National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

NAASCA Highlights
- Feature Articles -
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here we present a few recent stories and feature articles from a variety of sources that are related to the kinds of issues we cover on our web site and mission. They represent a small percentage of the information available to us, the public, as we fight to provide meaningful recovery services and help for those who suffered child abuse. We'll add to and update these pages regularly, bringing you just a few of the articles and resources available on the web site.
programs / projects
together we can heal
help stop child abuse
a little about us
join us, get involved

Feature Story Archives - 2019
presentations from a variety of sources on
issues of child abuse and trauma
Archives from other years:
- 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 -
- 2016 - 2017 - 2018 - 2019 - 2020 -

- 2021 -


What Works to Prevent
Sexual Violence Against Children
- Executive Summary -

What Works to Prevent
Sexual Violence Against Children
- Evidence Review -

  Report: Solutions To Stop Sexual Violence Against Children


Sexual violence against children happens everywhere: in wealthy enclaves, in slums, in suburbs, in rural villages.

Invariably, it happens in secret: in the privacy of family homes, in dark corners of schools and churches, and in murky shadows at neighborhood, community, sporting and scouting events.

It happens often, and periodically groups put out reports to call attention to the issue. "That's usually where the story stops," says Daniela Ligiero, CEO and executive director of Together for Girls, an organization that works to prevent violence against children. "But there's a lot to be done to prevent it. We want to showcase solutions."

Together for Girls, in partnership with the Oak Foundation and the Equality Institute, organizations with similar goals of preventing violence against children, examined scientific studies and sought expert opinion to compile a review of evidence.

Their report, "What Works to Prevent Sexual Violence Against Children," was released Nov. 19.


  Build A Prevention Team of Caregivers

November 19, 2019

By Feather Berkower, MSW

Dear Parenting Safe Children Community,

If your child had a peanut allergy, you would take the time to talk with all of their caregivers about the peanut reaction and how to prevent an episode. Child sexual assault is far more prevalent, yet parents struggle with speaking up to prevent it because they don't know how to start the conversation or are nervous/uncomfortable that they will be perceived as “high maintenance.

I would like to help parents overcome these barriers by providing practical tools for having conversations with caregivers. If every parent speaks with every person, with whom they leave their child – about boundaries and body-safety – our children and communities will be safer.



by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

The hoped-for self-realisation, when achieved by an adult child abuse survivor, is to recognise that the abuse they suffered was never their fault. But that is far more difficult to do than it may seem to the outside world. So many emotions will rise to the surface at that moment, in what can only be described as a spillover of gigantic proportion. For sure, there isn't a bucket to be found that will be able to hold onto its contents.

This causes immense distress to that childhood abuse survivor as they embark on that journey, simply because, the only way through it is to revisit that trauma head-on and come face to face with that misplaced misjudgement.

The absence of an abuser will never alleviate that painfully now-uncovered truth that will be inflicted upon them, that huge emotional self-blame which has been so very difficult to address. Sadly, rearranging all that has to be recalled is a huge undertaking and extremely confusing. In truth, that adult may even feel able, but for that child within. It signals the arrival of complete and utter devastation and they are left with that ever-burning question: just who am I?


  Two Iranian Brothers Want to Send Their Voice to the United Nations

by Maryam Zamani

Two Iranian brothers want to send their voice to the United Nations.

Shahin Gavanji and Jahangir Gavanji are two award winning Iranian brothers, but they're also world peace ambassadors and child rights activists who are trying to make a safer world for children and to prevent abuse.

In addition they strongly believe that every child has the right to receive a good quality education.

These young brothers were chosen as the best inventors of Iran in 2009 and received the best young inventor award from Iran president hands. They also won this prize in 2010 for the second time, and several medals and awards in Germany, Warsaw and Croatia in world inventions festivals.

Shahin writes,"We are two Iranian brothers, Shahin Gavanji and Jahangir Gavanji, well-known scholars in Iran and child rights activists trying to make a safer world for children. We want to stand up against child abuse."

"We have fled from fanatical group in Iran," he explains. "Their radicals attacked us physically, beating us terribly and threw acid through our Iranian homes' and work's windows. They have also threatened to throw acid into our faces to blind our eyes. Because of stress of our situation, Jahangir's leg has been numb and he cannot walk properly."



by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

Nature never fails to surround us, if we only take the time to look at its beauty. At times, it can leave us breathless. But what is often overlooked is its healing property. Within the physical world, we are met by such things as the diversity of the plants, the wild animals living alongside us, the majestic stance of the mountains, and the oceans reaching out so much farther into the distance than our vision allows.

