Together We Heal

Together We Heal is for any who suffer from the trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. We are here to provide a safe forum for survivors of abuse to share, learn and heal, give direction to those seeking guidance and to expose sexual predators for what they are and their methods of getting into our lives.


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Helping Parents Educate Their Children about Childhood Sexual Abuse

Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA); Three words no parent ever wants to hear in association with their children. While nowhere near as tragic as hearing its happened to a child of yours or anyone you know, the responsibility of talking with your children about CSA can seem almost as terrifying.

Next to providing counseling for survivors of CSA, one of our greatest endeavors at Together We Heal is helping parents educate their children on how to better protect themselves from sexual predators.

A few months ago I had the good fortune of becoming fellow advocates and friends with a gifted children’s book author named Holly-ann Martin. In addition to the brief bio about Holly-ann, I’m listing three books she wrote that I highly recommend for all parents. Her books address three key issues concerning CSA: Privacy – Protection – Prevention.

Holly-ann is the founder and Managing Director of Safe4Kids. Her experience spans twenty-five years with the Western Australian Department of Education and Training (DET), in a variety of school settings. Her unique approach to child protection education is underpinned by a whole community focus. This focus is centered around providing safer communities for children through engaging school staff, parents and care givers, local police, health workers, Department of Child Protection staff and early years childcare and education workers. Holly-ann’s emphasis centers on developing a language and culture of safety for children and adults alike, improving communication and highlighting and broadening the networks available to children when they are feeling unsafe. The sustained delivery of these programs is the key to creating a positive influence on both individual and community behavior.

It’s NEVER too early to begin educating your children. If you’re a parent, be sure to pick up a copy of each and if you’re not a parent, get copies and give them to your friends that are.

The Parent’s Helping Hand Book (an easy guide for teaching kids protective behaviors)
http://www.safeandhappykids.com.au/product/the-parents-helping-hand-book/

Matilda Learns A Valuable Lesson
http://www.safeandhappykids.com.au/product/matilda-learns-a-valuable-lesson-by-holly-ann-martin/

Hayden-Reece Learns A Valuable Lesson that Private means “Just For You”
http://www.safeandhappykids.com.au/product/hayden-reece-learns-a-valuable-lesson-that-private-means-just-for-you-by-holly-ann-martin/

One update….here are the links for those in the US who want to get the books.

Below are the Amazon links that are more affordable for people in the USA to purchase.

http://www.amazon.com/Matilda-learns-valuable-lesson-Holly-ann/dp/0980529433/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1386038996&sr=8-5&keywords=holly-ann+martin

http://www.amazon.com/Hayden-Reece-learns-valuable-lesson-Private/dp/0980529441/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1386040221&sr=8-3&keywords=holly-ann+martin

http://www.amazon.com/The-Parents-Helping-Hand-Book/dp/0980324092/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386040270&sr=8-1&keywords=holly-ann+martin

Copyright © 2013 Together We Heal


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Decriminalization of Teacher/Student Sexual Activity is NOT the Answer

For those that want to protect children from sexual predators that have jobs as teachers, PLEASE READ!!!

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Please-SHARE—Full-Text-of-Anderson-Letter-to-Editor-re–Karasik-Op-Ed.html?soid=1102872218941&aid=zHmt6GFgbgQ


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Waiting To Be Found.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), I have been searching for sometime to figure out a way to summarize the challenges survivors face. But due to the levels of pain and varieties of struggles each individual confronts, it seemed like this wasn’t possible. That is until I was watching, of all things a tv show, when I had a moment of clarity. A young lady had been kidnapped and was all alone. While listening to the dialogue of the actors and imagining how a real kidnap victim must feel it hit me like a ton of bricks…

The loneliest feeling in the world…is waiting to be found.

And there it was. My own personal struggle was wrapped up in that one, simple but excruciatingly painful statement. Survivors of CSA know this feeling. We live in constant fear of people learning what we are currently going through or have been through. We live in perpetual terror that our deepest, darkest secret will be exposed. Our fear, shame and guilt is compounded daily in our hearts, it weakens our spirits and like a weight, its sits on and sinks into our thoughts – emotionally, mentally and at times even physically. It feels like an wrecking ball holding us down, preventing us from moving, from doing anything or going anywhere.

The tv show I was watching showed the kidnap victim left to die, held down by spikes in the desert, hands and feet bound to those spikes. She was all alone, in the middle of nowhere, with no help in sight. And during this time, she had no idea if she would ever be found, or if she would die alone, with this horrific secret.

And in that story is the analogous representation of the degree of despair felt by survivors of CSA. We have that same sense of abandonment, of being all alone, all the while, we need and we want more than ANYTHING, for someone, ANYONE, to FIND OUT and to FIND US!

In its simplest terms, what we need is much like the moment a child has a parent rip off a bandage from a banged up knee or elbow. When a band-aid is pulled off it hurts like hell, but then when done, there is this immense sense of relief. And the growing sense of relief is so much more powerful than the instant moment of pain. Thats not to say we don’t get that band-aid ripped off over and over again when we relive the experience by telling our story, or testifying in court or being deposed, but by engaging on a healing path, we can find a way to move froward productively. Just as a survivor feels extreme emotional trauma in the moments/hours/days surrounding the time people learn the truth about their abuse, once the initial pain subsides, the healing can begin.

I know I have said this before, and I’ll continue to say it until there’s no breath left in my lungs. If you are or have been a victim of CSA, reach out now. You are not alone. You may have been left in the desert, but you now have people looking for you and available to help you. If not with TWH, find someone, some group, somewhere. They are all around and willing to help you. And may we all find the peace we deserve.

Copyright © 2013 Together We Heal


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The Healthy Sex Talk: Teaching Kids Consent, Ages 1-21

As I wrote in an earlier column, there is no such thing as a child being too young to talk about sex. It’s all about being age appropriate. Education can help prevent tragedies. Today I am posting an article from my dear friend Joanna Schroeder and her colleagues at The Good Men Project. They are, Julie Gills, Jamie Utt and Alyssa Royse. Every parent should read this article.

http://goodmenproject.com/families/the-healthy-sex-talk-teaching-kids-consent-ages-1-21/