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“My step-father was my first. My first experience with a male was with my stepfather. My first picture of how romantic relationships should be was with my stepfather. For two years, ages 10-12, my stepfather and I were in a relationship. Did it fall into the category of a relationship as we know it? No. But in the eyes of a child that was all I knew. There was no love, no affection, no connection, no communication, nothing. It was simply sex – lay there and disappear to my secret hideout.” – Bk: The Best Way Out by Faithe Preston

Child sexual abuse gives a child a distorted image of themselves, family, INTIMACY and so much more. Many victims become promiscuous later as teenagers and adults and are unable to connect intimately during sex. Not only that, many have failed relationships, marriages and keep a distance from family. Abuse is just like a chronic illness it is persistent and otherwise long lasting in it’s affects that comes with time.

We must be vigilant in our efforts to stop and bring awareness to child sexual abuse. And we must be just as diligent in providing healing and wholeness to those who have been abused. #healthebrokenheartedsetatlibertythemthatarebruised

*Chronic Illness definition provided by google.

Faithe N. Preston SpeakingOut-CSA Blog Outreach Coordinator

A Word from Bridget Loland…

Did you know that child sexual abuse and assault currently affects 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys? Overall, it is estimated that a child is sexually abused every 8 minutes. And, in 90% of child sexual abuse cases, the child knows and trusts the person who sexually abuses them!

Let’s make a resolution to change these statistics in 2020 and say NO MORE ABUSE!!! We must make a commitment as adults to keep our kids safe!

We can…learn skills to identify sexual abuse, create strong bonds that encourage communication with children, help increase a child’s knowledge and use of strategies that prevents victimization and create an empowering atmosphere that leads to increased disclosure of abuse.

Every child, everywhere, across this world needs to be protected!

Let’s speak up and speak out against child sexual abuse…they are depending on us!!!

Bridget Loland…(SpeakingOut Director and Certified Christian Life Coach)

Photo (Bridget Loland)

Watch that lap!

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“I wanna play the computer game,” I said in my ten year old voice standing beside him. He pulled me onto his lap and eagerly showed me which keys to press on the keyboard. Suddenly his hand brushed down my most private place and then up with a firmer stroke. I jumped up aghast by his touch. – Excerpt from “The Best Way Out” by Faithe N. Preston

As parents holding our children in our laps is a moment of love, nurturing and bonding. It can also be an occasion to solidify security and trust in our little ones.

It’s unfortunate that in today’s time a precious moment can be turned into an opportunity for child predators. Disclaimer – It is not my desire to have anyone live their life in fear or paranoia. That’s not living. However, it is imperative that we are even the more watchful of our children, that we keep our relationships with them close, with open communication, and that we discuss with them the dangers that we/they face every day.

Our children should not be allowed to or even strongly encouraged sit in everyone’s lap that includes family members and the various boyfriends that some have today. There should also be an age where we no longer allow them to sit in our laps. Looking back now, at the age of 10, I was too old to be sitting in my stepfather’s lap. But I didn’t know it because I never had a father and he had just come into our lives.

Please! Be watchful and protect your children, all children.

Ut-oh! Yes, that includes “Santa”! (How can I tell my child I don’t want you sitting in Uncle John’s lap but then say it’s OK to sit in a strangers lap?)

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Watch that Lap!

Faithe N. Preston
SpeakingOut’s Blog Outreach Coordinator

Slow Down, Take Your Time, and Pay Attention

Happy Holidays! In today’s time everyone is in a rush to get somewhere, preoccupied with their phones and tablets, wanting every thing to be convenient, hurry, hurry, hurry..In the hustle and bustle of life I’ve noticed that the important details of life are being overlooked and forgotten.

I sat and observed people as they were shopping in the malls, crossing the streets and moving through the airport this holiday. I witnessed parents sending their young children to the bathrooms unattended. I noticed parents on their phones while their children were racing ahead of them. I watched parents crossing the streets while their children were lagging behind.

All I could see was opportunity for child predators. It only takes a few seconds for your child to be taken from you. It only takes a few seconds in the bathroom for your child to be touched, talked to, coerced into leaving with a stranger, etc.

What happened to holding our children hands as they crossed the street? What happened to stopping for a few minutes to take your child to the bathroom? What happened to being attentive to your surroundings? Children are not an inconvenience but the greatest sacrifice of love we could ever give. No greater love does one have than to lay down his own life for another. That’s what we are to do for our children.

Lay aside your hustle and bustle, your inconvenience and Slow down, take your time and pay attention! I promise you when you’re not they are (child predators).

Faithe N. Preston

Speakingout-csa Blog Coordinator

Fierce Warrior…

Calling ALL Adults… PROTECT THE CHILDREN.  Protect Boys & Girls of all ages…whether they are your children or not.

I recently ran across this picture somewhere on facebook; cannot remember where. I instantly saved it. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, Childcare Providers, Coaches, Social Workers, Attorneys, Judges, Etc… be that fierce warrior & determined protector. Children deserve no less from us.

We need to be Strong, Determined, Consistent & Bold in the fight against Child Sexual Abuse. We are talking about rape, molestation & exploitation of children. We are talking about incest & sex trafficking. The list goes on & on.

Will you stand & fight with me, with us at SpeakingOut & with others already fighting this fight for the children?

-Susan Suafoa-Dinino, President\Founder, SpeakingOut against Child Sexual Abuse

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Who am I?

Innocence or Identity

“The little girl who was once a social bunny ceased to exist and a new little girl emerged imprisoned, secretive, fake, numb and alone.” Quote from “The Best Way Out” By Faithe N. Preston

After experiencing child sexual abuse myself for two years and hearing the experiences of other adults there is a reoccurring word that surfaces in most conversations and that is innocence. Many people make statements like: You were just an innocent child or your innocence was stolen from you.

May I please clarify, educate, or expose you to the right word? Innocence is the state or quality of being innocent of a crime, lack of guile or corruption and having done nothing wrong. And although we did not do anything wrong the correct word is IDENTITY. As a child the foundation of who you are is formed from birth to 5 years old.

Visualize with me for a minute. See a child in a rich environment of love, support, encouragement, trust, security and well on their way to becoming who they were born to be and then all of a sudden in a moment all of that is destroyed and smashed to rubble. Identity is all the things that create one’s sense of self.

Child sexual abuse destroys a child’s sense of self, their identity, and they are left with the life shattering question “Who am I?” From then on they spend the rest of their lives trying to figure that out. Not living. Not pursuing that job you heard them say to your “What do you wanna be when you grow up question?” Not carrying on the family name. Just waking every day consciously and unconsciously trying to find the answer. Oh, the prices that will be paid! Oh, the unmentionable things that they would not have even dared to do prior to that life shattering moment..Who am I?

*Let us be alert and of a sober mind to watch and protect our children, all children.