The stars which tap into our imagination as we ponder, is there life out there? As they twinkle within that black canvas, our questions go unanswered. This beauty which persists despite human intervention and disturbance.

Mother Nature is the common personification of that nature, and within it sits a horde of nurturing aspects that we can all tap into if we so choose. It allows us to feel held within its energy and to look past the pain that child abuse inflicts. For some, to be within nature is so crucial, when the conventional way of healing just doesn't work for them. Allowing us to feel its freedom within, and providing a place in which to put down that pain, when it's just too heavy to hold.

That feeling of the warmth received whilst within it, a warm blanket which seems to reiterate that survival is possible against the odds.


ACE Study - the pyramid -
Adverse Childhood Experiences
  The Link Between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Later-Life Health

Adverse childhood experience (ACE), a term coined in that 1997 study, is now universally recognized in the public health sphere. It is used to describe all types of abuse, neglect, and other potentially traumatic experiences that occur to people under 18.

According to the CDC's resource page for ACEs, childhood trauma has been linked to risky health behaviors such as smoking and substance use, chronic health conditions ranging from cancer to diabetes, and early death. Individuals with ACEs are also more likely to have what the study refers to as “low life potential,” meaning they have lower high school graduation rates and academic achievement and experience more lost time from work as adults.

The scientific reason why individuals with ACEs are at higher risk for these issues can in part be attributed to the way early experiences of adversity affect brain and body development.


  To the Teacher (and the parent)

How to Prevent Bullying in the Classroom

The statistics for bullying are still shockingly high, despite a decrease in recent years. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a study indicated that in 2017, 20% of students aged 12-18 reported being bullied. The same study also found that 15% of students in high school reported being bullied electronically. This form of bullying, sometimes called cyberbullying, is a relatively new form of bullying that often happens outside of school hours or online where teachers don't have access to view it, thus making it harder to witness or detect.

As a teacher, you are the first line of defense against this type of negative behavior, and it's vitally important that you protect your students – including from each other, if necessary. In a definition provided by the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Education, bullying is described as unwanted aggressive behavior marked by a perceived or real power imbalance that is repeated or likely to be repeated.


  Looking Into The Mirror

by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

Looking into the mirror. It's something we do every morning .. almost without thinking.

We brush our hair, we adjust our clothing, we question ourselves as to how we look. So, we would be right in thinking that this daily ritual should not need much thought because we are on automatic pilot. But for some, that could never be further away from the truth. We all stand in front of the mirror and judge ourselves – it's human nature.

There are mornings when the image looking back at us clearly shows that maybe last night's “one more drink” was a mistake. We know that we will suffer from the after-effects of the alcohol and that very late night throughout the day. As we stare back at our reflection, it leaves us with little doubt. We all find fault within our image and there is always something that we would like to change, if only that were possible. The image we see reflected at us can be very different from how others perceive us.


  Spanking as Sex Abuse

by Tom Johnson
Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Discipline
(Nashville, TN)

Spanking has a unique duality and potential for ambiguity. This creates a serious hazard for minors who are legally fair game for corporal punishment--not only at home, but also at school and other settings where adults may claim in loco parentis status. No small number of teachers, coaches, clerics, babysitters, moms' boyfriends, etc. have, under the guise of "old school discipline," spanked kids for their own gratification.

Sometimes the victim's parents are naively on board with the spankings, perhaps citing or hoping for improvement in their child's behavior. And if ulterior motives are suspected, our nation's lax child abuse laws can leave victims and concerned parties unsure of their rights and without adequate recourse. On those occasions when spanking actually leads to criminal charges, defense attorneys have had remarkable success playing the discipline card.



by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

Acceptance is the action of receiving or undertaking something which is offered, without the need for judgement. It's the process of fact or receiving something as adequate, valid, or suitable. It's a management process and a series of steps that need to be taken, to remove the need for alteration when the alteration is not required or possible. It's the opposite of non-acceptance and it allows us to see and accept the reality of our own emotions or the emotions of another.

Acceptance removes our frustrations when the world around us doesn't quite seem to meet our expectations. Acceptance is to recognise another way of being without bending our purpose or beliefs, as we should also not try to bend the belief of another; without compromising just who we are and neither should we expect that from another.

Don't we each walk our path?



by PK Hill - NAASCA Ambassador at Large

Today, I am learning how to live with the residual effects of childhood sexual abuse .. and the intolerable, unconscionable, incessant invasion, arrogant, manipulative, despicable re-victimization by the RCC and my family of origin.

