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April Awareness Month…Heighten Your Awareness

April 1, 2011 Comments off

As we begin this month of April of awareness we have several awarenesses that are dear and close to my heart.  Although I feel that every awareness should be recognized on a daily basis it’s great that we put aside specific months or days to bring much needed attention to important issues and topics.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with awareness months, become educated, pro-active and pass every bit of information onto others – you never know who may just need a shoulder, a bit of information or help in other ways.

  • Child Abuse Prevention Month

Prevent Child Abuse America is committed to promoting legislation, policies and programs that help to prevent child abuse and neglect, support healthy childhood development, and strengthen families.

Child Sexual Assault Abuse

Darkness to Light is committed to Empower People/Adults to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.  Our programs raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibility to the reality of child sexual abuse.

  • 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused before she turns the age of 18
  • 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18
  • More than 90% of abusers of children are people children know, love or trust.
  • There are more than 39% Million sexual abuse survivors in America.
  • More than 60% of pregnant teens have been sexually abused.
  • 20% of child sexual abuse victims are under the age of 8.
  • Most will never tell

 

  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is a comprehensive collection and distribution center for information, research and emerging policy on sexual violence intervention and prevention. The NSVRC provides an extensive on-line library and customized technical assistance, as well as, coordinates National Sexual Assault Awareness Month initiatives.

Read more about the… National Sexual Violence Resource Center

  • National Poetry  Month

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.

Frequently asked questions about NPM.

 

  • Autism Awareness Month

Improving the lives of all affected by autism. Autism Society of America (ASA) is the leading voice and resource of the entire autism community in education, advocacy, services, research and support. ASA, a chapter and member-based organization, is committed to meaningful participation and self-determination in all aspects of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. ASA accomplishes its ongoing mission through close collaboration with a successful network of chapters, members, supporters and organizations.

Read more about the… Autism Society of America

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effect on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. They are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals.

Increasing Awareness of Women of with Autism Spectrum Disrders

Sharon daVanport, the executive director of Autism Women’s Network, said that more clinicians and leaders in the autism community are recognizing that autism is not just a man’s diagnosis. She said men with autism might be more obvious than women, since even at a young age women are held to higher standards in behavior, and they try to meet those standards.

“Females are learning to pretend, we’re learning to mimic other people,” daVanport said. “We watch other people and how they talk, how they do things. And we become very good actresses, and because of that we tend to go unnoticed until we get older. Most females diagnosed on the autism spectrum, many are adults before they actually are detected.”

Read more about Autism Women’s Network

Take care and STAY SAFE!

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Dancing with the Stars Pro Shares Her Story of Abuse; “I Was Molested”, Cheryl Burke

February 11, 2011 3 comments

 

As any fan of Dancing with the Stars knows, Cheryl Burke exudes confidence when she’s waltzing, quick-stepping or doing the tango in front of millions.

But for the two-time DWTS champ, life wasn’t always so smooth: As a child, Burke was repeatedly molested by a friend of her family’s – and testified against him in court, helping send him to prison for nearly two decades.

“I’m telling my story,” says Burke, 26, who opens up about the molestation – and other struggles, including physical abuse by two former boyfriends – in her new book Dancing Lessons, (coauthored by PEOPLE senior writer Monica Rizzo). “They’re not secrets. There’s no shame.”

Burke’s abuser was a retired mailman who was trusted and well liked in Burke’s Bay Area community. He would sometimes pick Burke up from school and do odd jobs around her home. The assaults began when she was 5.

After he was accused of targeting other children, Burke acknowledged her own abuse. But, still reeling from her parents’ split when she was a baby, she was wracked with confusion.

“I felt guilty for wanting his love and affection,” she says, calling testifying against him “the hardest thing I’ve ever done … I saw his face and lawyers were asking me these questions and I was like, ‘What am I doing? Did he even do anything wrong?’ ”

Eventually, with the man in prison and years of therapy, Burke came to see just how wrong her abuser was.

Now, with season 12 of DWTS beginning in March, Burke is ready to tell her story. “If I can help just one person,” she says, “for me that’s all that matters.”

Cheryl Burke is now the latest in a long list of celebrities who have bravely told their story in the last year. We hope these stories will help make sexual abuse a more “speakable” issue in our society – for both the millions of survivors that carry their abuse in secret and for the millions and millions of children we can protect from ever being abused.

We look forward to the day when one of the many celebrity survivors comes forward and joins us in our fight to spread the word about how abuse can be stopped to begin with! We can prevent child sexual abuse!