387199_599567303389195_338862309_n (1) suicide prevention my savior

It’s hard to find inspiration and feel good words sometimes.  So tonight I am just going to talk to you about real life. Happening right now. Today! I am going to talk to you from my heart and hope you hear me. Just like my book, Can You Hear Me Now?  I and those like me want to be heard.  Stories like this one I’m going to share remind me of that need to be heard and why.

I recently heard from a very good friend and it was not good news.  The story is not uncommon.  The story is indeed an outrage! I want to share it with you.  I want you to get mad and call your congressman, senator and other person who cares about your votes.

A 15-year-old girl tells her Aunt and Uncle that her Mother and guardian are beating her and selling her to men.  She has bruises.  Old and new.  She doesn’t want to go home. Would you? She is ready to tell anyone who will listen and help her.  This is the oldest problem.  Her Mother and guardian are furious.  A police officer that she tried to tell says “Do you really want to get your Momma into trouble?”  I could scream in anger myself!  Why is it this childs fault her “Momma” is going to be in trouble?  So they send her home.  Or try to.  She won’t go.  She runs off back to the Aunts house.  Why?  If she goes home now they will beat her for telling.  This is a given.  Not they might beat her.  THEY WILL BEAT HER!

Her aunt is calling authorities for help.  She is warned, you could be charged with parental interference, and harboring a runaway.  The local phone numbers she can call for an emergency of this type (child abuse) is only open 8am to 5pm.  They suggest that the child needs to go home.

I was this kid.  No hope of getting out.  Suicide was never far from my thoughts as a way out.  I feared for my life most days.  Though I was a terrible student, school was a haven where I could be happy for a few hours.  A reprieve from my realities at home. I would run away.  Authorities would drag me home without question.  It’s an uncomfortable question isn’t it?  Why are you running?

So many of us work so hard to change the worlds thinking so that children can come forward just like this one did.  She is hitting a wall that protects the very people who are hurting her

WOULD YOU SEND YOUR NIECE HOME?  Lets pretend this is not some young girl you don’t know.  Lets pretend this is some young girl or boy that you love and whom you believe.

There are 319 million people in the United States at last count.  There are approximately (by conservative count) 95 million sexually abused and exploited humans in the United States today.  69 million voted Obama into office in 2008.  We have power to change this.  We have power to not just make new laws but to enforce the ones we have.  There is power in numbers if we can just pull ourselves together and do the common sense thing.  95 million people voting and talking can NOT be ignored.

According to the National Cancer institute  there we 232,670 new cases of breast cancer in 2014.  Every year in the United states there are more than 3 million reports of Child abuse involving over 6 million children.  Breast cancer is considered epidemic and a problem (and it is, I’m not here to bash breast cancer) I’m simply asking you o do the math.

See those pictures?  That’s me standing next to a redwood tree I used to sleep in when I would run away.   See the gruesome cartoon?  That’s me too.  with all the things that went on behind closed doors.  I ran away all the time.  Don’t let kids like this have to run away to escape.

What would you do if this was you the child came to?

What would you do if this was your niece or nephew?

Who will even be sharing this post with a story that is difficult to think about, and harder to ask your friends to think about.


What will we all do if you turn away?

7 thoughts on “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?!

  1. Thank you for this post Annie..so many would be afraid to interfere, and you are right, we need to stand together, and help a child escape the hurt and fears of abuse. I never told, because I was afraid of not being believed, and because of what it would do to my family…I was a scared kid, my mother was the dominant one in our household, I was afraid of her. Today, if my niece/nephew/grandchild came to me and said this, I would not send them home..and if they wanted to press charges so be it, but no child should EVER have to face any kind of abuse, have their lives ruined for the rest of their lives. no way…
    Mary Graziano

    • Thanks so much Mary. You are so right and the fears you felt are the same fears we all have had in one form or another… For a young girl to find the courage… its desperation that drives that kind of courage. A kind of I will die if I don’ttell, I will die if I do… And then take your chances. Thanks to RAINN involvement a case has been opened for this one. Maybe we win this time, but it shouldn’t be sooooo hard.

      XO Annie

  2. Excellent blog post on a reality that is horrid and far too common. Who will do something about this? Laws need to be changed. Adults and law enforcement need to listen. The number of runaways is epidemic. Suicides amongst young people are increasing. Worried about ebola? This too is ebola of a different kind and incurable as long as people deny the truth.


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