Today, I have discovered a young, angry, grieving inner writer and artist who needs to be heard and healed .. and will not stop until she is. I want to be a Light for other Survivors and escort them out of the maze of manipulation and malfeasance that the evil enablers and complicit bystanders used with deliberate intention to try and permanently silence me and thousands of others.

Today, I believe that the support I have been seeking for so many years – the supports necessary to heal from the wounds of yesterday – are not necessarily to be found where I expected to find such support.



by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

All of us encounter dreams nightly, whether we remember them or not. They normally occur during REM (rapid-eye-movement) sleep, where the body is completely relaxed, almost to the point of paralysis of the muscles. It's where the mind is at its most active without our control and we have entered our subconscious.

Theories are debated as to the effect that our dreams have upon us, but what can't be argued is that they occur. So why do some people remember their dreams, whilst others don't? Scientists report that people who tend to remember their dreams also respond more strongly to their emotions during the day.

Not everyone recalls the mental escapade on waking. It is also believed that emotional dreams are far longer, more intense and easier to remember.


Jeffrey Epstein
  Epstein Case is a Disturbing Example of Predatory and Systematic Child Abuse

by Nick Wooldridge

Many people want to believe that the abuse of children is more anomaly than norm. Unfortunately, the data indicates otherwise and the sex trafficking case involving wealthy businessman Jeffrey Epstein further highlights the ability of abusers to harm young children for extended periods of time. 

Courtney Wild came forward and alleged she was victimized by Jeffrey Epstein as a child. She approached law enforcement in 2008 about the abuse. However, her voice was silenced due to secret plea agreements and a general skepticism associated with accusing the wealthy and influential of wrongdoing, according to CBS News.

Today (after more than a decade has passed since she originally revealed her abuse), Wild is making sure her voice is heard and that justice is pursued to hold Epstein accountable and prevent him from abusing other children.


Tracey Maxfield   Child Abuse – the root of many of life's problems
Hidden in Plain Sight

by Tracey Maxfield - NAASCA Ambassador for B.C. Canada
author: 'Escaping the Rabbit Hole: my journey through depression'

Childhood abuse is the intentional, repeated physical, sexual and/or psychological mistreatment, harm or neglect of a child.

The abuser is usually an adult e.g. a parent, guardian, caregiver, family member or a trusted adult in the community e.g. neighbour, school coach, teacher; however sometimes the abuser can be an adolescent youth who is known to the child e.g. sibling, cousin, babysitter.

Childhood abuse includes Shaken Baby Syndrome, trafficking and exploitation, exposure to domestic violence, maltreatment and neglect e.g. no food or shelter, and exposure to traumatic experiences such as parental substance abuse, criminal activity, etc.

Approximately 7.5 million child abuse reports and 4.1 million child maltreatment reports are filed each year in the USA.

The financial cost of child abuse and neglect in the USA is a staggering $585 billion (American Society Positive Care of Children).

The root of the problem? Childhood trauma.
  Childhood Trauma and Symptomology

by Anastasia Dumont -- Clinical Researcher and NAASCA family member

We were all children once.

How many of us grow up with psycho-somatic, psychological and physical symptoms which somehow sprout one time or another in our lives? A diagnosis of ADHD, dyslexia, depression, anxiety, PTSD, Complex-PTSD, borderline personality disorder, DID, Cluster A, B and C disorders, narcissism, addictions, substance abuse, obsessive disorders, suicidal ideation's and other chronic health conditions often become quantified and diagnosed in the medical and mental health sectors.

The health diagnoses under which physicians and professionals categorize our behavior can anchor us to our syndrome overtime, leading us to identify ourselves with it to a point we become it. A diagnosis can place us on a spiral of shame, failure, confusion, fear and social isolation.

Underneath our identification with a diagnosis, one asks the true reasons why we are feeling the way we are. We focus on the diagnosis and forget to ask ourselves, how much trauma, if any, did we endure during our lifetime? And did this trauma impact how we feel now and how we navigate life?

Many of us haven't even started processing the events, situations, circumstance and people that may have impacted our development from an early age.


  Memories, Good or Bad

by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

Our memories bring us to pleasure, fond remembrance, and joy, to state but a few. But, on the other side of life, memories can bring us pain, a feeling of desertion, and deep isolation. Either way, memories will never be able to aid us with the gift to predict the future.

