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|National Center for Missing & Exploited Children|

"Human capacity is equal to human
cruelty; and it's up to each of us to
tip the balance," Alice Walker


May the Wings of Life (Holy-Spirit,
 God of all creations, Our Mother/Our
Father in Heaven) protect every youth
 wherever they  are; especially those
most in need of love & understanding.
Alexey Ilyushin Berardi

End Institutionalized Abuse Against Children Act of 2005 Petition | HR 1738 IH Text

Child Abuse Legislation Study Project

Child CyberSearch

Children of the Night

Children's Aid Society of Toronto

Connect for Kids

Covenant House

Five Acres

International Justice Mission

National Center for
Missing & Exploited Children

Pandora's Box

The Polly Klaas Foundation | Klaas Kids Foundation

Sidran

Soul's Self-Help Central

Stolen Dreams

Suffer the Little Children

Trauma Information Pages

"If anyone causes one of these little ones -- those who believe in me -- to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were drowned in the depths of the sea."-Jesus of Nazareth

Untold suffering of Kenya's children: Jonathan Rugman reports on the child sex trade in Kenya, 9/26/2009

 

"The tear down childhood's cheek that flows, is like the dew-drop on the rose-
When next the summer breeze comes by, and waves the bush
-the flower is dry."
 

"My Bondage and My Freedom", Frederick Douglass

If only this were true, but sadly, the cruelties inflicted in childhood often, but not always, perpetuate themselves into generations, seemingly forever.


"They cry in the dark, so you can't see their tears. They hide in the light, so you can't see their fears. Forgive and forget, all the while Love and pain become one and the same in the eyes of a wounded child
."
Benatar, Geraldo, Capps

 

"Don't Laugh at Me
I'm a little boy with glasses
The one they call a geek
A little girl who never smiles
‘Cause I have braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels to cry
myself to sleep..."
"...Don't call me names
 Don't get your pleasure from my pain
In God's eyes we're all the same
Someday we'll all have perfect wings
Don't laugh at me"
from "Don't Laugh at Me" by Steve Seskin/Allen Shamblin & performed by Peter Yarrow as part of the "Don't Laugh at Me" project.

 

"The stars were still out in the field, and the child prostitutes plied their trade, the only happy ones, having learned how unhappiness sticks and will not risk being traded in for a song or a balloon."

John Ashbery, "And the Stars were Shining," New York, Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1994, p. 76. From, "Children and Prostitution- Part 1: Literature Review"


"...Melissa Farley, a psychologist who has written extensively about the subject, says that girls typically become prostitutes at age 13 or 14. She conducted a study finding that 89 percent of prostitutes urgently wanted to escape the work, and that two-thirds have post-traumatic stress disorder — not a problem for even the most frustrated burger-flipper."- Nicolas D. Kristof, OP_ED, New York Times, 3/13/2008


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun's rays and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage- his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. 

The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.

"Ladies Fancy Shawl;on Butterfly Wings," by L. David Eveningthunder

"Ladies Fancy Shawl; on Butterfly Wings,"

  L. David Eveningthunder

"Legend states that there was a beautiful butterfly who lost her mate in a battle. In her grief, she wrapped herself in her cocoon and traveled the world over, stepping on each stone until she found beauty in one and was able to start her life anew..." L. David Eveningthunder


For Children Who Were Broken

by Elia Wise

For Children Who Were Broken
it is very hard to mend......

Our pain was rarely spoken
and we hid the truth from friends.

Our parents said they loved us,
but they didn't act that way. They broke our hearts and stole our worth, with the things that they would say.

We wanted them to love us. We didn't know what we did to make them yell at us and hit us, and wish we weren't their kid.

They'd beat us up and scream at us and blame us for their lives. Then they'd hold us close inside their arms and tell us confusing lies of how they really loved us -- even though we were BAD, and how it was OUR fault they hit us, OUR fault that they were mad.

When days were just beginning we sometimes prayed for them to end, and when the pain kept coming, we learned to just pretend that we were good and so were they and this was just one of those days ... tomorrow we'd be friends.

We had to believe it so.
We had nowhere else to go.

Each day that we pretended, we replaced reality with lies, or dreams, or angry schemes, in search of dignity .... until our lies got bigger than the truth, and we had no one real to be

Our bodies were forsaken. With no safe place to hide, we learned to stop hearing and feeling what they did to our outsides.

We tried to make them love us, till we hated ourselves instead, and couldn't see a way out, and wished that they were dead. We scared ourselves by thinking that, and scared ourselves to know, that we were acting just like them and might ever more be so.

To be half the size of a grown-up and trapped inside their pain.... To every day lose everything with no savior or refrain... To wonder how it is possible that God could so forget the worthy child you knew you were, when you had not been damaged yet ... To figure on your fingers that the years till you'd be grown enough to leave the torment and survive away from home, were more than you could count to, or more than you could bear, was the reality we lived in and we knew it wasn't fair.

We who grew up broken are somewhat out of time, struggling to mend our childhood, when our peers are in their prime. Where others find love and contentment, we still often have to strive to remember we are worthy, and heroes just to be alive.

Some of us are healing. Some are stealing. Most are passing the anger on. Some give their lives away to drugs, or the promise of like beyond. Some still hide from society. Some struggle to belong. But all of us are wishing the past would not hold on so long.

There's a lot of digging sown to do to find the child within, to love away the ugly pain and feel innocence again. There is forgiveness worthy of angel's wings for remembering those at all, who abused our sacred childhood and programmed us to fall. To seek to understand them, and how their pain became our own, is to risk the ground we stand on to climb the mountain home.

The journey is not so lonely as in the past it's been ... More of us are strong enough to let the growth begin. But while we're trekking up the mountain we need everything we've got, to face the adults we have become, and all that we are not.

So when you see us weary from the day's internal climb ... When we find fault with your best efforts, or treat imperfection as purposeful crime ... When you see our quick defenses, our efforts to control, our readiness to form a plan of unrealistic goals ... When we run into a conflict and fight to the bitter end, remember ... We think that winning means we won't be hurt again.

When we abandon OUR thoughts
and feelings, to be what we believe YOU want us to, or look at trouble we're having, and want to blame it all on you... When life calls for new beginnings, and we fear they're doomed to end, remember... Wounded trust is like a wounded knee-- It is very hard to bend.

Please remember this when we are out of sorts. Tell us the truth, and be our friend. For children who were broken... it is very hard to mend.

 

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