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- This issue is not about big universities, celebrity, or one headline. It’s not about reputations, or legacies, or any one institution. This issue is about children.
- We have have to step into the reality that there are people in our midst that would rob children of their innocence and they are people we know and trust. They will go out of their way to appear above reproach and they will infiltrate our families and organizations where they can have easy access to children.
- It takes tremendous courage for children and adults that have been abused to come forward and our reactions can create a safe and supportive environment for others to share their story. We must support and honor the courage of victims and survivors and work together to put an end to the sexual abuse of innocent children.
- Child safety is the job of an adult. Teaching children how to keep themselves safe from abuse is important, but adults bear the burden of stepping up and speaking out when something doesn’t look or feel right with respect to the well being of a child. Reporting sexual abuse is simply the right thing to do regardless of one’s legal responsibility as a mandated reporter. If you see something or suspect abuse, call the police.
- The ramifications of not acting responsibly are clear. More abuse occurs, more children are harmed, fewer children get the help they so deserve. To be silent bystanders is to be complicit in its occurrence and wake. To intervene is to ensure that a child is treated and supported, that they are healed and better protected from the potential lifelong hardships of the trauma they’ve experienced.
- Child sexual abuse is preventable. We can learn the facts, we can acknowledge the reality, we can talk to other adults, we can ensure youth serving organizations have comprehensive child protection policy, and we can talk to our children. Awareness and education is the answer.
- The fight against child abuse cannot be the job of one individual or agency; it has to be a collaborative effort. It will take all of us to change culture–to one where engaged adults offer no access to children and no place for a perpetrator to commit their heinous acts.
- We can be stuck in the shock and horror at stories in the headlines or we can stay focused on the things we can all do today that better protect children.
Ways to Get Involved
- Learn the 7 Steps to Protecting Our Children.
- Find out more about Stewards of Children, a training for adults on how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
- Take Stewards of Children online now.
- Join the Movement to end child sexual abuse.
- Sandusky Jailed On New Child Sexual Abuse Charges (newsworldwide.wordpress.com)
Since it’s Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to suggest that we all give thanks to our bodies. That’s actually something I recommend on a daily basis. Most of us take our bodies for granted, frequently forcing them to do all kinds of things that they really don’t want to do, running around all day long instead of taking time to sit and relax. We need to develop a good relationship with our bodies; we need to learn to listen to them. We are partners for life with the body we were born into, so make the best of it. Our bodies want to please us but like everything else, they need love and attention. One of the best ways to give them that is to make love. There is nothing like a good orgasm to make the body happy.
Sex always involves the body, and good sex requires that you are absolutely present in your body. We are energetic beings as well as physical beings, and some of us are not in the habit of having both in the same place. While the physical body is on one side of the room, your energetic body may be on the other side. (Really, that happens.) One of the wonderful things about sex is that when you start feeling sexual desire, you become absolutely present and integrated, and nothing else matters. You are all in one place with one focus. It’s good to have that experience of being absolutely right there, being fully in your body. We need to learn to do that more in our lives. We often think that sex is the only way to get that feeling of “right there-ness” but in reality, it can occur whenever we are totally concentrated. All great artists know that feeling—it’s about allowing the energy of creation to move through us, only it doesn’t have to be about making babies.
Another timely topic is childhood sexual abuse. I bring that up now because it’s classic for people who have had unpleasant sexual encounters to leave their bodies as soon as they start having sex. I know, I was one of them. Because of that, I have a deeper understanding of sexual abuse than many people, so let me correct a couple of misunderstandings: sexual abuse is not more common than it used to be, it’s just that until recently everyone covered it up. The shame and secrecy were more powerful than the desire to tell the truth. Although people still cover it up a lot, it’s beginning to leak out around the edges. That’s a good thing, a very good thing. Sexual abuse can’t keep occurring if the victims don’t keep quiet about it. But it does require courage to talk about it, because it’s such an intense assault on the psyche that it creates a deep sense of shame.
The other misunderstanding is that it happens as much or more to boys as it does to girls. It’s just that we hear about it more from boys, they are more likely to talk about it. Because of the way that sex has been used to threaten women since the beginning of time, women grow up with a deep subconscious awareness that sex can be used against them and that many men see them as prey. Until the last hundred years, our culture hasn’t considered that a problem at all, and women who complained got no support from the status quo. It takes a lot of generations to change those old cultural ways of thinking, and most girls still won’t talk about it.
The good news is that it’s possible to heal—once again, I know, I did it. An understanding and loving partner is huge plus, because you have speak about it openly, and you have to give a voice to those feelings. We can’t have good sex without our feelings coming up, anyway—at least it might be possible for men, but not very many women can cut themselves off from their feelings and still have great sex. Sadly, some women are never able to be very present for sex, often because of past sexual trauma. We need to educate all our children so that they understand they have the right to dictate what happens to their bodies, making sure they know that if any kind of abuse ever occurs we will be there standing behind them one hundred percent. And that goes for sexual abuse that happens when we are adults as well.
Let’s all start talking about sex in a real and open way. If we talked about sex as much as I think we should, this would be a different world, and sexual abuse would barely exist, because it couldn’t be hidden and we wouldn’t tolerate it. And, by the way, we would have at least twenty different words for different types of orgasm.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Clint.
Was life in prison to harsh for Mr. Jackson? Should the mother spend time in jail? Does she need to seek or be offered help? Is the judge incorrect by saying that the mother is not a victim?
Protect your children from sexual abuse, visit www.d2l.org
Imagine you’re 11 years old and are on your way to the bus stop to grab the school bus for school. You are running a little late and are hurrying to make it on time. You are a bit of a daydreamer and aren’t really aware of your surroundings. Next thing you know a strange car has pulled up beside you, you are assaulted with a stun gun and thrown in the back seat of a car. You have a blanket thrown on top of you and are unaware of what this is or why its happening. Welcome to the nightmare that was Jaycee Dugard’s life.
