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Silent Spirits – Not So Silent


Adults Protecting Children

Too many times we are presented with articles and messaging that teaches us to talk to children and vulnerable people about protecting themselves from sex abuse. Some of these messages tell us to tell children to say no or that our private body parts are ours and shouldn’t be touched (unless it is a trusted adult). This approach can leave adults feeling like they have done the work to protect but puts all of the responsibility on the child. Teaching children about personal boundaries and consent is extremely important but just as important is teaching adults to assess vulnerability and risk in their family, friends and community.

Every day we are blasted with news about registered sex offenders, missing children, online predators and so many other types of violent crime. What do we do with all of this fear filled messaging? The first thing that we can do is to recognize that sexual predators live among us in our family, friends and community. Sex offenders spend years mastering their skills to groom people. They can be friendly, charismatic, respected, successful, intelligent, kind and very patient. This is why it is so difficult to address this type of abuse/crime in communities.  The fact that they have figured us out to access their victims means that we have the ability to figure them out. Here is a quick tip list to assess vulnerable people and risky people in your life.

Vulnerability Assessment: Increase level of trust and protection

Children

Elderly

Mentally & Physically Disabled

Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Predator Access Risk Assessment: Can’t afford to give the benefit of the doubt

Single Parents are at a 25% higher risk to Sex Offender grooming

Adults/Teens that consume a lot of time with vulnerable people while being in a position of power

“Creep Factor” people. We have instincts for a reason and need to own them and not minimize

Adult family members with previous or current allegations are an extremely high risk to vulnerable

Minimizing our instincts and because we don’t think like a sex offender, their access has continuously increased over the years. 39,000,000 people in the United State have been sexually abused and this is one of the most under reported crimes. The long term impacts of sex abuse victimization typically last a life time and can be devastating. Child victims grow into adult victims who deal with issues that can include; substance abuse, depression, re-victimization, self-destructive behaviors, low self-esteem, family isolation, community detachment and suicidal thoughts/attempts/completion. It is time to fight this fight and protect our vulnerable from predators.

Savenia Falquist

www.silentspirits.info

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Breaking the Silence in Service Agencies


Just posted new Silent Spirits blog

Breaking the Silence in Our Systems


For over 15 years, my peers and myself have had discussion after discussion about the silence or taboo around child sex abuse. There is a real expectation that when we present this material in college classroom, community gatherings or even training workshops the room will be left silent. Understanding that this type of victimization impacts so many that have not been validated or even accused of lying would create a “blanket” of silence. The long lasting and devasting impacts of child sexual abuse in adults is not about the actual abuse, it is about the grooming mind manipulation that creates survivors to feel detached, judged and questioning peoples credability in so many interactions.

For years we in the field have auto-responses to our frustration to our attempts to speak on behalf of victims, raise awareness and prevent sex abuse. One of the most commonly used statements is “People just are ready to hear or talk about child sex abuse”. That just isn’t working for me anymore and definately hasn’t been working in our efforts to reduce and ultimately prevent this crime. Long term trauma for victims of child sex abuse is caused by not being heard and not being helped. Many families will celebrate holidays and gatherings that will include sex offenders at the table. The victim can feel that they are supposed to “let it go” or “make things o.k.” Not being able to tell or believed when they do creates continuing long lasting cycles of abuse. This is all at the hands of the abuser who has groomed their family, friends and community. Prevention starts with lifting our silence and learning about the grooming game that we are in and don’t even know it.

Working in a community service organization requires us to attempt to be all-inclusive to the people we serve. Silent Spirits is campaigning to break the silence in service organizations and agencies. Too many departments and offices that provide treatment, victim, mental health, criminal justice and counseling services do not have sex abuse specific materials posted. It is important to include this material because we post posters, flyers and brochures that address domestic violence, stalking, rape, suicide and depression but not child sexual abuse. Adult survivors are again affirmed that their abuse is not validated and silenced.

Silent Spirits is campaigning to organizations and agencies to assess public spaces for sex abuse specific publications. If an organization or agency finds that they need specific materials, we ask them to include posters, flyers or brochures. Resources are available or individual organizations can produce their own. It is important and it is a start.

Resources:

http://www.silentspirits.info

http://www.ncvc.org

http://www.nsvrc.org

http://www.rainn.org

Sincerely,

Savenia Falquist – Founder

Self-Preservation”If I…


Self-Preservation”If I….

Silent Spirits Awareness Campaign. The Revision FBI Unified Crime Reporting Definition of Forcible Rape


Silent Spirits Awareness Campaign. The Revision FBI Unified Crime Reporting Definition of Forcible Rape.

Silent Spirits…The Project


Silent Spirits exists to change the landscape of America around sex abuse. We are campaigning to raise awareness to the new federal rape statute revision that now includes males and a broader definition of rape (blog to come). We have also developed training for agencies and communities that assists in assessing risk and preventing sex offender access to vulnerable people. Predators have been using “the grooming game” to manipulate non-offending adults to access our vulnerable loved ones and friends.

The Silent Spirit in Me


The Silent Spirit in Me.