How many times have you seen a teenage girl with a black eye? How many stories have you heard of teens having volatile relationships even more intense with violence then you as adult seen in your lifetime? Unfortunately to 1.5 million high school students a year, this is a sad reality. (Source: http://www.loveisrespect.com)
I don’t believe it’s widely known, but February is teen violence awareness month. Still sounds crazy right? Rather it is physical, emotional or sexual, so many of our babies (well..they don’t think they are babies) are, may have, or know a friend who has this sad reality.
Even sadder is that many kids do not realize this as a form of abuse and most don’t know what to do. We at Repackaged Goods always feel it’s important to have open dialog to educate your children on what violence against anyone is, especially in this case.
Teen dating violence obviously includes sexual, physical, verbal and emotional assault, but also includes control tactics as monitoring social networking without permission, isolation from family or friends and financial control. Weave Inc has an awesome post about what teen violence is and what to look for. For information on healthy relationships, check out Love Is Respect’s website.
Seeing is always believing. While these aren’t the newest, check out these two great Lifetime movies regarding teen violence. I looked at them in disbelief years ago..and even more so now to know this is more common these days. They can be found for purchase on Amazon.com or Lifetime’s website, but check out the trailers.
No One Would Tell
Please, please, please educate your teens and ensure them that teen violence it is not ok and that they can come to you or other resource for help. Love truly is respectful and although it can lead to broken hearts, it should never physically hurt. Your
Thrive & Survive,
If you’re a fan of neo-soul music, you without a doubt know the unique voice of Rahsaan Patterson. A dear friend whose a huge neo-soul fan (thanks JP!) put me on to his music about 4 years ago when I moved to the DMV. (AKA the DC/Maryland/Virginia area)
Over the years I’ve been drawn to his music, unknowingly that we have something in common. Like me, (and maybe like you as well!) he is a thriving sexual assault survivor who used music as his outlet to keep him alive and propelling past the pain.
He recently wrote and recorded a song to support RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), which touched me to my core. His message in the song? Please “don’t touch me” and “break my heart” because my life will be forever changed. Check out his brief interview and performance of his benefit song “Don’t Touch Me’’.
“Don’t Touch Me” is available on iTunes and proceeds go toward RAINN’s advocacy and recovery efforts. Please consider purchasing the song for awareness and your support towards RAINN.
Thrive & survive!
So a while ago, my hubby decided to get Netflix and although I complained for weeks that there was nothing I really wanted to see on it, the other day I found a true diamond that I finally got to sit down and watch today. Not many movies regarding sexual assault bring me to tears, but this one did. I encourage you, if you have a child, brother or sister, cousin or teenaged loved on, I beg you to keep reading this.
The movie I watched was called Trust. It’s about a 14-year-old girl who falls prey to an online predator and also what I’ve called a master manipulator. (for more information of why I say that, check out this previous blog) She appears to come from the “all American family”. Dual parent home, successful and loving parents, but like many teenagers (especially girls) she gets smitten by “puppy love” but unfortunately for her, he’s not the typical high school teenager.
I truly encourage every parent of a pre-teen and older year to sit down and watch this movie with your child. (Tip: depending on the age and sensitivity of your child, you may want to preview it first) Now I’m sure I’ll get some flack about that, but would you rather watch it with them and have the appropriate dialog, or have it happen to them because they didn’t know any better? Social media can be both a blessing and a curse, but parents and teens should be aware of the ugly side of technology.
It’s not the easiest to watch, I’ll admit. There is some profanity and some tough scenes (only one or two 10 second scenes I would cover my little ones eyes for honestly) but this is one of the most accurate and non-sugar coated movies I’ve seen regarding this type of tragedy.
If you are a parent of a child who has had the unfortunate experience of being manipulated by these types of predators, you for sure want to sit down and watch this movie. I think it gave a pretty accurate of the depression and confusion of a girl at this age who’s been manipulated. I really appreciate them not watering down the despair this young girl feels..and to be honest it was that portrayal that broke me down to tears. Although she sounds delusional, we have to remember (as adults) that teenagers have a different process. I believe this would give you a better insight to what they may be thinking.
There isn’t much else to say about it, but please check it out. Here is the trailer
To see the entire movie, check out Netflix if you have a subscription. I also found it on DVD on Amazon for less than $6..which is a true shame (Actors include award nominees, Clive Owen and Viola Davis) but does include 4 stars (at the time of posting) on both Netflix and Amazon.
One last disclaimer:
- If you are a survivor watching this movie, it may cause triggers. Please ensure to have a support team around your or accessible when watching this movie. If mental assistance is needed, please contact your local or national sexual assault advocacy group. (see helpful resources tab)
Be blessed and keep thriving and surviving!