And, as for the past? Well, that can never be altered because it's somewhat set in stone. The past is set to stay with us as we journey through life, and we can only ever make the best of that situation. This journey is one that all of us need to make, because within the acceptance of life, it needs to be lived. So, we endeavour to take the bad along with the good, as we continue to experience the ride on the roller coaster called life.

If we are lucky, the good will always outweigh the bad, which in turn, gives us the strength when required to shoulder the bad when it arrives.

But what if we were to turn that statement on its head where the bad has always outweighed the good? What if finding any good has never seemed possible? Well, we are then destined to travel a completely different journey, on the roller coaster into hell, where the downs are always present and the ups seem impossible to reach. They just don't seem to have any influence, or contribute at all, within that ride into the dark side of life.


  Lawful Prosecutions

by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

Lawful prosecutions will never really be healing for a child abuse surviving adult although it may be looked for and rightly so. Every child abuse recovering adult, without question, deserves that atonement. But when I look around me, I don't see a world that's lacking in retribution. Quite simply, it can only ever be acted upon by law if easily proven. In many cases of child abuse, it is very difficult to prove that the abuse is beyond any reasonable doubt. Simply because it requires the art of reaching back over many years that are past, gone within childhood, to be able to do so. As the years go by time seems to shift and the memory can become confused. This happens because the lines have become more than just a little blurry during that shift. There is also the fact that these memories are extremely painful, and over the years they may have become as one. These now blurred timing of events and the effect upon their vision of recall is only ever the inability to separate each event.


  Spiritual Care, Equal Partners

by Pastor Deborah

Hello again to another FEATURE ARTICLE for NAASCA from Agape Love, Love Is Here, Spiritual Care, Equal Partners. Come and journey with me, Pastor Deborah, on a tour of humanity's ancient history of Spiritual Care and it's partnership with humanity in helping with life and it's problems.

Travel back into time to ancient Egypt and Greece and then travel forward through the ages to get a better understanding of Spiritual Care in the Helping Professions seeking to find answers to questions about the mind and it's illnesses and diseases. Read and learn about humanity's history of trying to discover the causes of a mind's troubles and the treatments to bring healing to a person.

Come and learn about the many historical solutions and treatments that were tried to solve such an elusive and hidden problem, the troubled minds of humanity. Travel forward and learn the current philosophy of the realm of science and it's beliefs on the origins of a mental problem that seems to have become an brain disease that needs specially educated, trained and licensed professionals to treat these disease of the brain.


  Where It Burns

by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

Growing up with the horrific memories of child abuse is unimaginably difficult to comprehend for those who have never experienced its devastation. A child abuse survivor has, for so many years been within the dark side of life. Finding any light within their abuse was never possible, and oppression was the order of that life. For many, even today, feel that it is just not possible for them to find that light.

We think about the light and the dark in many ways: e.g., the daylight hours in which to occupy our minds before the arrival of the night. There is the light that just appears, simply by the flicking of a switch. Spiritually, we talk about the light in which we see others differently, as denoted by their actions. If we look upon it from the other side of that spectrum, whilst within the darkness of the night, we see it as a time in which to relax the day away, to sleep, and to recharge. It is regarded as a quiet time, within that peacefulness, and then we awaken refreshed and ready to start another day. Both bring with them those experiences in which we encounter a difference, simply known as day and night.


  Spiritual Care, The Hidden Realm of Restoration and Recovery

by Pastor Deborah

Allow me to present a concept that is ancient but long forgotten, hidden from our consciousness and alien to our earthly biological mind, 'Spiritual Care, The Hidden Realm of Restoration and Recovery.' It's related to that part of a human that lives in a realm that is unknown to one's conscious mind, but is known to the heart of the soul. Spiritual care ministers in restoration and recovery to a long forgotten being, the spirit of a human.

The Spirit of a person lives in the 'Hidden Realm of the Spirit'. This is the one that is discovered when someone has an near death experience, that one everyone hopes makes it to a better place upon death and is an vital part of the occult world.

In the world of child abuse, this part is also abused and has experiences that it does not know why or how it does and yet who would even believe what happened if the child talked about the spiritual experience.

Child abuse effects this deeply hidden part of oneself for it is usually one with the soul and physical body at the time of the abuse and is severely abused, broken, wounded, frightened and becomes sick/ill with spiritual dis-ease and vexation as well.


  Defensive Parental Emotions

by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

This emotion is a tricky one to infiltrate, just as the picture above illustrates, and it won't be easy to gain access into this mindset. But it is an emotion that is so often visited within adulthood by child abuse survivors. On arrival, they will be far away from an open position of acceptance. This emotion is one of the hardest to move beyond and is usually addressed within therapy, once accessed.