In “A Stolen Life” Jaycee Dugard writes very honestly and candidly about the nightmare that was her life for 18 years. She was abducted by known sex offender Philip Garrido and his wife Nancy. They took her two hours away from where she lived in South Lake Tahoe, California and kept her in a soundproof room in their backyard. She was handcuffed with fur covered handcuffs. Philip Garrido became her only human contact. He would bring her fast food and tell her funny stories, apparently classic modus operandi for a pedophile. She had no water in this room, no toothbrush, didn’t even have a bed. She lay in a pile of blankets like an animal. Her toilet was a bucket that Garrido brought to her once a day. There were two doors on the room, and when Garrido would leave he would lock them both. There were towels over the windows on the inside and bars on the windows on the outside.
Approximately one week after abducting Jaycee, Philip Garrido raped her. She knew nothing about sex; had no inkling about sexual abuse. He told her that if she didn’t move around too much it wouldn’t hurt so bad. He told her that she was helping him with his “sexual problem”. He told her that she was helping him so that he “didn’t have to hurt other little girls”.
Garrido did a lot of drugs, stuff he called “crank”. When he would go on a binge, he and Dugard would go on what he called “runs”. These “runs” were marathon sex days where he would force her to dress provocatively, masterbate him, perform fellatio on him and have sex with him.
Jaycee Dugard gave birth to her first child from this madman at the age of 14. She had no clue about being a mother. She was just a child herself. But she didn’t feel alone, she says in the book, when she had the baby. She had something that was hers. Her second child was born when she was 17.
Garrido was often visited by parole officers to make sure he wasn’t violating the conditions of his parole. Yet not one of them seemed to check his backyard or his surroundings. The doctors that he saw seemed more to enable his drug problem than to help him. He believed, through the voices he continually heard, that there were demon angels trying to control him. He tried to develop ways to control them. He never took responsibility for any of his actions, blaming these “angels” for his actions.
How Jaycee Dugard was found was remarkable. Garrido had a “plan” to take Jaycee and the children to his parole office appointment, and tell them something of the truth. His plan was to tell the officers that she allowed him to have the children with him and that she was aware he was a sex offender. To him it seemed like the perfect plan. But a few hours later the truth was known and Garrido had confessed to the whole crime.
The book is stunning, shocking, moving, and horrifying. To hear, in her own words, the Hell she went through just cuts through your heart. You want to hear more because you want to know if she’s alright. At one point I had to put the book down and walk away because I was crying so hard. Throughout the book I was pulling so hard for this girl to beat the odds and survive. When reading the part where she was finally able to say her real name (something Garrido wouldn’t let her do) my heart filled with joy and I had to walk away and calm down before I could finish.
She is the epitome of hope: She never gave up once during the 18 years of captivity at the hands of this madman. She seemed to know that one day she would see her Mom again.
She is the definition of survival: Going through what she went through, most would have crumpled and died. Jaycee was determined to do whatever it took to survive, both before and after her daughters were born. As a cancer survivor, she taught me a few lessons on what survival means.
Her grace and gentleness also come out in this book. She is humble, honest and very forthcoming. I am truly stunned by everything I’ve read. She became an inspiration and a hero to me from reading her book. Something I truly recommend.
I give this book 5 bookmarks out of 5.
- ‘I Will Not Be Afraid': Jaycee Dugard Speaks Out on Kidnapping to ABC News (newsfeed.time.com)
- Jaycee Dugard describes 18 years in captivity (cbc.ca)
- Dugard describes ‘very painful’ years in captivity (msnbc.msn.com)
- Jaycee Dugard, in first interview, says Phillip Garrido parole officer saw her and ignored her (telegraph.co.uk)
- Jaycee Dugard book sells 175,000 copies on first day (today.msnbc.msn.com)
Michael was more to me than a great entertainer. He was the love of my life. I truly loved him as a person. I understood him. Those that know me and know me well know where I am coming from, but let me explain a little for those that don’t.
Besides my grandfather, Michael was the only constant male figure in my life growing up. I thought he was beautiful and I loved to watch him move. My mother took me to see The Wiz at age 2, took me to his concerts as early as age 4, bought his music for me, and I fell in love with him over the years.
Michael taught me to love everyone no matter what race, creed, color, or religion. He taught me to care for our planet and to have compassion for those that were ill. He also kept me from getting involved with boys at an early age because I was so devoted to him.
Michael was a beautiful person in every way to me; so sweet, kind, and giving. Even in the end he wanted to give more of himself to us by performing when, in my opinion, he should of been enjoying his life without performing and raising his children. I do understand that Michael wanted to come back one last time to prove that he is the best and leave a greater legacy that would overshadow his plastic surgery, debt, or molestation allegations, but he never needed to prove anything to me.
Did I ever question the allegations and wonder if Mike was capable of such a thing? Of course I did! I didn’t see Michael as a God or a perfect entity. I saw him as a human being with flaws like the rest of us. Loving Michael does not make a person go insane, become dumb, or unable to see the truth. I saw through the BS of the allegations and fortunately so did a jury of his peers.
Over the years as I have become an adult my “obsession” for him has toned down, but I always loved and supported him. I never believed the hype when it came to him being weird, bizarre, or a child molester. As a survivor of child sexual abuse I do not support anyone that I believe has been involved in that type of behavior.
I am in disbelief, confused, numb, heartbroken, sad…words cannot express what I really feel. Michael was my family. He was and will always be a major part of who I am. I suppose he can rest now and perform forever in heaven or where ever we go when we leave this earth.
I give my love and support to his family and fans all around the world.