In doing reading and research today, I found something incredible. As I previously stated that we would really dig into how to heal this year, this was perfect. I think it’s awesome survivor declaration of healing. Please note, that I didn’t write this, the credit belongs to T. Jimma Morte. Awesome job T. Jimma!
First off Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an incredible Christmas and I’m praying for wonderful things for each and everyone of you this year.
With a new year, we always make new years resolutions. I really don’t like the term resolutions as much as I like new year life changes. I think (while it could be just a figment of my mind anyway lol) that people take the term “new years resolutions” just to loosely, and by March, they’ve often gotten all off track. I like the idea of making goals to change aspects of improvements in my life
However you want to view it, whatever you want to call it, I challenge YOU to make a lifestyle change of healing this year. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re either a survivor of sexual assault or you have a loved one that you are trying to figure out how to help.
If you are a survivor: I challenge you to really thrive this year. One of the biggest issues to Christian survivors (outside of why it happened) is why after we’ve prayed, cried and etc why the pain is still there. Why do I still have self-destructive thoughts and behavior? Can I tell you that it’s completely normal and you’re not alone with your feelings.
Take a look at Psalms 147. There the Bible tells us that God heals our heart and bandages our wounds. (NLT & the Message Translations) Unless you have been fortunate enough to never have had an actual wound, not even a paper cut then you know that wounds take time to heal. Even if you put some ointment and a bandage on it, it still is not going to heal instantly, but it surely helps promote quicker and better healing. The biggest of the wounds take even more time to heal.
Personally I’ve had a cesarean (aka c-section). If you’re unfamiliar with cesareans, they are considered major surgery, as your stomach must be cut open then later stapled or stitched together for a time period. (yea..ouch..I’m wincing as I type it!) Being the over achiever, impatient and “I can do it myself” type person, (I’m sure my husband would prefer stubborn!) can I tell you that by the 2nd week I was so impatient of why I wasn’t healing fast enough, that I made myself worse? I was driving myself miserable, wondering why I couldn’t do real sit-ups and all the fitness things I used to 4, 9 and even 12 months after the fact. I finally got hit with the reality and massive irony that I haven’t learned what I tell survivors all the time, “healing takes time!”
I would absolutely consider healing from sexual assault more severe than a paper cut and more like cesarean recovery. It takes a good bit of time and effort to get back to where you used to be. Allow yourself to heal in God’s time! Don’t give yourself a day, two months or even just one prayer service to think you’ll never deal with issues related to your sexual assault. It IS a process and it does take time. Cry out to God and work everyday towards your healing. Fight the enemy for it, because he darn sure doesn’t want you to have it! He’d rather see you go into circles and stay broken.
To the supporting love one: Be patient and please continue to support them. Encourage them to fight for their healing. It’s easy for survivors to feel that they are alone. And if you can’t relate to their feelings, let them know that there are others that can and where they can find them.
Again, thank you for your continued support and reading. We will really dig more into healing tools this year, so please keep reading and spreading the word.
Cheers to the start of a happy, thriving and restorative 2012!
The bad news for sexual assault is this:
In Joel Osteen’s new book Everyday a Friday, he makes this reference: “Guilt puts you on a treadmill; you’re constantly working and struggling and sweating, but you don’t move forward.”
- Calmly ask open ended questions – Try to get all the information but don’t press them or they may clam up on you. Keep in mind that some molesters and rapist threaten their victims not to say anything.
- Ask for help – Most areas have sexual assault crisis lines. In these cases you will able to get someone on the phone 24/7 that will be able to give you advice on the next steps and may be able to accompany you to the emergency room examination. Check out RAINN’s website for either their 24hr hotline or find out the number to your local crisis center.
- Request an immediate Dr. appt or ER visit – Your child may be given an exam for evidence. A professional should be able to tell if some type of assault and/or trauma to private areas have taken place. If your child reports an assault just happened, do not clean them up, take them straight to the ER.
- Make A Decision – Make the tough calls of how changes must be made to prevent further abuse. I.e.: To prosecute or not to prosecute, changing of childcare providers and etc.
- Take care of the emotional needs - Talk to your child about the situation but don’t press them for details. Assure them that it’s not their fault and they are safe.
- Find an outlet – An absolute must! Find or continue a positive activity that channels the anger and energy. Music and/or dance classes, sports, and etc.
- Take care of you! Remember that once you’ve done all of these above, you’ve done your part. It’s not your fault either! Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to change the tragedy, but we can change the outlook of the future and keep a positive attitude in spite of it. Take a deep breath and pray for wisdom, and peace for all of you. Counseling and a stable support system for you too is also a great idea.