The need to defend that damaged child at that time will now be so paramount, but that emotion does not arrive or ever stand alone. Rightly, or wrongly, for many, they will also feel the need to embrace justification alongside it. It is a knee-jerk reaction felt towards a nonreactive parent; a staunch defensive emotion towards a parent that they are now being uncomfortably quizzed around.

There is no escaping this subject and the ever-burning question of “did they know?” Advancing towards the inevitable and that, until now, unspoken painful reality will be extremely difficult. Accepting that which they have spent their life avoiding; just how do you process the fact a parent may just have stood silently by? By reverting to that which they have always done, they defend.


  She Survived Child Abuse for Years
Here's What Everyone Gets Wrong About It

by Jen Babakhan

She can't remember a time when abuse and neglect didn't affect her life, and yet entrepreneur, designer, and author Erin Cole has found a way to beat the odds. She hasn't just survived; she's thrived.

Cole's parents divorced during her infancy, and her mother's alcoholism set the family down a path of destruction. When her mother married a man Cole refers to as “Captain Jack,” things only got worse. Her new stepfather suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and often flew into fits of rage—with Cole and her siblings becoming his targets. (That's Erin Cole, on the left in the photo, with her sister Jenna Cole, and inside, below, on the right, with Jenna McCarthy, her co-author.)


  What to Consider When Reconnecting with Estranged Family

from Peperdine University - OnlinePsychology@Pepperdine, the Online Master of Psychology program

Here's a resource that provides strategies for families that want to reconnect post estrangement and help them deal with the emotional strain and complexities of the situation.

Family members lose contact for a variety of reasons: Neglect or abuse can cause a child to cut off a parent. Divorce may pit not only parents against each other but also siblings. And some children simply grow up without one or both parents.

“It's okay to cut ties, and it doesn't make you a bad person,” said Susan Finley, faculty member at  OnlinePsychology@Pepperdine, the online Master of Arts in Psychology at Pepperdine University. “It may be temporary. It's not [always] a permanent decision.”

In the digital age, being able to reconnect with an estranged or lost family member may be easier than ever. Still, there is a substantial amount of emotional baggage that can come with the act of reaching out and beginning to rebuild a relationship.

What can people do to prepare for a meaningful reconnection? And how do they cope if that reconnection doesn't turn into reconciliation?


  Is Your Child A Victim?
Learn About Bullying Prevention

by Jenny Silverstone, Mom Loves Best

Do you suspect your child might be the victim of bullies? Maybe you think your child is responsible for bullying?

As a child, I stood out. I was much taller than many of my peers, which left me as an open target for bullies.

As parents, we need to stay on top of this subject so we can help our children learn to do the right thing and how to deal with their emotions. Bullying is prevalent in the U.S., whether as a victim or a perpetrator. Let's look at what constitutes bullying, who is at risk, the effect it has, and ways to prevent bullying.


  Facing Abuse and Each Other

by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

Understanding the effects and assessing the damage caused by child abuse can take many years. Sadly, there will be those who are never able to do so. For those who remain within the pain of their child abuse, life will always continue to be a struggle, whether for the child abuse adult survivor, or a loved one, and at times both, because child abuse is not only felt by that child abuse recovering adult.

Understanding, or connecting, with a child abuse adult survivor is painful. At times it may seem easier to avoid the subject entirely. Looking into the face of that painful abuse to achieve that understanding, for many, is something they will never be able to do. But, if they were able to address each set of their emotions independently, it would be extremely enlightening. Quite simply, there would be two very different sets of emotions, although inexplicably linked.

The child abuse adult may have openly chosen to stay hidden and withdrawn from the world, because they just can't face that experience of movement, which may enable them to dig within their shadow self.


  Mother Hen, Father Dan

by Pk Hill, NAASCA Ambassador

I wish my mother had gathered her brood of six as a hen gathers her young under her wing but instead she stood by and watched us scatter to the four winds… each of us broken in our ways and all emotionally fragmented. My mother left a legacy of six children who do not know themselves or each other. We were tax deductions and nothing more.

My mother stood by and watched in stony silence as the #PriestlyPedophileUncle (her brother) took me into his bed and sexually abused me, molested me, and raped me. She may not have been standing at the foot of the four-poster queen-size bed built to accommodate his girth but she was an intelligent woman who was raised in the same household as this #BeastofPray.

