnesses this type of violence within the family, he is as impacted as if having been abused himself.

These children may never forget the sounds of shattering glass, the crowbar tucked beneath mother’s bed, or the piercing screams that penetrated endless sleepless nights again and again. These children may never forget how fear rose like a specter at the least provocation and anything became a weapon or a threat—words, fists, knives, guns.

But these are the 1 in 7 children who need you. They need the neighbors, teachers, clergy. The activists, leaders, and everyday man or woman to notice the signs and to pick up on the clues for help.

Common Indicators of DV that Children Exhibit

  • Aggression toward other children

  • Lack of empathy

  • Depression and/or anxiety

  • Psychosomatic symptoms (i.e. stomach aches/headaches)

  • Incomplete homework

  • Missed school days

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Limited pro-social skills

  • Eating and/or sleep disturbances (i.e. bedwetting)

  • Self-harm

Untreated, children who experience domestic violence often learn to self-medicate and later in life often experience physical and mental health problems including, but not limited to, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The earlier the intervention, the better. If you suspect domestic violence or are experiencing domestic violence, seek help.

Contact 800. 799.SAFE (7233) and invest in the future today. 

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Tammy Kennington, NAASCA Volunteer 
"My Childhood Domestic Violence"
Dried tears and dirt cover my face as I pick the glass out of my feet. I’m 7, and my mother has had another one of her fits. It always ends that way when she adds strong drink to her day.
From the outside we look like a normal family, but inside these walls she makes sure it’s a hell for all that live within.

Most people hear the words Domestic Violence and they think of men who physically abuse women.

What society doesn’t want to see is woman can be just as violent and dangerous. My mother ruled the house with her fist and brutal words daily. She took her rage out on my stepfather and when he wasn’t around. I got the blunt of it.

When her anger rose, so did her strength. He laid at the bottom of the steps for hours because my mother had thrown him over the banisters. Once she stabbed him, and he had to have tubes put under his arm. Once she decided to run over his mother with me, my brother and my sister in the car. Lucky his mother was quick enough to get out of the way. Those are just a few incidents. Our daily life held many more.

Two points I would like to get across .. domestic violence affects everyone involved, and women are abusers too. Often when my mother was raging my stepfather would tell me to go hide under the bed or in the closet. He couldn’t save himself, nor was he going to save me. Hiding was my best option if I wanted to live.

After the cuts and bruises there was 'the sorries and I’ll never do it agains'. “I don’t know what gets into me. If you wouldn’t get me so mad, this wouldn’t happen,” was often my mother’s words.

The truth is that predators have control over their anger but they choose to inflict emotional, physical, and mental pain on others. Women like my mother get off on it. They're only sorry when they may lose control over you. My mother never laid a hand on my brother and sister. She picked who will be at the end of her fist.

It doesn't get better, these parents just get better at hiding it, and they breaking those down they abuse into believing it’s their own fault, and that this violence is the norm.

I’m 45 now, and I still feel like that 7 year old picking glass out of my feet when I have to deal with confrontation. I still remember those nights hiding in the bushes at 3 am waiting for my mother to pass out so I could go inside.

Make no mistake, domestic violence is a life or death situation. If you or someone you love is being abused please reach out for help. A life can not be given back, and childhood trauma cannot be undone. Everyone around the victim is being affected. Children hear and see more than you think. Don’t lie to yourself thinking parents will never hurt their kids.

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© 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
 



"My Story of Codependency"
Codependency is a buzzword that we can’t seem to escape. Everywhere you turn there are people preaching about the dangers of codependency.
Don’t get me wrong; I agree that codependency isn’t healthy, but I also understand why it is so easy to fall into that trap.

For many, codependency was normal for us growing up. If you had a parent or adult in your life that you took care of (as opposed to the other way around), you learned that your happiness and safety were dependent on the other person’s happiness. There were no boundaries and your feelings were ignored or not even verbalized. You learned that your well-being and safety was completely contingent on the well-being of someone else. When that person was happy, you felt loved and needed. By default, if the adult was upset, sick (mentally or physically), or unavailable to you, you felt worthless and unsafe.

