When it Comes to Abuse, Trafficking, and Violence, Do We Have a Race and Gender Problem?

posted in: Child Abuse, Observations 0 |
Reading Time: 4 minutes

What I want to address, however, is how our society defines victim, and how it leaves far, far too many people behind. That article above is a great example. How many people, if asked about sex trafficking, picture little white girls or women abducted from Target? Probably a lot. For many, the only real information they’ve ever gotten about trafficking are warnings about Target or shopping mall parking lots from their Facebook friends. They don’t know how many teenage boys from broken homes, living in poverty, are pulled into being trafficked. How many gay youths, rejected by their families, fall victim to it. How many immigrant children here with no parental supervision, are sold off by the people who should be protecting them, into sexual slavery. 

Those stories, even if they’re told, are not going to grab national headlines. They are not going to evoke world-wide outrage and sympathy. Those are things that happen to “other people”. We might even be tempted to start looking for reason why it’s their own fault, or at least the parents fault, right? 

From a media perspective, we also have to keep this in mind. An abduction of a young white girl from her home, is a rare event. It’s actually newsworthy because it happens so rarely. When it happens, it’s shocking. A trans, minority, teen being coerced into selling themselves, with no one to turn to for protection, isn’t any of those things. A gay male teen being kicked out of their parents house and trying to make it through homelessness, is also not something that happens so rarely that there would be major news coverage of it. These things happen all of the time. So often, that they aren’t really news. 

So, which group should we have support and services for? I’d like to vote for ALL OF THEM. But that will take educating people about the reality of who gets abused, who gets trafficked, and for us all to accept that it happens everywhere. Until we get there, and are willing to see all different types of people as victims, we will continue to fail one group or another. That’s not acceptable. … Read More

So, How Are You Doing?

posted in: Observations 1 |
Reading Time: 2 minutes

But, that’s not what I want to talk about today, because, frankly, I think we’re all talked out on the subject, or at least I feel like I’m all talked out right now. If you don’t realize that anxiety and other mental health issues are sitting heavy on all of us this year, I don’t know that there’s anything I can say that will convince you of it. I want to talk about some good things, because, why not? I want to appreciate the following:

No matter what happens with the election, the sun rose today. It will set tonight, and rise again tomorrow. And I am here to see it.

I am thankful for the many friends and family members we’ve been in touch with in the last few days, even if it’s just to text and say “WTF”?

Laughter, because sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh, and it’s good for you.

You are here, reading this. You’re Alive!

Hope, that as long as there is a tomorrow for any of us, there is hope in the fact that things are always changing in the world, and in our lives.

Love. For each other, and ourselves.

Nature.

The technology that lets us all check in with each other, across the world, at any time.… Read More

Cancel Culture Exists Online, It’s Just Not What You’re Expecting

posted in: Observations 0 |
Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s enough to make you just give it all up and walk away.

That, to me, is cancel culture. I know there’s a lot of talk about cancel culture and whether it even exists or not, but frankly, to me, the real canceling that goes on online is when the good, thoughtful and caring, people just walk away instead of being here and having their voices matter. Because they’re tired. They’re tired of the constant outrage, the constant anger directed at them for not doing, and believing, everything random people expect them to. The vitriol directed at them in direct messages, comments, and tweets for simply trying to have a conversation, from all sides. For not supporting conspiracy groups, for not using the correct words, for not advocating for exactly the same things, in exactly then same way. Because if you don’t “agree” with them and show your support, in clear, and often financial, ways, you are the enemy.

Seriously, it gets old. It’s toxic. It’s exhausting. It makes you question why you even bother with this at all. I, for one, don’t need this in my life on a regular basis. No one does. So, instead of having real conversations about real issues, and doing real education, we’re walking away and letting the worst kinds of people win the internet.

I’m tired, but I’m not ready to do that. If 19 years of working to educate people, and let anyone know that they are not alone as a survivor, or as a person dealing with mental health issues, isn’t enough for you, and you can’t understand that all of the things I do online to make this happen I do in my spare time, for free, then you can go somewhere else.

Take all of your fake outrage and fake “facts” with you too.… Read More

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