And I know from one of my aunts that the #PedophileUnclePriest did not suddenly materialize out of nowhere and was, in fact, an abuser of girls while he was still a teen himself.


Bill Murray, founder/CEO   The NEW Birthday Campaign

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 !



The Birthday Campaign
This year I worked my way through thanking literally hundreds of birthday greetings on Facebook and LinkedIn (where I've some 7,500 social media friends). It occurred to me that here was an opportunity not only to express my gratitude for the kind works many wrote, but also to remind the community we've built and serve to consider giving back.

And there are numerous ways to support our truly unique organization ..


  ‘My Body Is My Body'

Launching the First National Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse in IRAN .. with more than 3000 signatures

by Shahin Gavanji

Ambassador, Peace Worldwide Organization, May 2018 to present - United States
Ambassador, Global Goodwill Ambassadors (GGA), March 2019 to present - Iran
Founder, Global Campaign to End Child Marriage (GCECM), March 2019 to present - Iran

Shahin Gavanji, from Iran, is one of NAASCA's newest family members.

We hope to have him on our "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio show soon, as he wants to speak about one of his newest efforts, the Global Campaign to End Childhood Marriage. It certainly sounds like something NAASCA wants to hear about!


  It's Raining Men

by PK Hill, NAASCA Ambassador at Large

There is so much going on in my life I can barely keep track of it all. I have calendars that have calendars. I feel totally overwhelmed. This Advocacy role is not for weaklings. There is much happening in my Fight for Justice and at the same time, I feel like I am in a Holding Pattern of Healing and nothing is happening.

Once again the other day during an interview that has yet to air on TV I cried on camera. I am so sick of crying on camera. I have little patience for tears unless they are someone else's and then I am filled with Compassion and Concern. When do the feelings of grief and loss dissipate for Survivors of CSA? When do Survivors of sexual abuse by pedophiles; Nuns, Priests, Teachers, Neighbors, Family members, Etc, when do we get to heal? Why do the Predators get to walk away from the scene of crime unscathed and we, the victims, have to carry the scars of the abuse for a lifetime? And why are there so many people who fail to understand the depth of the harm done to a child who has been raped and molested, abused and confused, used and disposed of?

I have been stuck in this emotional place for several days feeling a lot of anxiety about the last few interviews… wishing I had said more, or less, about certain subjects, people and circumstances. There is a lot of stress involved in speaking the damage out loud in public. Did I help my Brother and Sister Survivors by the words I shared or did I do harm?


  from Psychology Today

Why Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Don't Disclose

Six reasons why adult victims of child sexual abuse continue to keep the secret.

by Beverly Engel L.M.F.T.

As the recent HBO documentary entitled Leaving Neverland so powerfully demonstrated, there are many adults who have yet to tell anyone that they were sexually abused as a child—not their partners, not their friends, not their family members, often not even their therapist. Many of us are familiar with the reasons why children do not come forward to report child sexual abuse, but many don't understand why adults continue to carry this secret, sometimes to their graves. I have been counseling adult victims of child sexual abuse for the past 35 years. In this article I will discuss many of the reasons why some adults continue to keep silent when it comes to being a victim of child sexual abuse.



by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

In 2011 after many years of considerable thought, I found the determination and strength in which to be able to write and publish my book “There's a fine line” The journey that I was about to embark on in truth could lead me anywhere but I was just so very tired of standing still.

It was a difficult process for sure but until I found movement in using my own direction I would never really know. What was completely clear was that I had to deal with the residue of my emotions. Emotions within me, that were still holding fast to their power and they had the ability to tie me up in knots inside. If I'm honest they had me within a continual place of circling. Questioning my abuse within that circle and as we are aware a circle has no end.


Pope Francis: Must protect children
from 'ravenous wolves'
  Meeting "The Protections of Minors In the Church"
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis

by Bill Murray

I am posting this speech by Pope Francis, owing to the tremendous interest in the results of the just ended historic clergy abuse summit at the Vatican.

I've also added the related articles that came from those who attended / participated in the four day event at the end of February, 2019.

from the Vatican - (several videos on site) -- Read the Pope's entire speech blasting sexual abuse within the church -- included are multiple links to additional related stories from the week


Oprah audience - "Leaving Neverland" interviews   A Personal Note
on HBO's "Leaving Neverland"

from Anthony Edwards, Vice Chair, Board of Directors

Dear 1in6 Family,

I wanted to take a moment and send a personal note to share a powerful and moving experience from this past week.