I grew up having the belief system that it was my job to make my mother happy. I listened to her marital and life problems, tried to cheer her up, and felt good about myself when I felt she needed me. When she had nothing to do with me, I felt like a complete failure as a daughter and as a person. I tried to do everything possible to get her love and approval. As a result, I made myself completely available to her. I was so available that I spent two hours of my honeymoon trying to calm her down due to her recent breakup. Her feelings were always prioritized over mine, and I felt it was my job to make sure she was okay.

She relied on me to comfort her and be there for her, and I relied on her positive opinion of me to feel valued and loved. We were the definition of codependency.

Based on a belief system that was engrained into many of us, as adults we believe that our partner’s well-being and happiness is our responsibility. After all, that is all we know and were taught from a young age. It was only natural that my codependent relationship with my mother translated into a codependent relationship with my spouse.

When my husband started heavily drinking and then taking pills, I felt like it was my job to make him sober. I believed that it was up to me to figure out how to make him stop. When my efforts failed, I felt like a complete failure.

Taking care of my husband and making him get clean was my responsibility, and I believed I was a terrible wife unless he stopped.

My value as a person was completely defined by the well-being of those I loved. I thought it was my role as a wife and mother to completely devote myself and my happiness to them. This way of thinking made it so that other people were responsible for my own feelings of security and safety. When the roller coaster of addiction took me for a ride, my feelings of self-worth plummeted or soared with it. It became my obsession to save my husband, which in turn, would save myself.

At a certain point I reached my own rock bottom. I saw how vicious the emotional cycle was of trying to make him better/save him. I realized that focusing all my efforts on him was a distraction so that I didn’t have to heal my own wounds and trauma. If I was focusing on someone/something that was out of my control, I didn’t have to fix what I had control over- myself.

I finally realized that my happiness was my responsibility, and I learned a lot about codependency. It was both terrifying and empowering to know that my happiness was my job, just as others are responsible for their own well-being and happiness. The book Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie was extremely helpful and enlightening.

It was up to my husband to get clean, and I couldn’t make him do that. I could support him and love him, but I could not fix him. I needed to start taking care of myself and my own well-being.

I also established clear boundaries with my daughter. I instilled in her that her job is to learn from her mistakes and take responsibility for her actions, as opposed to feeling responsible for others.

My daughter knows that the decisions my husband and I make are our responsibility. It is our job to take care of her, not the other way around.

Another thing that I reinforced is that it is imperative and healthy to feel and share your feelings with those you love and trust. I frequently remind her that I can give suggestions on what she can do to feel better, but ultimately, she controls how she feels. I am open with her about my feelings and model tools that I use to feel better, but I don’t tell her about my adult problems.

When my daughter tries to get involved and tell me and my husband what to do (she can be quite nosey sometimes), I remind her that she has control over her actions and not others. I explain that she should focus on being the best version of herself, as it is also each of our individual responsibility to do so.

What I now strive for is interdependency. I have learned how empowering it is to not allow others to make me feel whole and valued. I can be vulnerable and supportive with my husband, but ultimately, I control and am responsible for how I feel. I value my relationships, but I also value myself separately from my role as a wife and a mother.

The biggest hurdle for me was giving myself the space I needed to feel whatever I was feeling. I felt that I had to justify my feelings to my husband in order for my feelings to be valid. It is a work-in-progress to accept that my feelings are valid regardless of what he or anyone else thinks.

It took a lot of trial and error for me to apply my interdependence into all aspects of my marriage. I remind myself every day to focus on myself and give myself the love and care that I craved so desperately from others.

I have learned the importance of each of us being responsible for our own growth, while supporting and encouraging each other. Sure, there are things that I wish my husband would do differently, but it is not my job to change him or to fix him. He is not a project or a little boy, and he deserves to be treated as a man who can make his own choices. I have set clear boundaries of what I cannot except. My husband is aware of my boundaries, and my choices are to accept and love him as he is or walk away if any issue is a dealbreaker.

I am the happiest I have been in a long time because I am now the source of my well-being. I am not a princess waiting to be rescued, and I am not a martyr trying to save everyone to the detriment of myself. Instead, I am focused on working on myself, and looking inward for love and compassion.

That, in turn, allows me to be the best wife, mother, and person I can be.

~~~~

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:



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