On Wednesday, I had the incredible honor of joining an audience of survivors of sexual abuse, as well as others whose lives have been impacted, for a special screening of the two-part documentary "Leaving Neverland," which will premiere this Sunday, March 3rd and Monday the 4th on HBO.

The documentary introduces two incredible men, both survivors of sexual abuse, Wade Robson and James Safechuck.


  Educating Parents On The Reality of Child Sexual Abuse

by Adrian Perry, Survivors United

No mother or father wants to think their child could ever be sexually abused. It's one of those “worst nightmares” that parents may find themselves briefly thinking about, but it's also that one thing that parents think will never happen to their child. Why after all, you are a fantastic parent who never leaves your child with people you don't know or trust. You watch your child like a hawk. You have or will have that body awareness talk with your child that everyone talks about, but no one really knows how to go about it. Well, moms and dads, it is time for a major wake-up call when it comes to child sexual abuse and the reality behind it.

One in four girls are sexually abused and one in six boys are sexually abused during their childhood. The scary reality is that in the majority of child sexual abuse cases, the child knows their abuser, and often times, they know their abuser VERY well. We have this false idea that a child predator is the creepy looking man that is just waiting to snatch your child. This couldn't be further from the truth. The real-life child predator can be your child's teacher, coach, friend, friends' parent, friends' older sibling, pastor, babysitter, mom or dads' friend, a family member, and the list goes on. 

A child predator typically knows the parents. In order to gain access to your child, they have to get through two major doors. Door number one and door number two are Mom and Dad. Once they have the parents trust, they have the child's trust.


  PTSD and Complex Trauma

by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

It's a much talked about corundum and something that can be incorrectly diagnosed but experiencing these two mental health symptoms is so very different, post traumatic stress disorder is mostly as the result of a specific episode an individual subjected to the horror of rape or being witness to a horrific act or incident. All of which can take someone to a place of a complete breakdown with the outcome that mental health intervention is sorely required.

For the most, it can be related to a singular experience by the individual concerned which of course doesn't make it less horrendous. Even if experienced over a prolonged period of time i.e. soldiers returning home bringing with them the images they have been subjected to within a war situation, though it could have been experienced over a longer space of time whilst on deployment, it's a singular episode and unbroken.


  Complex Trauma


by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

All abused children will reach a point in their life hopefully in which their painful memories will need to and are able to be addressed, a place where they will have to come to terms with the horrific atrocity that they were subjected to. The only unanswered question left can only be as to when?

The only one who is truly able to answer that question is that child, that inner child that until now has been in hiding away from the world and may not feel strong enough to do so just yet. The journey of going within to engage with that pain takes timing child abuse survivors around the world that I have engaged with have always related to that statement as to bring their truth, but also that we should never have truly underestimated that child's strength just look how far it has already taken them but yes it also takes time.

We will never really be able to feel that strength within until they connect with their inner child from the outside, but it will be the hardest thing that they will ever have to do by taking that first step it's like walking into the abyss.


Matt Carey speech -- The White Hat Ball
The Royal Lancaster Hotel
London -- Jan 19, 2019
  The White Hat Ball Talk
The Royal Lancaster Hotel, London
January 25, 2019

by Bill Murray -- #metooCSA

Matt Carey is from London, England (UK), a NAASCA family member who spoke recently at a major event, The White Hat Ball. We appreciate all his in our efforts, including a recent appearance as a 'special guest' on our "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio show.

Click here if you'd like to hear his interview:

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) - 1908 -- Special guest Matt Carey -- Wed, 6/27/2018

As Matt explains, "It has been the years of working the 12 Step program, regular meditation, the life-changing support I’ve received from my fellow CSA survivors, and the expertise of several highly gifted professional therapists has helped me to change [my] inner narrative."

Matt also offered us a terrific article he wrote recently, "Trying to Make Sense of It All," describing what it was like, what happened and what it's like now.

Of his book, "A Small Boy Smiling," Matt writes, "My hope is that fellow survivors of trauma and addiction might find hope and encouragement to find the help they so desperately need to heal."


  What inspires followership? Trust, empowerment, and the truth.

by Matt Paknis

As a college football coach and then as a manager, responsible for overseeing and influencing the daily actions and behaviors of up to sixty people, as a sports captain in high school and in college and even as the president of the “animal house” in college when we became the first fraternity to return to campus housing after losing this privilege, and then working around for the globe with leaders to help them inspire followership, a few best practices emerged.

•  It's all about trust
•  Ownership and involvement
•  Address difficult and emotional issues constructively


  How To Talk To Your Kids About Sexual Abuse

Looking back on the Larry Nassar scandal, we spoke to experts about how to address these difficult issues with kids of all ages.

by Caroline Bologna

This article is the fifth installment of “One Year Later: Larry Nassar And The Women Who Made Us Listen,” a seven-part series that commemorates the seven days women stood in a Lansing, Michigan, courtroom last year and faced their abuser, former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State trainer Larry Nassar.

Read more installments
One | Two | Three | Four | Six | Seven


  Keeping Children Safe Online

An article suggested by NAASCA family member Louise Smith

The internet is such an omnipresent part of modern life that it comes as second nature to our children. While many of us are still getting to grips with the online world, children are born into it.

This can be a great thing. If a curious child has a question, the answer is only ever a Google search away. Naturally, however, this is not always a good thing. Anything that can be used for good can also be exploited – especially where children are concerned. There is a fine line between innocence and naivety.

It's important that we keep our children safe online. Thankfully, even though the internet can appear to resemble a lawless Wild West at times, there are a number of steps that we can take to do just this.


  Healing from, and ending, Childhood Sexual Abuse

Key Points from my 1-4-19 interview with NAASCA

by Matt Paknis

It was very edifying to talk with NAASCA's Bill, Mary, Carol, and Bobby on Friday night. Thank you for this opportunity.

Below please find a few points culled from the interview and in reflection to help adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse integrate and transcend their significant childhood traumas.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here is a link to the "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio show where Matt appeard in early January: Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) - 2045 -- Special guest Matt Paknis

Early intervention with a great counselor, deep love from my ailing mother and her friends, stopping the abuse, healthy involvement in sports, and in particular with football, great coaches, role models, teammates, and my striving for mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health helped me transcend long term exposure to four major childhood traumas; experiencing and witnessing domestic violence, sexual abuse, and the terminal illness and death of my young mom.


Happy New Year !
  In the New Year

by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

A new year has just begun where we will say goodbye to the old. We reminisce on the year that has now past us by. During this year we have encountered many things and, as always, they are stored away in our memory.

The passing of time happens and there is nothing that we can do to alter it, but the one thing for sure is that this trend will continue until we leave this world.

I'm not trying to write an obituary here. I am only stating the obvious of which is no surprise to anyone. This is the cycle of life. Some may even feel and believe 'bad' experiences will be repeated, as there are still life lessons that we need to complete within this realm.

Whatever we believe is for us to know and to be at peace with. But in the here and now we have to live within what we were given, we must strive to fulfil our dreams and find happiness .. which can be found in the most unexpected places.


Darryl Smith
  Sexual abuse survivor Darryl Smith to share his story at the Vatican

by Adele Redmond

A survivor of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church will share his story at the Vatican.

Dunedin man Darryl Smith will meet with Catholic bishops, and potentially Pope Francis, during a global summit on clergy sexual abuse in Rome in February.

Smith claims he was first abused as a 6-year-old at Christchurch's Marylands School, a Catholic institution for children with learning difficulties, in 1971.

"The Pope has stated publicly that he wants the bishops to meet the survivors," Smith said on Saturday.


  An Open Letter to Those who Love Someone Struggling with PTSD or Trauma

by Sarah Harvey

Because I know trauma intimately, I forget that some people don't.

And I would never wish that thundering darkness on anyone.

But I hate feeling misunderstood. I think many of us do.

To most people, I look fine—maybe I seem a bit awkward in moments—and now, after many years of hard inner work, I am fine. I feel like myself. I feel real and whole, intact—stitched together again.

But there are still stories that lie under the surface of my skin.


  The Art of Processing

by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom

It's something that we all have to do daily to enable us to settle within that place surrounding our abuse, because there's no avoiding process, a place that we are taken whilst initiating our thoughts looking towards our recovery. The speed or manner in which we do so is so completely varied and it is as individual as we are and it's to be expected.

We'll all go through this procedure in a way in which we are able to digest and absorb and in a time frame that suits us, there is no hurrying the wind or pushing the tide it's what's right for us and our ability to face that in which we find ourselves faced with.

We cannot expect any help to be available within this situation because that's just not how it works, no one could hope to work with you at the exact speed that suits when it doesn't suit them and their own speed of travel. In essence, our mental processing is just that it's ours and unfortunately eventually that's where the buck stops because it has to.

programs / projects
together we can heal
help stop child abuse
a little about us
join us, get involved